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Low lymphocyte count

lindapalm
March 31st, 2011, 02:25 PM
Does anyone know what a low lymphocyte count would mean, and also a low absolute lymphocyte count. Mother in laws cat had a thyroid test and was told everything was fine, but I noticed on the results the two low counts. Are they no big deal?

kathryn
March 31st, 2011, 02:43 PM
How low is low? In an older cat, low WBC wouldn't really suggest much to me :shrug: If it's just below range, ehhh probably nothing. Also, sometimes CBC's can be skewed a bit depending on how the blood was handled. So, it is probably nothing especially if the vet didn't mention anything. Sometimes low lymphocytes can be a sign of certain cancers, but it all depends on what the cats symptoms are too.

If it were my cat, I'd probably repeat just the CBC in 2-3 weeks and see how the values are this time. If they declined, I'd probably have more tests done.. if they stayed the same or went up, I'd probably just assume my cat is just getting old and has a low blood count.

lindapalm
April 1st, 2011, 12:07 AM
The cat is almost 12, so the low count is probably caused by age. His lymphocytes were 15, and I guess the range is 20-55, and his absolute lymphocytes were 1170, and the range is 1500-7000.

SamIam
April 1st, 2011, 12:30 AM
Does the cat have any known medical conditions, or any symptoms of illness at all?

kathryn
April 1st, 2011, 10:40 AM
The cat is almost 12, so the low count is probably caused by age. His lymphocytes were 15, and I guess the range is 20-55, and his absolute lymphocytes were 1170, and the range is 1500-7000.

That's not terribly bad, but I would probably investigate further at some point. What are the symptoms that originally had the cat at the vets in the first place? Have they done any x-rays yet to check for masses?

lindapalm
April 1st, 2011, 02:27 PM
We took him to the vet because he lost a ton of fur on his back, since he was there last he lost a pound. She gives him a shot for the fur pulling, but its only good for about a month. way too soon for another one. He's also on fluoxetine for spraying, but was pulling the fur out before he started it so I know that has nothing to do with it, maybe its the cause of the weight loss? Hes never had any x-rays

mummummum
April 1st, 2011, 04:01 PM
What is in the "shot" Lindapalm or did I overlook something in your post?

kathryn
April 1st, 2011, 07:28 PM
Was it a depo-medrol shot? Those are the most common for those types of cases

lindapalm
April 2nd, 2011, 11:23 AM
Yes, it was a Depo Medrol shot, they work good , but only for a couple of weeks.

SamIam
April 2nd, 2011, 11:48 AM
Lindapalm, both the drugs the cat is taking can affect the lymphocytes. My guess is the vet is considering the counts lower than normal but still adequate for the cat's health. As Kathryn mentioned, it may be a good idea to check whether they are low and stable, or low and decreasing, because at some point a low enough count will be cause for concern. You or your mother-in-law might want to phone the vet and see if they recommend a re-test at some point.

lindapalm
April 2nd, 2011, 07:39 PM
Thanks, he's starting to pull his fur out again so when we take him back I will suggest a retest. How often can he get the Depo-Medrol shot, its only been six weeks since the last one? I think shes going to have to come up with a new idea.

sugarcatmom
April 2nd, 2011, 08:19 PM
Thanks, he's starting to pull his fur out again so when we take him back I will suggest a retest. How often can he get the Depo-Medrol shot, its only been six weeks since the last one? I think shes going to have to come up with a new idea.

Steroids don't resolve what's causing the hair-pulling in the first place, they just suppress the symptoms. They really should only be used to buy you more time while you try to figure out the cause. Repeated use is not without some nasty side effects (diabetes being one). Allergies are a likely suspect if the shots are working for a while, so the first thing I'd examine is diet. What does your MIL's cat eat?

lindapalm
April 3rd, 2011, 01:44 PM
Fancy feast.

sugarcatmom
April 3rd, 2011, 02:49 PM
Fancy feast.

Canned or dry? Which flavours?

lindapalm
April 3rd, 2011, 11:30 PM
I know its canned, but will have to find out which flavors. She was giving them Purina indoor formula, but swears she stopped. I was thinking of buying her some Wellness wet, and dry if she wants, for a month to see what happens. Shes 85 and really can't afford the higher priced food, but if it saves a trip to the vet it would be cheaper in the long run. Would you say that a month would be long enough to judge whether or not the fur pulling was caused by food allergies?

kathryn
April 4th, 2011, 11:29 AM
1-2 months is a good time frame, but you HAVE to stick with it 100%. No chicken, no corn, no soy, no wheat etc, in any wet, dry OR treats, OR people food.

She is going to save a LOAD of money in the long run if she does a diet change now. Depo-medrol shots are not good long term and SCM is right about them leading to diabetes. Even the most old fashioned vets I work with agree to not do them long term if you can prevent it.

For what she is spending in the vet bills for the depo-medrol shot (probably anywhere from $20-$50 depending on where you live) and however much you spend on a vet visit where you live, changing the food would cost less per month than routine visits to the vets.

My friends 2 cats are the same way with taking the medrol shots for allergy problems and I'm making her switch to a duck based food and hopefully she will save herself some aggravation in the long run.

sugarcatmom
April 4th, 2011, 08:05 PM
I know its canned, but will have to find out which flavors.

The vast majority of the Fancy Feast flavours have wheat gluten and/or fish somewhere in the ingredients and both of those can be highly allergenic. At the very least I would eliminate those from the kitty's diet (and no kibble), but it might even be necessary to feed a novel protein wet food with no grains for a little while (6-8 weeks). Innova Evo 95% venison or duck, or Nature's Variety Instinct comes in lamb, duck, venison and rabbit. Could be challenging to transition a cat used to FF over to a healthier food, but not impossible. And yes, your MIL would absolutely save money on vet bills. :thumbs up

kathryn
April 4th, 2011, 08:20 PM
I'm dealing with the same thing with my grandmom by the way, she is almost 80 and always uses generic store brand foods or Purina stuff and I kept telling her not to because of the problems from using it... and guess what now her cat has urinary problems and is peeing everywhere and all kinds of bad stuff.. and the cat already has enough problems mentally and now this.. so what she would be spending on the vet bills I switched her over to some good foods and got her some meds to help calm things down for now and the cat is already doing a bit better (much thanks to SCM's advice)

lindapalm
April 4th, 2011, 10:07 PM
Thanks for the advice, if MIL insists on giving canned food and dry, does Innova or Natures Variety make grain free kibble? I would be better off giving her both versions rather than the possibility of her sneaking her brand in. Shes very stubborn.

kathryn
April 4th, 2011, 10:17 PM
Thanks for the advice, if MIL insists on giving canned food and dry, does Innova or Natures Variety make grain free kibble? I would be better off giving her both versions rather than the possibility of her sneaking her brand in. Shes very stubborn.

They do, but the thing about Evo by Innova is that the whole company was recently bought out by Proctor and Gamble, who aren't exactly known for being kind of animals. It's up to you how you feel about it, but I have an unofficial boycott going against the whole thing and refuse to buy any of their products.

Nature's Variety has the Instinct Kibble.

http://www.naturesvariety.com/Instinct/cat/kibble/all

It's not terribly popular where I work (I work at a petstore that sells all these types of foods). We carry it but ehh it's not a top seller or anything.

If you are specifically looking for grain free, try Fromm

http://www.frommfamily.com/products-fs-c-d-grain-free-surf-and-turf.php

It has some chicken in it though, but not a significant amount. I use Fromm foods for my cats, they do well on it. If you can deal with it being not grain free, the duck one is VERY good and is single sourced meat protein, so it is okay for allergies.

lindapalm
April 5th, 2011, 08:41 PM
I give Frohms duck to one of my cats that has a partially collapsed larynx. The pieces are very small, and she doesn't chew her food, so they're easy to swallow. I always thought it was grain free, if the surf and turf is very small pieces, I'm going to switch, sounds like that might be the only grain free one?