Angie’s Blog

Because I Can

Our Hypochondriac Cat, Lily

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This is our new cat, Lily. Lily is a 6 year old female who came from Freecycle.com. Lily decided to spend her first two nights with us at the emergency vet all because of what the vets can’t claim is anything but an “anxiety attack.”

So, what happened?

Lily was dropped off at our place at 12:30pm on Wednesday. She was kept separate from our other three cats as she slowly got used to our home. She made it through her first night at our house by hiding under the bed and in the closet and coming out only in the dead of the night to eat and use the catbox. On Thursday morning we thought she was doing better and might be ready to meet our other cats so we left our bedroom door open to let them mingle at their own rate. Lily survived through the day by hissing and glaring at our other cats as they slowly entered and inspected the room. Thursday night, Paul picked her up and brought her into his office to watch some tv with him. Well, that lasted about 23 seconds until Lily jumped off his lap, threw up and started foaming HEAVILY at the mouth while twisting her head and smacking her tongue against the roof of her mouth. We put her back in the bedroom and shut the door and kept an eye on her while Googling her symptoms. She hid underneath the bed for the better part of a half an hour, still foaming and becoming less and less responsive to us except for the occasional hiss when we got too close to her. I was starting to panic at this point, so we got the broom and pushed her out from under the bed and put her into the tub where she stayed, still foaming and drooling. We found a webpage that stated that if a cat had been foaming for longer then a half an hour, then it was a good idea to phone the vet. Paul phoned the vet and listed her symptoms, which at that point just included foaming and drooling. Five minutes later I phone the vet back and added that she was also lethargic, non-responsive “butt reflex” and was just staring into space. While on the phone, I was looking for any other signs and noticed her pupils were very noticeably uneven and that her second eyelids were half way closed. The vet suggested that it was a neurological condition and that we bring her in. Since rabies is a neurological disease, we were becoming very concerned at this point. We couldn’t find any other reason for her to be reacting this badly, no foreign objects in her throat, no chemicals she had gotten into, so rabies was sounding feasible. Another condition that can cause these symptoms is Feline Leukemia and since we had only had Lily a little more then 24 hours, we had no idea of her past health diagnosis.

So, midnight on Thursday night we took a trip to the emergency vet with Lily to get her some professional care. They ran a full blood panel on her to see if any of her values could be causing her symptoms. Her glucose was high (diabetes or stress), her white blood cell count was low (possible leukemia) and her liver values were high (poisoning, severe allergy or other chemical assault on the body). They put her on an IV-drip and injected her with anti-nausea medication to stop her fluid loss. We left the vet at 2:30am and Lily stayed the night to be monitored. The emergency clinic suggested we take her to a day-vet to get a leukemia test in the morning and to continue the IV-drip and monitoring for signs of poisoning.

When Paul and I got home we bleached the entire bathroom and anywhere else her saliva has gotten since Feline Leukemia is spread by saliva and is contagious to other cats. Needlessly to say, this was a very hard few hours for us because we now had our other three cats that had potentially caught a deadly virus.

At 6:30am, I went back to the emergency vet to pick-up Lily and take her to the Forest Creek Animal Hospital for further treatment. She was still drooling but was well hydrated and was more responsive. The emergency vet had nothing to report on her condition and said nothing else could be done until she had her leukemia test. At Forest Creek, they drew blood for her test and hooked up her IV-drip again. An hour later at 8am, the test results came back negative and the vet doctor came out to talk to me about our options. Lily stayed at the animal hospital for another 24 hours. Within that time she became fully responsive, started eating like a pig, recovered her fluid levels and stopped her drooling. Lily’s previous owner met me at the Animal Hospital on Friday evening so that we could also discuss Lily’s future home placement if it was needed.

Paul and I picked Lily up from the Animal Hospital on Saturday morning at 11am and she’s been doing great ever since. She’s eating between 3/4 of a can to 1 can of cat food a day and seems more comfortable with our surroundings. We decided to keep her separate from the rest of the house for at least a week regardless of her improvement because we don’t want to trigger a relapse. Based on the lab results, the vet still can’t determine what caused her episode.  Stress, seizures or a chemical poisoning are the most likely so far. We’re taking her back to the Animal Hospital on Wednesday to get another blood test to see if her liver and white blood cell count have returned to normal. If they haven’t, then we will order an ultrasound to check for a gastrointestinal disease.

Her pupils are still uneven sizes but less pronounced. It’s possible it’s a condition that she’s had for life but that was aggravated to a noticeable amount during her episode.

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One Response to “Our Hypochondriac Cat, Lily”

  1. Richard

    I hope Lily is doing better right now. I am not a vet, but it definately sounds like a brain disorder that may have been triggered by stress overload. Keep her happy and unstressed.
    -Richard

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