October 27th, 2005, 06:00 PM
Last weekend my cat stopped eating, was excessively drooling, and did nothing but sleep. On Monday morning we went to the vet and they took blood and did a biopsy on an ulcer in his mouth. The platelets were very low so they put him on Prednasone and anti-biotics. He has responded well and is back to normal. Last night, Wednesday, we had his platelets rechecked. They just called me to say that they are even lower than before. They want me to continue the medication and they will test his platelets again tomorrow. I don't know what to think. Thay have thrown around the words "Lupus" and "systematic". So far this week we have paid almost $1000 and have no answers. I have worked with the vet for almost 3 years and I have never loved them, but stayed due to them knowing his medical history. I have never had answers to anything he has gone in for and I feel like this will be the same situation. I am such a good pet owner and this cat has it very good, but I refuse to make him suffer through endless treatments and thousands of dollars to come to the conclusion that he is very ill. He is a Maine Coon, and if anyone has one knows that they are very very social dog-like animals, and I cannot make him go through cancer treatment. Has anyone dealt with this platelet problem in their cats? What was the outcome? Help please.
October 27th, 2005, 10:19 PM
A low platelet count can be a symptom of a few illnesses. So I would hesitate to offer suggestions without knowing if it is cancer or not. And many cats actually do very well in cancer treatment - they handle chemo much better than humans. Lupus is another illness entirely of course but you prob know that. I am alarmed to hear you say you would not make him go thru cancer treatment. You are thinking like a human and not like a cat. Cats do not react in the same way as us to some of the conventional cancer treatments - I think the decision must be made on whether your cat is suffering or not and what the prognosis is. Even then, there are miracles in cats who survive and live more wonderful pain free lives.
It is a personal decision for you depending on many factors. Is your cat in pain? You know your kitty and you would know if he is ready to give up. Not eating is not nec'ly a sign of that tho - cats can stop eating even during a cold since they need their sense of smell to eat. How old is he? Has he been ill for 3 years? If money is a problem, there are organizations that help cats with severe medical probs and many vets take payment plans. I guess I am saying to try and not make the decision based on your financial resources. There are ways of raising money for special kitties.
Let your cat be your guide and he will let you know what he wants if you listen to him. Maybe you need a second opinion if you are questioning your vet?
October 28th, 2005, 01:16 PM
Sorry to hear about your kitty. 4 or 5 weeks ago my cat showed a sudden behavior change and was very ill - took her in and her white blood cells and platlets were low. After a week of antibiotics they had only gone up a few points and were still below normal. She had a sore on the side of her mouth that they said may or may not be causing the symptoms. She has slowly gotten better but is still not 100% back to normal.
I would recommend getting a 2nd opinion if you can manage. I personally have been through many vets. It's a very personal relationship and you have to feel comfortable and know they have your best interest at heart. And even if they are doing their best, but you don't feel you have the answers you need, try someone else. It may be uncomfortable, but request the medical records be sent to another location. I am planning on writing my current vet a letter and stating I will no longer be using their services. When my kitty became sick on a Saturday, I tried calling the vet before they were even open and then every 10 minutes to try and get through to someone. When I finally did, I was told the symptoms I was describing "don't sound like an emergency to me." Does the twit at the desk have a veterinary degree? This wasn't like I was some stranger - I've been using this vet for at least 3 years. So I took her to another vet who had walk-in hours on Saturday and they found she was indeed seriously ill. That along with a few other things are prompting my change in vets. The records are yours, you paid for them.
This new walk-in clinic vet - he does something no others have ever done to me before - he shows me the results of the blood tests and explains in detail (sometimes too much) what each item means. Yeah, it may be over my head but he's trying to give me an indepth explanation of what is going on, but really doesn't have any answers as to why. He'll state it could be any one of these 5 things, etc. But I appreciate his honesty and willingness to try and do everything possible.
When my dal became ill last week she has seen four different vets so far (emergency vets, walk-in vet and phone consult w/reg. vet) - all with a different idea on how to treat and diagnose. I still don't know who's right and she is making very slow improvements. I completely understand where you are coming from.
Sorry you are going through this and hope your kitty pulls through.
October 29th, 2005, 02:50 AM
We used to hear "if your pet has problem, go to the vet".
That's true, but it's not a complete recommendation. Before "go to the vet", you must "find the right vet first". Not all vets are the same, even though they are all DVMs.
Go to the wrong vet, you waste your money, you waste your time (and time is extremely critical when the pet is ill).
Picking a vet just because they near your home, or just by looking up the phone book are seriously wrong. You should go around and ask friends, neighbors, co-workers, ... You need references.
And you should do that when the pet is healthy, when there is still ample of time.