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Cat with Non-regenerative Anemia

by Samantha
(New Hampshire)

Cat with Non-regenerative Anemia

Cat with Non-regenerative Anemia

Our cat, Sookie has always been small. Everyone would always comment on how surprised they were when they found out her age in comparison to her size. She's a peanut, but she's sweet & playful & fast.


She had her annual check up and got the routine vaccinations and a week later I had to bring her to the animal ER because she was having trouble coordinating her back legs. The ER doctor concluded that one of the injection sites from one of her vaccinations was possibly pinching a nerve in her lower spin or waist cause the wobbly walking. She had an unknown fever.

She gave her some fluids because she was dehydrated and a steroid to help with any possible swelling from the vaccination. But the next day, Sookie couldn't move her back legs at all. I quickly brought her to the vets for her to have some tests done. The Dr. called me and was dumb-founded as to why she was in this condition. Sookie's fever went down, but it went down too much & they had to put her under a heating pad to get her body temperature back to normal normal.

She went through a list of questions for possible reasons for her condition. "Does she go outside? - No, she's an indoor cat.",

"Could she have gotten into any medications?" -No, I have small children, so I keep all medicines in a cabinet out of their reach."

"Could she have been exposed to any lead based paint? - No, I don't live in a house old enough to have lead-based paint."

Nothing added up.

All of these questions didn't help her at all. She tested her blood and it showed she was anemic & her bone marrow wasn't producing any more cells. She gave her an extra dose of vitamins & she started improving, but then she got a fever again & stopped eating. She can't even make it to her litter box.

I have a feeling that it's something neurological and genetic(possibly the reason why she is so small) and it can't be cured. I face a huge dilemma of: Do we keep putting her through all the pain of these tests or do I go with my gut feeling that it's all pointless and it won't be fixable.

I love her so much and can't bear to see her as "not herself" and in pain.

Vet Suggestion Regarding Treatment for Cat Anemia

Dear Samantha,

I’m so sorry to hear of your cat’s condition. Her symptoms are quite unusual so I’m afraid I can’t give you a diagnosis based on your description, but I can make some suggestions about possible diagnostic test that wouldn’t be too stressful for her.

Check your cat’s records. Testing her for feline leukemia virus (Felv), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), toxoplasmosis, and feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) would certainly be a good idea if it hasn’t been done already (these are just blood tests and could all be run on a single sample). I’ll warn you that evaluating the results of FIP tests can be difficult, but if her titers came back extremely high, I’d put this disease towards the top of my differential diagnosis list.

I assume she has had a general blood chemistry test, complete blood cell count, a urinalysis, a fecal exam, and spinal x-rays as this would be part of a work up for any cat with her symptoms. Collecting a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (e.g., a spinal tap) might give you some good information too, and it wouldn’t be to stressful for her since she would be thoroughly sedated for the procedure.

I wish you luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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Feb 26, 2012
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Our beloved boy cat had Aplastic Anemia
by: pickles

Our little cat had these same symptoms. He was diagnosed with aplastic anemia. Our veterinarian said it was rare in cats. He was treated with transfusions and then he had to use oxyglobin because there was no match for his blood after 2 transfusions. He got steroids because our vet thought it was an autoimmune reaction. They also prescribed Epogen to try to treat the anemia. He loved his life and fought this disease for 2 months. This was 7 years ago, your vet might know of some newer possible medicines. We hope that there are some treatments that will help your cat. We wish the best for you and your cat.

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