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Old January 16th, 2008, 03:16 PM
Breeee123 Breeee123 is offline
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Help! Cat suddenly has weak hind legs - X-Rays not showing Anything wrong

Hi,

I just noticed late last night that my cat was having a hard time pulling her hind quarters up into a standing position, and she seems to have a difficult time walking or jumping. She'll walk a couple feet and then sit down to rest, and she's extremely reluctant to get up again. I took her to the Emergency clinic last night and they checked her pulse in her hind legs to make sure it wasn't a blood clot, and she had a strong pulse in both hind legs. They took X-rays, which showed no damage that would explain the limping. They basically just gave her a shot for the pain and said to watch her for a few days and bring her back in if the symptoms persist. This morning she was the same.

She's an indoor cat, so I doubt if there was any serious trauma. She's 10 years old and has always been in fantastic shape - always energetic and running around the house. This is the first time I've ever had a medical problem with her.

She did have a dental appointment a week ago, and they gave her anasthesia. I called my normal vet and asked them if it could have been the anasthesia, and they said probably not because it's been a week. They also did a routine blood test right before the dental, and they said everything came back normal and her glucose levels were fine so it's not diabetes.

Any help would be very much appreciated!

Thanks,

Briana
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Old January 16th, 2008, 04:02 PM
SARAH SARAH is offline
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Sounds strange. I would still think of the anesthesia even if it's been a week, could be a delayed reaction to the nerves or something, - I'm totally guessing here, have no idea - I think I'd take her back to your regular vet if there is no change by tomorrow. 10 years isn't old for a cat.
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Old January 18th, 2008, 07:16 AM
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Did they check her for possible blood clots? How about any heart issues? Ask your vet if anything unusual happened during the procedure. Here is a link that I found about a cat who seems to have the same reaction as your cat:

http://www.vetinfo4cats.com/canesthe...s%20recovering
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Old February 10th, 2008, 10:58 PM
Remy21 Remy21 is offline
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Hi,

Have you figured out anything new since you posted? My cat is having the exact same problem. He is only 10 months old and he has been healthy until the last week. At first I thought he was just imbalanced because he seemed to be swaying when he walked, he tipped over if I pet him, he tried to jump up on the table, missed, and fell on his back, etc. I thought maybe it was an inner ear problem so I brought him to the vet as soon as I noticed the problem.

The doctors at the clinic were stumped as they could not figure out what was wrong with him. They tested his glucose levels and said he doesn't have diabetes which oftentimes causes a cat's hind legs to be weak. They took x-rays and there were no bony abnormalities. He also did not have a heart murmur, his lungs were fine, and she checked out his ears, nose, and mouth which all looked fine. She said the pieces weren't fitting together and they just didn't know what was wrong with him. She said the next step would be to do a blood workup.

Right when I got home from the vet I placed my cat in his litter box because he'd been gone for a few hours and I figured he'd need to use it. After I put him in the litter box he started eating the kitty litter! He was eating mouthfulls. I pulled him out of there and put him by his food dish and he just went right back to the cat box and started to eat the litter.

The next morning I found out online that clumping cat litter contains something called sodium bentonite, and when ingested it causes cats to be weak and lethargic. For sure I thought this must be what was wrong with him. Then I started to wonder if he's sick because he's eating his cat litter or he's eating his cat litter because he's sick.

I went to the store and got the Cat's Pride brand of litter which states on the container it contains no sodium bentonite and is able to be flushed down the toilet. I read somewhere online that since sodium bentonite clogs pipes, imagine what it does to your kitty's intestines.

As soon as I filled the litter box with the new litter, my cat proceeded to eat the litter again. Since it didn't contain the sodium bentonite I wasn't AS worried, but I decided to go back to the store and get the Feline Pine brand, which is supposed to be completely safe and 100% pine, so it's okay if they ingest it, and it's able to be flushed down the toilet, etc. I haven't put the new litter in the box yet but I plan on doing so tonight.

I've read online that cats might eat their litter because they are lacking something in their diet. One source I found said that cats might eat their cat litter if they are calcium deficient or if they are anemic. I haven't had the blood test done yet so I don't know if it's either of these things. Another thing I read is that being anemic is probably caused by an underlying issue. I'm really hoping there isn't a serious problem with my kitty. I've only had him 6 months and he and my dog are best friends. I would be devastated.

I wasn't able to call the vet today and tell them about him eating his litter because they are closed. I left a message for the vet to call me back so I will be able to talk to her tomorrow.

One more thing I want to add that sounds completely crazy is that when we moved into this house 6 months ago, for some reason there was a small cinder block sitting on the floor in between the washer and dryer and nobody picked it up. I'm not sure why we just left it there but my boyfriend noticed, I'm not sure how long ago it started, that our cat was licking the cinder block. I'm wondering if maybe he does have some sort of deficiency and his eating the litter and licking the cinder block were giving him something he needs. We just threw the block outside recently and soon after is when he got sick. I'm not sure if he just started eating the kitty litter right after we threw the block outside but I've never noticed him doing it in the past. I have no idea if that makes any sense but I don't want to completely throw out that detail in case there's something important about it. I haven't told the vet about this yet because I feel kind of stupid saying I let my cat lick this cinder block for who knows long and didn't bother to throw it out.

Briana, have you ever noticed your cat eating litter? Even though his legs seem weak does he still seem alert and like everything is functioning properly except his legs, or does he appear sick overall?

Sorry this was so long but I wanted to give you as much information as possible. Maybe we can help each other along and let each other know if we find anything else out. Is there anything else you can share about your cat that might be helpful? Any similarities to my story?

Thanks!

Last edited by Remy21; February 14th, 2008 at 09:38 AM.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 07:42 AM
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I have never heard of adult cats eating litter before. Here is a link to a story that seems similar to yours:

http://www.manhattancats.com/Articles/PICA.htm
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Old February 11th, 2008, 08:15 AM
Remy21 Remy21 is offline
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Hmm, thanks for the info. I'll be sure to ask the vet about that. I left a message for the vet to call me today. They open at 8. I wish they would call me right away!

Briana, my cat sounds exactly like yours. He's having trouble pulling his hind legs up into a stance position and he'll only walk a little distance before sitting down to rest. He's also having trouble staying upright while walking; he's tipping over. Also a hard time getting into his cat box. Basically when he walks he looks like he's drunk, very wobbly (I don't think he has gotten into anything that could have poisoned him though, except for maybe eating the litter, if that is poisonous).

I don't think I mentioned this before but he's still urinating in his cat box, but he won't deficate in it. He's doing that on the floor next to the cat box. I think it's because his legs are weak and he's having trouble squatting so he does it on the floor where it's easier for him. When he urinates he squats a different way so he's still able to do that in the cat box.

I switched his litter to Feline Pine. He was hesitant to go in there and seemed scared of the pine pellets, so I put a layer of Cat's Pride (the kind without sodium bentonite) over the Feline Pine, and he urinated in the box, so when he covered it up he mixed the two litters together. Maybe in a couple days I can empty it out and fill it completely with Feline Pine (supposed to be 100% pine, natural, safe).

I feel so bad for him and I don't know what to do!

Last edited by Remy21; February 14th, 2008 at 09:41 AM.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 01:26 AM
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Take him in for a full blood panel & a urinalysis......honestly this should have been done before the vet did the xrays.

You need to have the vet keep a close eye on the hemocrit/PCV - Packed Cell Volume on the blood test - this will determine the amount of red blood cells your cat is producing, if not enough the cat is suffering from anemia.

Anemia will show signs of weakness in the legs esp the back legs as well as the spine, pale gums, litter eating & concrete licking among other symptoms

Another cause of litter eating is mineral esp iron or calcium deficiencies: http://www.pets.ca/forum/showpost.ph...3&postcount=16

A fecal test should also be done to determine if there are any parasites such as tapeworm that could be causing anemia
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Old February 12th, 2008, 08:03 AM
Remy21 Remy21 is offline
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I was really, really convinced before I went back in yesterday that he was either anemic and/or he had a calcium deficiency. His blood work was all normal. The globulin was slightly elevated but she didn't seem worried about it.

They have absolutely no idea what's wrong with my cat. They've done x-rays, glucose test, complete blood workup, and a fecal exam.

Either he's worse this morning or he's having more trouble because he just woke up, but he can barely walk. He falls down every few seconds and has a hard time getting up.

For the last 2 days he's also been deficating while he's lying on his side after he falls down. I'm not sure if this means anything but he's done this a couple times. He's no longer doing it in his litter box. He just randonly does it while he's lying on the floor after he falls down.

I have no idea what to do.

Is it safe to give my cat Methyl B12 even though the vet said he's not diabetic? Should I have the glucose test re-done? His glucose was 92 when they tested it the first time.

Last edited by Remy21; February 14th, 2008 at 09:42 AM.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remy21 View Post
Is it safe to give my cat Methyl B12 even though the vet said he's not diabetic? Should I have the glucose test re-done? His glucose was 92 when they tested it the first time.
Methyl B12 is very safe and any excess just gets peed out, but it probably won't have any effect in your case. By the time a diabetic cat shows signs of neuropathy, you'll also be seeing other signs of diabetes like excessive drinking and peeing, ravenous appetite, weight loss. Since his glucose tested normal and (I'm assuming) there aren't any other signs, I really doubt you're dealing with neuropathy. Is it possible he got into some kind of toxin? Maybe there's a nerve problem that wouldn't show up on x-rays? I have no idea how you'd find out. The only other suggestion I have is to try accupuncture or talk to a veterinary chiropractor about what's going on.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 08:43 AM
Remy21 Remy21 is offline
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No, he doesn't have any other signs of diabetes. He actually hasn't urinated since Sunday. He has been drinking water though. Usually when they have a UTI, they urinate, or try to, a lot instead of not at all, correct? He hasn't used his litter box at all since Sunday and when he does go in there, he just eats the litter out of the box.

The vet I was seeing actually said she didn't think the leg weakness and the litter eating were related. I don't see why they wouldn't be if they both started at the same time. It's just really odd that I read online that concrete licking and litter eating are signs of anemia and/or calcium deficiency, but she told me he doesn't have either of those.

Does anyone think it might be helpful to get a urine test? She said his kidneys were fine from the blood test. The urine test is another $50. I've spent $270 already and I know nothing...
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Old February 12th, 2008, 09:21 AM
Remy21 Remy21 is offline
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Does anyone know anything about FIP (feline infectious peritonitis)? Like I said his globulin was elevated and I researched elevated globulin and came up with FIP. I read on a couple different websites that a symptom of noneffusive (dry) FIP is neurological changes such as weak hind legs. The disease is also known to start showing signs when their younger, or really old.

I really hope this isn't what my kitty has. I don't have any other cats and he's an indoors cat, but I adopted him from a shelter where he was around other kittens.

Last edited by Remy21; February 14th, 2008 at 09:43 AM.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 12:00 PM
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Personally, I would want to see a neuro, but I warn you that the cost will be very high. Hope your kitty gets better.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 02:43 PM
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I would be seeing a different vet immediately. Not urinating for days can be life threatening. Have they done an ultrasound on his kidneys. Not all stones will show up on an xray.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 03:55 PM
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Hmmmm.....weak hind end, not urinating, and eating cat litter can sometimes be symptoms of acute kidney failure. Are you sure he hasn't gone pee somewhere else? I'd be taking him to emergency if he truly hasn't urinated since Sunday.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 12:16 AM
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To test for FeLk, FIV & FIP there is a snap test called the ELISa (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbant assay) test this will test for all three & can be done in-clinic.

I was also wondering about nerve damage. A neurological exam by a specialist will define which part of the nerve system has been affected.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 01:03 PM
Remy21 Remy21 is offline
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I saw a second vet and he also suspects FIP/FIV/FeLV. He didn't mention the ELISA test... just testing individually. Also I think the test for FIP is really expensive, and it isn't 100% accurate either. He mentioned doing 2 tests... serum electro-something. He said it would see specifically which immunoglobulins are elevated. Also he wanted to do a blood smear. He's going to wait for me to call back if I want to do either of those. I think for now I'll just wait to see if the new diet and removing the clay kitty litter helps.

He thinks it's either that or possibly he was poisoned (maybe by the cat litter?). I will just have to wait 3 to 4 weeks to see if he gets better, and if he doesn't, it's probably one of the viruses.

He also mentioned testing for Lyme disease, but he didn't make it out to be a big concern. I read online that Lyme disease in cats can cause sudden lameless. My kitty was born in the springtime and whoever had him before had him outside sometimes. Anyone know anything about that?
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Old February 13th, 2008, 01:11 PM
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Here is a brief description of Lyme's disease symptoms:

Lyme disease in cats is rare, though cases have been reported. In a limited study, one third of feline blood samples were found to test positive for Lyme disease. It is probable that some cats are able to resist the illness.

Of reported cases, symptoms exhibited were: pain and stiffness in limbs and joints, lameness, fever, loss of appetite, fatigue, possible sudden collapse, a "zombie-like" trance and in cases of heavy infestation, severe anemia. Most cases are diagnosed because the owner has actually found a tick; otherwise symptoms tend to be ambiguous or other illnesses are suspected.

I know in dogs and cats it is treated with an antibiotic Doxycycline (sp?), not sure about cats.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 01:16 PM
Remy21 Remy21 is offline
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Thanks. Hmm, I guess that doesn't sound too likely. I wonder if maybe I should see if I can give my cat an antibiotic even though we don't know what's wrong. His WBC count was 7,500 which isn't high, but maybe just in case? Couldn't hurt... right?
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Old February 13th, 2008, 02:21 PM
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I wouldn't give any meds without a vet approval. Some may not be good for cats and different antibiotics target different bacteria.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 03:31 PM
Remy21 Remy21 is offline
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I meant I wonder whether or not I should ask the vet about giving him an antibiotic even though we don't know what's wrong with him.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 04:42 PM
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I'm not sure that my cat actually ate any tinsel, but I'm trying to think of anything he could have eaten. We still have a pile of stuff from Christmas in the living room (I live with my boyfriend and his brother, and their mom brought it over, we never used it). I didn't know there was any tinsel but my boyfriend's brother told me there was.

Can tinsel actually be poisonous to cats, or is it only dangerous because it could get caught in their intestines?

Last edited by Remy21; February 14th, 2008 at 09:49 AM.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 05:09 PM
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How's your cat today? Any improvement?
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Old February 14th, 2008, 09:51 AM
Remy21 Remy21 is offline
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His walking hasn't improved, but he seems more sociable. Is that a good sign?

He slept in bed with my boyfriend and I the last two nights and before that, ever since he became sick, he slept by himself in his crate.

Also during the day he has been coming into my office with me where I work and sleeping on the couch instead of in the crate. Usually he just hides out all day and right now he's sleeping behind me on the couch, side by side with my dog, instead of hiding. A little encouraging, I guess.

I wish Briana would check this forum and let me know what happened with her cat. Is there any way to get ahold of people of these forums?
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Old February 14th, 2008, 09:52 AM
Remy21 Remy21 is offline
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Could it just simply be "nerve damage?" How do you treat something like that? Or does it just get better?
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Old February 14th, 2008, 10:11 AM
Remy21 Remy21 is offline
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I was just rubbing my cat's back and legs, and I noticed that when I squeeze his back right at the base of his tail, his feet and toes "jump." Also I was feeling the muscle right behind his legs, and there is a certain spot on both sides that makes his tail twitch. He's not doing it voluntarily. When I squeeze these areas his feet/toes/tail consistently twitch and jerk. I'm not sure if it's a nerve thing. Does anyone think this is worth telling the vet?

Last edited by Remy21; February 14th, 2008 at 10:57 AM.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 01:43 PM
Remy21 Remy21 is offline
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For anyone who has been following me and my cat, what about an injury to the tail??????

I read online that symptoms can include lameness in the legs, urinary/fecal incontinence (he has fecal incontinence - he has been going on the floor, usually he falls down and then goes on the floor), and a drooping tail. I put him on the floor to watch his tail and he does keep it down towards the floor when he walks, but when he stretched, he lifted his tail up high.

On Superbowl Sunday, two Sundays ago, my cat fell off the table in the kitchen and landed on the floor, not on his feet. I just assumed this was the beginning of his weakness, because we actually noticed there was a real "problem" the following Thursday. Maybe when he fell he injured his tail????

It wouldn't explain his elevated glob at 5.6 (2.8-5.3 normal) and slightly elevated TP at 8.9 (5.7-8.9 normal), but they are only slight elevations. Maybe they don't mean anything at all?

I am starting to feel optimistic. Maybe I'm just in denial, but it's possible, right?? I should have the doctor look at his x-rays again. Or maybe if the injury is minor you wouldn't be able to see it on x-rays, but it could still affect the way he walks.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 01:59 AM
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I was also wondering about nerve damage. A neurological exam by a specialist will define which part of the nerve system has been affected.
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Could it just simply be "nerve damage?" How do you treat something like that? Or does it just get better?
Nerve damage will most likely not get better on it's own, it would need to be treated by a neurological specialist - which they do have for cats & dogs.

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I was just rubbing my cat's back and legs, and I noticed that when I squeeze his back right at the base of his tail, his feet and toes "jump." Also I was feeling the muscle right behind his legs, and there is a certain spot on both sides that makes his tail twitch. He's not doing it voluntarily. When I squeeze these areas his feet/toes/tail consistently twitch and jerk. I'm not sure if it's a nerve thing. Does anyone think this is worth telling the vet?
Since you don't know what you are dealing with everything is worth telling the vet, even better to bring him in & show them, they would better be able to tell from seeing his reactions.

I think you should get the FIP test done to determine if that is what this is or rule it out. A diagnoses sooner is better than later since you would have more time to treat. If the FIP test comes back negative then I would recommend seeing a neurologist.
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Old February 18th, 2008, 10:25 AM
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I think you should get the FIP test done to determine if that is what this is or rule it out. A diagnoses sooner is better than later since you would have more time to treat. If the FIP test comes back negative then I would recommend seeing a neurologist. [/QUOTE]

There isn't just one definite FIP test though and all of this really confuses me. I have heard of the ELISA test and that might be something that tests for all the viruses (FIV, FeLV, FIP...?) I'm not sure about that though.

Otherwise I've read that it's impossible to actually "diagnose" FIP until the autopsy after death.

I'm not sure which tests I should be doing and if they are really worthwhile. If I do have to bring him to a neurologist I'm not sure how much that will cost and I don't know if I'll be able to afford it.

My cat is still the same. He hasn't gotten any better or any worse in the last week. He can't walk right so all he wants to do is lie down and rest or hide away somewhere, but otherwise he looks healthy. He's still eating and drinking. He's never had a fever when I brought him in to see the doctor. He's still urinating in his litter box but not defecating. Every single time he defecates he falls over onto the floor and he would go while lying on his side if I didn't hold him up everytime. I really don't know if I should just be waiting at this point or doing something.

I wish Briana would come back on here and let us know what happened with her cat...
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Old February 19th, 2008, 12:36 AM
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There isn't just one definite FIP test though and all of this really confuses me. I have heard of the ELISA test and that might be something that tests for all the viruses (FIV, FeLV, FIP...?) I'm not sure about that though.
Yes the ELISA test does test for more than just FIP, this way you can rule out the others @ the same time.

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Originally Posted by Remy21 View Post
Otherwise I've read that it's impossible to actually "diagnose" FIP until the autopsy after death.
uhh I think you must be thinking of Rabies, that is the only virus that cannot be tested for until after death.

FIP is a coronavirus (similar in nature to the Corona and Parvo viruses that dogs get) & testing will give a definative diagnosis.
Quote:
from http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/brochures/fip.html
Are there any laboratory tests that can detect the FIP virus?
The KELA, ELISA, IFA, and virus-neutralization tests detect the presence of coronavirus antibodies in a cat. A positive test result only means the cat has had a prior exposure to a coronavirus -- not necessarily one that causes FIP -- and has developed antibodies against that virus. If the test is negative, it means the cat has not been exposed to a coronavirus.

The number, or titer, that is reported is the highest serum dilution that still produced a positive reaction. Low titers indicate a small amount of coronavirus antibodies in the serum, while high titers indicate greater amounts of antibodies. A healthy cat with a high titer is not necessarily more likely to develop FIP or be a carrier of an FIP-causing coronavirus than a cat with a low titer. It also is not necessarily protected against future FIP virus infection.

Recently, two new tests have been developed that can detect parts of the virus itself. The immunoperoxidase test can diagnose FIP more accurately than traditional histopathologic examination because it detects virus-infected cells in the tissue. A biopsy of affected tissue is necessary for evaluation. Another antigen test utilizes polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect viral genetic material in tissue or body fluid. Although this test shows promise, PCR is presently only capable of detecting coronaviruses in general, not necessarily those that cause FIP.
A FIP test would be much cheaper than seeing a neurologist & will put one possibility out of your mind before moving on to the next.
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  #30  
Old February 19th, 2008, 02:37 AM
zsvoboda zsvoboda is offline
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Same symptoms

Hello from Prague, Czech Republic. We have been fighting with exactly the same symptoms of my cat (7 months old male) for past two weeks. The cat can't walk, he is pulling his rear legs. No fever, he eats the cat litter sand, hiding away and he is very drowsy. We tried everything, antibiotics (quite a few of them), corticoids, steroids with no results whatsoever. He is not getting better or worse. The vet did the ELISA FIP test which turned positive. I do not trust this test. We have one more cat that had similar problems the vet did the same FIP test and recommended euthanasia. We did not do it, the cat healed and haven't had any problems since then (>2.5 years). Recently we have found that cat had ascarides worms (to our surprise as we use the Stronghold regularly and he does not have access outside of our apartment). I had quite an argument with the vet as he was diagnosing the FIP from the test only (the cat has no other usual FIP symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, fever etc.). The vet also said that this might be a blod block or neurological issue combined with the worms (ascarides). I'll keep you updated regarding our progress.
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