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6 month kitten has pica, doesn't eat, and has fits!

Discussion in 'Cats - all breeds / types' started by a'beckett, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. a'beckett

    a'beckett New Member

    My kitten Molly was perfect until about a month ago. We had just started to let her go out into our backyard, when she start compulsively licking the concrete. I called the vet, who said don't let her outside. She continued to try to lick things inside like terra cotta pots, and stopped eating, becoming quickly emaciated. I had her tested for FIV/FELV (negative), had blood work done (all fine), and had her xrayed to see if she had any internal defects (per the vet's recommendation, also came out fine). I have been force feeding her prescription diet food (A/D: loaded with vitamins and protein), which seemed to be helping, and in the last 2 weeks she had started to gain a little weight. Two days ago, she began to act unhappy again, eating dirt out of the houseplants. She is teething, which I'm hoping has initiated the latest slump, since she could grow out of it.
    Oh, one last thing: she started having fits. :(
    First she was just scratching at her ears and complaining when she did it. Now she's up to full-blown, out of control, falling over, attacking her ears with all four paws fits. Once she peed. It's upsetting to her and to me, and I don't what to do. I have found info ranging from food allergies to brain tumors as far as what could be causing this.
    Has anyone any experience with this sort of thing? Suggestions?
    Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    Has she been checked for ear-mites?
    Is she fallng over because she's intent on scratching her ears? or is the falling over more of like a seizure?
    WHat kind of house plants, is it possible youve got something that is toxic that she eating?

    Just ideas.
  3. a'beckett

    a'beckett New Member

    Her ears are clean and shiny and the vet stuck her scope right down in there and saw nothing out of the ordinary. She doesn't have fleas. The houseplants are all non-toxic (I checked a list right away when this started).

    The ear whacking is definitely a fit when it happens. She scratches at her ears a few times an hour, mewing, then a couple times a day has an uncontrollabe fit (back arches, claws lock together, the whole bit)
  4. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    Im not a cat behaviourist but I know there are a few people on here that do know a lot about odd behaviours, Im sure they'll see this post soon.
    I know that sudden pain or even a sudden itch can cause reactions similar to what you describe.....but it could be seizures, when her back is arched and her claws are clamped together would you say she is unaware of her surroundings? does she respond to you, your voice?
    I think if its possible, it might be a good idea to leave her with the vet for a day or 2 so she can be monitored, its hard sometimes when the vet cant see exactly what it is that you describing, usually thats what we would do, have the pet come in for a day, if its happening every couple of hours it may be easier for the vet to tell you whats going on.
    Sorry I cant be of more help.

    is she spayed?
  5. Mary_NH

    Mary_NH New Member

    when she was outside did you see her lick anything other than the concrete? Had the concrete been treated with anything - salt for ice, cleaning fluid? Did they check her for toxins in her bloodstream?
  6. a'beckett

    a'beckett New Member

    Yes, the shelter I got her from had spayed her at 8 weeks (!). Unfortunately, she has already cost around US$400 for the bloodwork and x-rays, and my husband is balking at the cost for such a new member of the family, so leaving her overnight is not a great option right now. Thanks for the input.
  7. a'beckett

    a'beckett New Member

    As far as the concrete goes, we just moved in to the house in November. But she has not had access to the outside for four weeks.
  8. Mary_NH

    Mary_NH New Member

    I'm wondering if licking the concrete she may have ingested salt that is used for deicing - if you live in an area where you get winter. That stuff contains chemicals. But your vet probably did a tox screen with the bloodwork
  9. vene

    vene New Member

  10. coppersmom

    coppersmom New Member

    Did you by any chance put a flea product like advantage on her or another animal? My dog got some in her mouth a went a little crazy like that...licking anything and eating inappropriate stuff.

    Just an idea.
  11. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    Never thought of that but now that you mentioned it, a collar or a flea collar...I have a theory about flea collars...all they seem to do is chase the fleas to the other end. I havent used them for about 20 years.
    And I have noticed that when some cats are ticked off they will attack their food, I know that might sound nuts and I never believed until I saw it at a hospital years ago. I had to give a cat some pills and, well it was a very ticked off Calico, I cant remember exactly why it was at the hospital but I know it hadnt been eating, after we finished the 'wrestling match' with the pills I put her back in her cage, she lunged at me, hissed and then 'attacked her food' ...ate all of it and then started to shred the paper bowl it was in.

    Just a few more ideas.
  12. Chessmind

    Chessmind New Member

    This is very good advice. I wish your kitty all the best and hope that all will soon be well. Please keep us posted.
  13. a'beckett

    a'beckett New Member

    I did put some Advantage on her, but only after this all started to make sure it was not a flea allergy making her scratch her ears.
    Unfortunately, she had about 5 fits last night, and looks very unhappy this morning. I'm going to take her to the Cheshire Cat Clinic after work, but I don't feel very optimistic about it, already having gone to the vet 3 times for this.
    Has anyone done food allergy testing or any food allergy elimination diets with their kitties?
  14. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    One of my dogs was RAST tested a few years back, he was going insane with scratching, whelts and rashes but not behaving as extreme as your kitten. It turned out there were only 2 types of canned food and 1 type of dry that he could eat, he got shots every month and after about a year I got him off the shots as his body had built up an immunity to the things he was allergic to, Ive seen this happen with a lot of dogs but dont recall any cats....could have just been the area though, a lot more dogs than cats came into that hospital. There are different methods of testing for allergies, the RAST is a blood test and unfortunately its a little on the expensive side, skin tests can be done as can 'elimination' where you try different foods, if the pet reacts you change but then it can cause diarrhea with all the changes.
  15. Mary_NH

    Mary_NH New Member

    please keep us informed....this is the kind of thing that, although not good for your kitty or you, that helps others to learn.

    I hope all goes well and it's something simple and easily treated
  16. a'beckett

    a'beckett New Member

    You know, I really appreciate everyone's advice and support. I hate that I have to think about money for these things, but here I am, $400 into this, and the vets haven't given me any diagnosis. I am so frustrated and sad -- I just talked to a vet who generously told me I could call her at home and get advice about Molly, my kitten. She gave me the number of a specialist, saying that I would get farther, going there. I just called and found out it's US$110 just to see someone there. Before they even do anything! And it kills me that I can't just do that. That would put me $400 into a kitten I've had for 3 months, that may have a metabolic disorder, or renal failure, or I don't know what, that could keep her from living out the year, or even the month.
    I am just ripped to pieces inside about this.
    I've had to put animals to sleep -- the 14-year-old lab, the 20-year-old cat, even the kitten with leukemia who was getting really sick. But not this little creature who has so completely captured my heart, who so deserves to have a fabulous life, and who I can't save.

    Thank you for listening, and understanding.
  17. DeLaUK

    DeLaUK New Member

    a'beckett I sent you a PM with some information that might be able to help.

    Good Luck.
  18. a'beckett

    a'beckett New Member

    Well, Molly was having trouble walking last night, so we went to the clinic today. The vet took one look and said "Toxoplasmosis." He didn't test for it, saying it's a high-cost/low-yield sort of test, but said that whether it is that or something else, it is affecting her brain, and his money was on toxo. Toxo can become systemic and when it does, it creates lesions in the brain. He said it is very rare, but happens. This was causing the pica, the lack of appetite, and the fits. Occasionally a strong dose of antibiotics can wipe it out, but according to the doctor, because she was already having neurological symptoms, she would never be a normal cat. He thought I would end up having to put her to sleep either way. So I gave her a big cuddle and said goodbye.
    I want to thank everyone for all the help. I'm really, really sad, but at least it's over now.
  19. Bente

    Bente New Member

    I'm so, so sorry :cry:

    This must be very hard for you, but know that you did everything in your power to save this little kitten. She is no longer suffering, and I hope you find peace in that knowledge.

  20. meandmycatromeo

    meandmycatromeo New Member

    wow, I'm very sorry. I no how you feel, when I had to put my dog to sleep. I'm very sorry *hugs*

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