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Fever of unknown origin - Help!

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  • Fever of unknown origin - Help!

    I spent 2 1/2 hours and $452 at the vets today, desperately trying to get a diagnosis on what is going on with my kitty, Lucy. Yesterday she ate her breakfast and was her old normal self. By midafternoon she had stopped eating, stopped drinking, was lethargic, depressed and wanted nothing more than to be left alone. Normally chatty and purrful, she could not even muster a squeak. I was up with her the entire night, basically worrying myself to a frazzle and going back and forth on whether or not I should take her to the e-vet ($200 to walk in the door) or take a chance and wait till morning.

    I pulled out my Cornell desk reference and learned enough to really scare myself - everything from renal failure to leukemia was a possible cause of Lucy's symptoms. So I left a message for my vet and was able to get her in this afternoon. She was very dehydrated and running a temp of 104 (high, but not dangerously so in cats). The vet thought she felt a mass near her kidneys so x-rays were taken: nothing there and no other problems indicated. Every blood test under the sun was performed and the numbers came up completely normal. All tests for heartworm, fip, felv, all the big scary sounding diseases - nothing. No terminal illness, no contagious illness, no poisoning...In short, I have the healthiest sick kitty in Chico.

    They gave her some subcutaneous fluids, gave me a bottle of pills to stuff down her throat and a can of some horrid smelling cat food. They then sent both of us home with orders for me to watch her like a hawk and take her temp regularly to ensure it doesnt rise anymore. She goes back on Monday for a re-check (provided she doesnt take a turn for the worse, in which case she goes right to the e-vet).

    I got her home and opened her crate and she hopped out talking her head off, regaling me with tales of her adventure at the vets (like I hadnt been there or something). She gobbled down the disgusting wet cat food, crawled to the top of her kitty condo, and fell fast asleep. Although she hasnt purred yet and doesnt seem to want to play with the other cats (a nightly after-supper ritual) she does seem to feel a little better. I attritube that to the fluids.

    So now Im at a loss. Im so very glad that all the big, fatal, scary sounding illnesses have been ruled out. Im thrilled beyond words that it isnt contagious. Im overjoyed that she wasnt poisoned. BUT - Im conflicted. For $450, I wanted something I could point my finger at and say, ah-HA! There's the culprit, no wonder shes sick, blah blah blah, take a pill, go away. I got NOTHIN. No reason at all for my kid's fever or illness. My vet is one of the best in Northern California & I trust her implicitly. I have no reason to believe she did anything other than what was absolutely necessary to acheive a proper diagnosis.

    I know I cant be the only person out there who's run into this situation. Has anyone else had a fever of unknown origin and dehydration in their cat? If so, how did it resolve? ANY advice, ideas, stories, or opinions would be very appreciated...
    Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
    George Sand (1804 - 1876)

  • #2
    I have. It's usually been (of all things) an abscess somewhere on kitty that was not detectable until 12 to 24 hours after I dropped a couple bucks on them at the vets.

    Hope she continues to improve PF.
    Hope you get an answer to satisfy your curiosity too.
    Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.

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    • #3
      Weird

      Is yr cat allowed outside? Our is and kills some crazy stuff. (when she came in tonight - she left us a package on the door step - ugh) When ours is sick, I always attribute it to something she has killed and partially eaten or fought with and picked up some bacteria. Antibiotics usually brings her right around.

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      • #4
        Sometimes kitties get a FUO and no one ever figures it out. The fluids prolly helped reduce the fever and all the cases I have seen personally seem to go as mysteriously as they come. Good luck and best wishes for your kitty.

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        • #5
          I'll pray for you kitty. I lost mine about 4 yrs ago. He got to a point where he couldn't keep anything down. Nothings helped and the vet said his body was shutting down. I had to have him put to sleep. He was the best cat and after 13 yrs we had to say goodbye until we reunite in heaven. Hardest thing I had to ever do. Luckily his brother is still going, but his days are probably numbered He is now 17. I decided to let him live out his remaining time with my mother in law since its rather caotic here at my house with three little girls, two big dogs and two younger cats. He was skittish with so much going on in the house.

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          • #6
            Like Sibes, I also had a kitty that had an absess that caused fever and lethargy. I took Norman to the vet 2 or 3 times before they finally found the culprit. It was a tooth that absessed upwards into the sinus cavity that caused all the problem. This was 20 yrs ago and I honestly don't remember exactly how we found it or if they pulled the tooth or just put him on antibiotics.

            I hope kitty continues to do well even if means you never find the culprit, though I do understand your frustration!
            SheilaB from SC

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            • #7
              PF:

              I had the same problem with one of my cats earlier this week. He went off his food and ran a temp. I supplemented with Nutri-Cal a couple of days hoping that he would start eating again. After a couple of days he became dehydrated, so I took him to the vet. At the vets he was running a 105.3 temp, but he is somewhat a high stress cat and taking him to the vet made his temp higher.

              Like you, $450 later, several tests...nothing. He was given fluids and by the time I got him home he was wanting to eat again.

              In my experience, if it is just a temporary bug, cats bounce back very quickly after receiving fluids.

              None of my other cats have been affected by this bug.

              Hope this helps.

              Scott

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              • #8
                my cat went through something similar a few months ago wouldn't eat or drink had diarrhea lethargic etc.. she was fine earlier that day then come evening wham out of the blue I thought she was going to die. this was a Fri night. I spent that night forcing water into her mouth by spoon (small drops at a time) and the following day ( this was all on a weekend)by Sunday after forcing water in her system drop by drop she was drinking on her own no more diarrhea by Monday she was normal perfectly fine and has been ever since.

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                • #9
                  Anyone have any experience with pancreatitis in cats? Lucy was gagging at the smell of any kind of food offered to her this morning. I took her back to the vet and she got a shot to help combat nausea and vomiting (although she hasnt vomited). The vet mentioned something about possible pancreatitis and said that all the blood work done on her wouldnt necessarily rule that out. Sigh. Im so worried. I've also completely drained my bank account and have a grand total of $2.13 left to last me until next Friday...not that she isn't worth it, but if one more thing goes wrong this week, we're screwed.
                  Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
                  George Sand (1804 - 1876)

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                  • #10
                    Update: Lucy still wont voluntarily eat or drink, so Im force feeding her. Thanks to Mary/Workingchi (my own personal on-call guru 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - even when shes on vacation...i dont know WHAT id do without my Mary...), I know that she needs to have approximately 150 cc's of water each day. Im giving her a mixture of water, low fat/sodium chicken broth, watered down chicken baby food, whatever I can get her to take. Im being careful not to force it on her too much at a time, as I dont want her to vomit. No diarrhea as yet (or vomiting for that matter) which are two big signs of pancreatitis, so I wont worry about that just yet. Tomorrow, Ill cash in my aluminum cans and pick up some unflavored pedialyte to keep her hydrated sufficiently.

                    Wish me luck.
                    Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
                    George Sand (1804 - 1876)

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                    • #11
                      i went thru the same thing with Mikey. Two trips to the er vet, and every day to my vet. $1100 later still didn't know what caused him to be so sick. I really thought he was going to die, he was that sick.

                      I took off from work to spoon feed him around the clock, he had gone about 5 days with out eating.

                      Happy to report he's well. None of the other cats, stricly housecats, never got sick. So I don't think it was a virus. Personally think he had Lyme.

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                      • #12
                        I was up with Lucy all night, force feeding water and chicken slurry into her. Im out of money and ideas and I fear I will lose her. Everyone tells me that a cat going 2-3 days without food will build up fat in the liver, causing the liver to shut down. I just dont know what to do but Im very scared.
                        Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
                        George Sand (1804 - 1876)

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                        • #13
                          Would your vet sell you ringers solution and you could do subcutaneous injections for her?

                          We did that for 8 months with our almost 19 year old cat that was in kidney failure. At least it gave her a few more months by keeping her adequately hydrated.

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                          • #14
                            can your vet get you some lactated ringers for subQ use? maybe they'd front it to you to keep her hydrated.

                            I'm so sorry your going thru this, it's heartbreaking for sure to see your efforts doing no good, but your giving her much need sustenance to get her thru this.

                            I'll pray for her and you.

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                            • #15
                              I can get an in-home subcu fluid kit for $30 (which I dont have but thats another issue). Im gonna call my mom and see if she has any room on her cc for vet bills. If not, Ive decided to pawn my wedding/engagement ring set.
                              Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
                              George Sand (1804 - 1876)

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