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Rona Y.
July 18th 07, 01:16 PM
I received the following email from my brother:

begin paste----

Shiro is in the hospital. He has severe anemia, extremely low
hematocrit levels. We've pumped almost $2000 in tests but so far the
tests - liver, kidney, viral, radiological views - all show a healthy
cat. The vet is puzzled as to what is causing it. Our toxics are all
stored well above his (and Tessa's reach). No one has dropped any
acetaminophen on the floor lately (ever) and besides, he wouldn't eat
it anyways. I'm afraid we may be nearing the end for Tessa's first
best friend L. Our next step is to run to a marrow biopsy...

end paste----

Does anyone have an idea what might be wrong, or where they can point
their vet to look? I did a search, and severely low hematocrit was
only associated with anemia and in one (human) case, a hemorrhage.
They didn't mention any of Shiro's symptoms to me, so I can't add
anything there. Shiro is also a very obese cat (22 lbs last I heard,
but I heard he has been able to lose a bit of weight in the last year
or so), if that might be a factor in anything.

Shiro is one of the sweetest cats in the world (although he did send
me to physio for 3 months by sleeping on my head), and I want my
brother armed with as much info as possible when he heads to the vet.

Phil P.
July 19th 07, 11:43 AM
"Rona Y." > wrote in message
ups.com...
> I received the following email from my brother:
>
> begin paste----
>
> Shiro is in the hospital. He has severe anemia, extremely low
> hematocrit levels. We've pumped almost $2000 in tests but so far the
> tests - liver, kidney, viral, radiological views - all show a healthy
> cat. The vet is puzzled as to what is causing it. Our toxics are all
> stored well above his (and Tessa's reach). No one has dropped any
> acetaminophen on the floor lately (ever) and besides, he wouldn't eat
> it anyways. I'm afraid we may be nearing the end for Tessa's first
> best friend L. Our next step is to run to a marrow biopsy...
>
> end paste----
>
> Does anyone have an idea what might be wrong, or where they can point
> their vet to look? I did a search, and severely low hematocrit was
> only associated with anemia and in one (human) case, a hemorrhage.
> They didn't mention any of Shiro's symptoms to me, so I can't add
> anything there. Shiro is also a very obese cat (22 lbs last I heard,
> but I heard he has been able to lose a bit of weight in the last year
> or so), if that might be a factor in anything.
>
> Shiro is one of the sweetest cats in the world (although he did send
> me to physio for 3 months by sleeping on my head), and I want my
> brother armed with as much info as possible when he heads to the vet.
>

Hi Rona,

I'm sorry to hear about your brother's cat.

Did your bother's vet tell him which type of anemia Shiro has (regenerative,
non-regenerative, hemolytic, immune-mediated)? Has Shiro's blood been
checked for Haemobartonella felis? If so, find out if the blood sample was
*fresh*? If the blood is drawn into a tube that contains an anticoagulant-
and/or if the blood sample is refrigerated, the parasite will detach from
the red blood cells giving you a false negative.

I might be able to help if I knew which type of anema she has-- try to find
out, ok?

Best of luck,

Phil

RY
July 19th 07, 08:48 PM
"Phil P." > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
> Hi Rona,
>
> I'm sorry to hear about your brother's cat.
>
> Did your bother's vet tell him which type of anemia Shiro has
> (regenerative,
> non-regenerative, hemolytic, immune-mediated)? Has Shiro's blood been
> checked for Haemobartonella felis? If so, find out if the blood sample
> was
> *fresh*? If the blood is drawn into a tube that contains an
> anticoagulant-
> and/or if the blood sample is refrigerated, the parasite will detach from
> the red blood cells giving you a false negative.
>
> I might be able to help if I knew which type of anema she has-- try to
> find
> out, ok?
>
> Best of luck,
>
> Phil

Thanks for the reply, Phil.

I emailed my brother asking those questions, and he replied with the
following:

begin paste---

Hi - Shiro has non-regenerative anemia, and is not CRF related - his
kidney's are fine, but his marrow is just not producing. They tested for
ehrlichiosis, hemobart and bartonella. He is on prednosone and his PCV is
holding steady.

He will get a third blood test today to see if the steroids are working and
then we can determine if we can take him home.

The vets don't think RhEPO will be effective since his kidneys are fine and
but marrow is unresponsive. At this point we don't know if it is
auto-immune. I've heard about Leukeran - some people have had great success
with it but it has some side effects, like marrow suppression. I plan on
broaching the subject with the vet today. He hasn't had a marrow aspirate or
biopsy, just because the cost of the specialist would be about $2000 or more
just to run the diagnostics. It sucks (REALLY sucks) that it has to come to
dollar figures but we just don't have this. The emergency clinic wanted
$1500 up front before they did anything!

To complicate matters even more, Shiro has to be anaesthetized whenever we
do any kind of procedure on him - he turns vicious whenever we take him to
the vet. Think of Shiro as his normal laid back loveable self. And then
think of an animal that is the exact opposite - that's Shiro at the vet.
This adds considerable stress to him, and expense to us.

We visited him yesterday, he was happy to see us. We fed him baby food - the
steroids make him so hungry! He was pretty weak, but he purred for us and
tried to head butt us like he always does. It was heartbreaking for us,
because he has to wear this cone around his head. The staff was amazed at
how nice he was for us, but I can't blame them as they've only seen the
at-the-vet Shiro.

I think we are coming to terms with letting him go. We can do small things,
like additional transfusions and steroids, but the big ticket things that
might really help him are out of reach for us

Oh, BTW, the samples are fresh. His PCV count went from 9% to 13% after the
transfusion - still very bad. Unfortunately, he is so big that the donor cat
wasn't able to keep up!

end paste---

they're getting ready to euthanize, I think. I have much to say about that,
but I won't say it right now. It wouldn't be very productive, and I just
want to help Shiro.

Thanks again for your help.

rona

Phil P.
July 20th 07, 08:52 AM
"RY" > wrote in message
...
>
> "Phil P." > wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
>
> Thanks for the reply, Phil.
>
> Hi - Shiro has non-regenerative anemia, and is not CRF related - his
> kidney's are fine, but his marrow is just not producing. They tested for
> ehrlichiosis, hemobart and bartonella. He is on prednosone and his PCV is
> holding steady.

Rona,

If there aren't any other cytopenias, I'd start looking for a hidden chronic
infection-- the best place to start are x-rays of the entire mouth so you
can see if anything is going on below the gumline.

Does your brother live in an older house?

Phil

RY
July 20th 07, 05:26 PM
"Phil P." > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
>
> Rona,
>
> If there aren't any other cytopenias, I'd start looking for a hidden
> chronic
> infection-- the best place to start are x-rays of the entire mouth so you
> can see if anything is going on below the gumline.
>
> Does your brother live in an older house?
>
> Phil
>

Hi Phil,

thanks for the reply. As it turns out, they had Shiro euthanized yesterday.
He took a turn for the worse Thursday night, and they felt it was the best
option. Poor Shiro.

thanks again for your help.

rona

Phil P.
July 22nd 07, 02:12 PM
"RY" > wrote in message
...
>
> "Phil P." > wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
> >
> >
> > Rona,
> >
> > If there aren't any other cytopenias, I'd start looking for a hidden
> > chronic
> > infection-- the best place to start are x-rays of the entire mouth so
you
> > can see if anything is going on below the gumline.
> >
> > Does your brother live in an older house?
> >
> > Phil
> >
>
> Hi Phil,
>
> thanks for the reply. As it turns out, they had Shiro euthanized
yesterday.
> He took a turn for the worse Thursday night, and they felt it was the best
> option. Poor Shiro.
>
> thanks again for your help.
>
> rona


I'm so sorry.

Phil

RY
July 27th 07, 04:34 PM
"Phil P." > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
> I'm so sorry.
>
> Phil
>

Thanks. I'm still trying very hard not to be angry about the whole thing,
but knowing how long Shiro had symptoms before they did anything about it
makes it difficult. On a positive note, they probably won't be getting
another cat anytime soon. And I believe they shouldn't have one.

thanks again for your help.

rona