Senior cat suffering from mystery illness(es)? Tons of tests, no clear diagnosis :(

Discussion in 'Health & Nutrition' started by SpecialistDeer, Feb 8, 2024.

  1. SpecialistDeer

    SpecialistDeer New Member

    Feb 8, 2024
    Likes Received:
    Hello all!

    New here, but hoping y’all can help us figure out what’s wrong with our sweet boy. Details are below. Long story short, we've taken him to multiple vets, gotten tons of tests done, but still don't have any solid idea as to what's wrong with him. The latest vet says the only option left is to do a biopsy and potentially subject him to chemo. Before we put him through any of that, I thought we’d give this forum a shot to see if anyone has any idea what our boy is dealing with. On a related note, if there are any other places y’all recommend we post this info, we’re all ears. Thank you in advance for all of your help!

    Cat Details:
    • Breed: Domestic short hair, orange and white tabby (ginger cat)
    • Age: 14 years 10 months
    • Sex: Male
    • Neutered?: Yes
    • Weight: 11 Lbs
    • Location: Los Angeles, urban/suburban neighborhood
    1. Imbalanced, unsteady movement. Specifically, head tilt, falling over whilst playing, difficultly jumping up to and down from previously easily accessible spots, and walking in circles. Most pronounced when he gets up after being asleep or chilling for a while. Additional note - the walking and tilting in circles is always in the leftward direction.
    2. Change in energy levels. Still affectionate and engaging, but overall less energetic and more lethargic than before.
    3. Change in appetite. No longer eats kibble and now only eats prescription wet food.
    4. Weight change. Cat was at 14 Lbs and is now down to 11 Lbs
    5. Bizarre eye dilation. Specifically, pupils will dilate and remain dilated for hours. And while eyes were dilated, cat is very disoriented, anxious, and seems to have trouble seeing. These episodes would trigger many of the above symptoms, with cat going around in circles and sometimes sniffing things. Very strange and nerve-wracking to observe.
    Symptoms timeline:
    • Symptoms started since November 26th 2023
    • Symptoms have improved somewhat since getting put on his new diet then and he appears to have stabilized. Better appetite and normal pees/poos. But still no official diagnoses or any idea as to why things have improved
    Test notes and overall results:
    • We have been to several vets, including a neurologist
    • List of tests:
      • Senior blood panel
      • Urinalysis
      • Physical exams
      • X-rays
      • MRI
      • Spinal fluid extraction
      • Ultrasound
    • Results summary:
      • Not a tumor
      • Heart, spine, and middle ear are fine
      • Does not appear to be metabolic disorder like say, thyroid issue
      • Blood pressure is fine
      • Ultrasound shows some nodules on his liver and pancreas. Vet says they could be benign or cancerous, but we can't be sure unless we biopsied him.
      • Neurologist also ruled out seizures, and said that pupil dilation would not last for hours with a seizure
    That’s pretty much the gist of it. Any ideas?

    Thank you! -Deer
    SpecialistDeer, Feb 8, 2024
  2. SpecialistDeer

    RealWorldCatConsulting New Member

    Feb 4, 2024
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    Hi, and I'm so sorry your cat and you are going through this. Have you sought out a 2nd opinion from another veterinarian from another practice? I know that can be costly, but sometimes it can help. I was wondering if cats could get vertigo, but this sounded like high blood pressure, a stroke, or maybe epilepsy? I honestly have no clue and have no background as a veterinarian. Cat hide things so well, the issue may not be presenting itself fully just yet. I hope you find answers soon.

    RealWorldCatConsulting, Feb 8, 2024
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