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Old July 7th, 2013, 05:43 AM
ScottishCaptain ScottishCaptain is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 1
Maine Coon with swollen lymph nodes

Greetings to all.

Sorry for my first post being so long here, I don't normally do this but I'm a bit desperate at the moment.

I have a 14 year old male Maine Coon who has recently been stricken by an unknown ailment. He has been a very healthy cat up until recently. I am stumped, my vet is stumped. They've never seen anything like this and were at a complete loss as to what is happening to him.

The series of events leading up to today are approximately as follows:

~3 months ago:

One evening I noticed two marble sized objects in his neck. These were later confirmed to be his lymph nodes, which had suddenly become swollen. Later, he began vomiting and came down with a case of diarrhoea/the runs.

We took him into the vet and they had no idea what was wrong with him. A stool sample was taken and analyzed, but they couldn't find anything. Blood work was performed and once again, everything seemed normal.

The vet injected him with an antibiotic called Convenia. Within 3 days, his vomiting and diarrhoea subsided, and within two weeks his lymph nodes were back to normal.

His behaviour, however, was not. He was formerly a very verbose kitty- just entering the same room as him would usually elicit a trill or chirp in acknowledgement of your presence. After this event, he never seemed very interested in talking as much as he used to.

~1 month ago:

Exactly the same thing happened, but this time it was preceded by a bout of constant sneezing. Later, his lymph nodes returned to their previous swollen size, and the vomiting and diarrhoea returned.

Once again, he was taken into the vet and received a shot of Convenia.

As before, the vomiting and diarrhoea subsided in 2-3 days, and his lymph nodes slowly returned to their normal size.

~4 days ago:

He began to act slightly lethargic, but was still eating and drinking. His lymph nodes became swollen just like before, and be began vomiting again (but no diarrhoea).

~3 days ago:

We noticed he stopped defecating, but continued to urinate. Mid afternoon/early evening, his behaviour suddenly changed and he began to enter and exit the litter box repeatedly every 5-10 minutes. We rushed him into the vet fearing that his bladder was blocked, but alas it was empty.

They did however determine that he was constipated with approximately 3" of stool. He was sent home with a mild laxative.

~2 days ago:

He still had not passed anything solid in the litter box. Lethargy appeared to increase, and his appetite began to taper off. Several of the things that formerly interested him (going outside, playing, etc) seemed to no longer hold any kind of appeal for him.

~1 day ago:

We brought him back into the vet, and they emptied out his anal glands (which were apparently quite full) and performed an enema. They then performed an Xray, which didn't show any identifiable masses or anything out of the ordinary.

An ultrasound was performed, which was also vastly inconclusive- except for some slight fluid around his kidneys and the fact that all his lymph nodes appeared swollen and full of something.

They attempted to aspirate one of his neck lymph nodes, which began to squirt a clear bloody fluid. The vet had never seen anything like this before, nor had any of the other doctors or technicians. Apparently they had some trouble retrieving the required samples, so they attempted to aspirate another lymph node near his front leg. Again, the lymph node began to leak a clear bloody fluid. The cat didn't seem to mind the procedure at all, so several of his lymph nodes were drained.

He was sent home after a tiring day of tests with an antibiotic called "Sandoz Azithromycin", which is apparently what they tend to prescribe for random and/or rare situations, even though they have no idea what is wrong with him.

We're not sure what to do at this point. He's at home and sleeping soundly, he ate a bit of food and drank a bit of water today but hasn't gone to the washroom. His behaviour is lacking energy, and he's not making any of the noises (chirps, trills, meows, or purring) that he used to.

The tests from the vet have not yet came back (hopefully they will on Monday).

If anyone has seen anything like this, please let me know. If it's bad news, I'm willing to accept that- I don't want to be told that everything is going to be OK if it's clearly not. I'm just trying to figure out what is wrong with him, if it can be reasonably treated, or if the only thing I can do at this point is make him as comfortable as possible right up until the end.

Thank you for any and all replies.

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Old July 10th, 2013, 11:12 PM
RUSTYcat's Avatar
RUSTYcat RUSTYcat is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Le rocher
Posts: 404
Hi ScottishCaptain - a very belated welcome to the forum!

I wonder whether/not you may have given up on a reply........it has been 4 days since you posted.

I feel badly, because I'm generally dropping by daily - I know what my problem is, though........the Senior Cats Section is almost hidden up in the corner of the Cat Health page, and so, those posts aren't 'in-your-face'.

It's really late here - I'll wait & see if, perhaps, you'll pick this up.
the more i learn about (some) people, the more i luv my cats
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