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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Having four hospitalized patients over the weekend is rare. Four cats: two icteric (jaundiced, see my very first post) and two obstructed (urinary).
Jaundice is not a disease, but rather a symptom of disease. Almost invariably caused by liver disease - all sorts of liver disease - but a patient can also become jaundiced from pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) or when red blood cells are destroyed by the immune system (called immune-mediated hemolytic anemia).

The obstruction in two of the cats were urinary in nature. Typically, in cases of urinary obstruction, crystals or actual stones (called urolithes) block the urethra and prevent a cat from urinating. It can be partial or complete. Imagine not being able to pee. Typically male cats are affected because, just like men, the urethra is longer and thinner and therefore easier to get blocked. Feeding a cat a high-quality, low-ash diet can prevent crystals from forming.
One of the jaundiced cats is not doing well but the other three will far likely recover.

This is a radiograph of a cat with a moderately distended bladder from urinary obstruction.


Anonymous said...

What's the possibility of any/all of these cases being related to the Menu Foods Pet Food Recall?


That's a very good question. From what I recall, these cases are probably unrelated given their symptoms and bloodtest results. Take care!

Anonymous said...

Even in light of the discovery of a fifth contaminate (acetaminophen)?

I have two, indoor only, 6-year old, spayed, related, abyssinians. In late Dec 2006, one was admitted due to severe anemia, dx IMHA - regenerative, Coombs negative, negative for Leukemia, FIV, Hemobart; kidneys normal. (Symptoms were bleeding from mouth, frequent vomiting, bloody stool, refusal to eat, increased drinking, increased urination, other cat vomiting, increased water & urine, violently bitting her front paws.) They both ate Hill's SD recalled product; note I was also giving them preventative FUS support tablet containing Cranberry & ascorbic acid. Fortunately, after $$$ vet bill's, admitted cat survived but vet's not yet willing to link to recalled pet food. Haven't yet spoken to them about acetaminophen find. Your thoughts? much appreciated


Dear anon,

Abyssinians are genetically predisposed to certain red blood cell diseases such as PK (phosphofructokinase) deficiency that causes intermittent episodes of red blood cell destruction. I also got this from a veterinary internist:

--There's an 'osmotic fragility syndrome' in Abyssinians (and Somalis too as I recall)...they lyse the RBC's intermittently, and get huge spleens. Dr. Urs Giger (at Penn) is the man to call about testing for this and advice on treatment. For the case I had, who had been treated intermittently for years with immunosuppression, he advised splenectomy. It worked amazingly well. With that case, in retrospect you could see that while the immunosuppression had seemed to work, it never really had--the disease just waxes and wanes.

Sherri Wilson, ACVIM (Internal Medicine)
Seattle, WA



Forgot to add that acetaminophen toxicity causes the blood to turn brown (methemoglobinemia). It does not cause IMHA. Based on the breed of cat, I don't think the food is the source of the disease.