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View Full Version : PAIN PATCH TO HELP DIAGNOSIS PROBLEM--ANY IDEAS??


Deb-and-Henry
October 17th 05, 02:46 AM
Sorry I haven't responded to people but I've been traveling with Henry,
my 9yo cat, and just got back to my computer... but, thank you to those
who have been responding to me, I really appreciate it. We went to
Tufts University Foster Small Animal Hospital in MA. After $3,000
there, we still cannot determine what's wrong with him. Any hints you
can offer would be appreciated...

He has been anemic since at least March, which is suggestive of an
underlying disease, according to the vets, since he was not anemic
before the first symptoms of excessive eating/drinking and LOW blood
glucose (in the 50's) -- thus, not diabetes. Thyroid was checked twice
-- negative. Three neurologists examined him, along with other
specialists at Tufts. They say he has severe lower back area pain, but
cannot pinpoint it. A specialized spinal MRI (w/contrast material)
ruled out that his spine was actually causing the severe pain. An
abdominal ultrasound and various chest and spine x-rays ruled out any
tumors that are visible at this time, along with spinal problems that
could be causing it. He does not have heartworm or lung worms, as far
as can be determined, or any other parasites.

The vet has concluded that he has something rare, that is not typically
tested for, and that the only way to find out what Henry has is to
eliminate the masking of symptoms caused by his pain by eliminating the
pain. Thus, we have a narcotic pain patch on the back of his neck to
see what symptoms still remain or show up when he is not in pain (7th
day).

I think he tends to eat and drink excessively, compared to his normal
behavior. He is normally a hunter, but does not have the energy to do
much but lie on the bed or in a dark corner of the closet. The most
obvious symptom that has not gone away is what I would call pressured
breathing. It is near normal in rate (28-30/minute, with 24 normal).
It's a bit like his abdomen is pressing the air out of his lungs. He
is on the strongest pain medication and this has not relieved that
symptom.

In summary, I believe his symptoms are pressured/labored breathing (at
28-30/min), anemia, excessive eating and drinking without the expected
weight gain (and with a tendency to lose weight), weakness/fatigue,
often very dilated pupils, and often, low blood glucose (in 50's).
Asthma has been ruled out.

If anyone has suggestions about what to check, I'd appreciate it...
running out of funds here. The vet mentioned two diseases, either FIP
or autoimmune diseases -- much more rare, but that he would suggest
checking next, if all symptoms did not disappear with the pain
medication.

Thank you for your time...

Debbie & Henry (& baby Pug "Pockets," who is worried about her Henry)

October 17th 05, 05:13 AM
Has your cat been tested for Hemobartonella?
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_feline_infectious_anemia.html
That might account for the anemia.

Megan



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Deb-and-Henry
October 17th 05, 08:34 AM
W.H.Murray,

I checked out the site you supplied and am a bit concerned. The thing
that has been most consistent the past month is the pressured (but not
excessively rapid) breathing. Something is definitely wrong with him,
which numerous vets have concurred on, but no one has figured out what.
Thus, Tufts University feels it is something rare, that is not often
found in cats, and that is not likely immunized against.

The perplexing thing is that none of these sites mention pain, when
severe pain was diagnosed by 3 Tufts Univ. neurologists. I have to
give Henry pain patches (or apply) to determine what symptoms remain
after pain, for diagnosis.

Thank you for your response. I am going to fax that website info to my
vet at Tufts.

Take care,
Debbie, Henry & Henry's 'baby' Pug ("Pockets")

Phil P.
October 18th 05, 05:23 AM
"Deb-and-Henry" > wrote in message
oups.com...
> Sorry I haven't responded to people but I've been traveling with Henry,
> my 9yo cat, and just got back to my computer... but, thank you to those
> who have been responding to me, I really appreciate it. We went to
> Tufts University Foster Small Animal Hospital in MA. After $3,000
> there, we still cannot determine what's wrong with him. Any hints you
> can offer would be appreciated...
>
> He has been anemic since at least March, which is suggestive of an
> underlying disease, according to the vets, since he was not anemic
> before the first symptoms of excessive eating/drinking and LOW blood
> glucose (in the 50's) -- thus, not diabetes.


There are several different types of anemia. Has the type been determined?
Determining the type can narrow down the causes. Does he have regenerative
or nonregenerative anemia?



Thyroid was checked twice
> -- negative. Three neurologists examined him, along with other
> specialists at Tufts. They say he has severe lower back area pain, but
> cannot pinpoint it. A specialized spinal MRI (w/contrast material)
> ruled out that his spine was actually causing the severe pain. An
> abdominal ultrasound and various chest and spine x-rays ruled out any
> tumors that are visible at this time, along with spinal problems that
> could be causing it. He does not have heartworm or lung worms, as far
> as can be determined, or any other parasites.
>
> The vet has concluded that he has something rare, that is not typically
> tested for, and that the only way to find out what Henry has is to
> eliminate the masking of symptoms caused by his pain by eliminating the
> pain. Thus, we have a narcotic pain patch on the back of his neck to
> see what symptoms still remain or show up when he is not in pain (7th
> day).

Where you given instructions when to change the patch? Its usually every
3 days.


>
> I think he tends to eat and drink excessively, compared to his normal
> behavior. He is normally a hunter, but does not have the energy to do
> much but lie on the bed or in a dark corner of the closet. The most
> obvious symptom that has not gone away is what I would call pressured
> breathing. It is near normal in rate (28-30/minute, with 24 normal).
> It's a bit like his abdomen is pressing the air out of his lungs. He
> is on the strongest pain medication and this has not relieved that
> symptom.
>
> In summary, I believe his symptoms are pressured/labored breathing (at
> 28-30/min), anemia, excessive eating and drinking without the expected
> weight gain (and with a tendency to lose weight), weakness/fatigue,
> often very dilated pupils, and often, low blood glucose (in 50's).
> Asthma has been ruled out.

> If anyone has suggestions about what to check,

Haemobartonella can be a cause of anemia (regenerative) *and* hypoglycemia.
The parasite appears in the blood in cycles, so, its very easy to miss. In
suspected cases of Haemobart, most vets put the cats on doxycyline therapy
rather than subject the cat to multiple blood draws, and prednisolone. The
prednisolone therapy is decreased as the PCV (packed cell volume) or Hct
increases and the anemia reverses.

You might want to recheck his glucose at home with a human glucose meter.
Other than insulin overdose, the most common cause of low glucose in cats
without fever is usually a lab error or waiting too long to separate the
serum. If he actually is hypoglycemic, it *must* be treated immediately or
he could seize.


I'd appreciate it...
> running out of funds here. The vet mentioned two diseases, either FIP
> or autoimmune diseases -- much more rare,

You didn't mention any biochemical abnormalities other than hypoglycemia.
Cats with FIP usually have high serum protein and/or globulin levels. The
hallmark of FIP is a fluctuating, nonresponsive fever.



but that he would suggest
> checking next, if all symptoms did not disappear with the pain
> medication.


His back pain may not be related to his anemia.


>
> Thank you for your time...

I'm stumped. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

Best of luck,

Phil

Deb-and-Henry
October 19th 05, 07:40 AM
Phil... Thank you. I did not realize there were different types of
anemia. I am going to send these responses to the doctor (since I
recently moved and I don't have my computer hooked up) and ask him to
go over them with me. He wanted me to come today (3 hour drive), but I
had car trouble. Didn't want to break down with the babies (Henry &
Pockets (3mo Pug)), so I got the car all fixed. I will leave first
thing Wed. morning. It's the labored breathing and apparent weakness
that are concerning me the most (along with the anemia that keeps
showing up)! Labored breathing is a very bad sign, from my experience.
Thanks again to both of you. If anyone has anything else to
contribute, I'd still appreciate it... the doctor is very concerned
because he knows something is wrong and can't figure it out. TAKE
CARE!!! D&H&P