Anemia warning

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.


Purred: Sat Aug 9, '14 6:59am PST 
I just wanted to share Parker's story so others are aware of what to look for in their cats.

Last week I noticed Parker had trouble jumping onto things he normally did with ease. He always sits on the back of the toilet when I am getting ready. He went to jump and missed. Now, this is a cat that can go from the floor to the top of the fridge with no trouble, so this was unusual. A few things had been moved in the bathroom, so I thought maybe this threw him off, but I made a mental note to keep an eye on him. The next day I noticed he was walking slightly hunched and he had trouble jumping again. This was on Saturday after the vet closed so I just watched him all weekend. I did a kitty massage/rub down and his joints and muscles seemed fine. He also started isolating himself, but still close enough where he could see us. We just couldn't see him very well. On Monday he went to the vet. Our vet is a walk-in only, so you never know how crowded it will be (the walk-in is a blessing and a curse, usually a blessing). It was a long wait and Parker hated being in his carrier.

When we finally got in a room the vet did a physical exam. Parker is difficult to examine because he purrs so loud all the time. He seemed fine physically, he was reluctant to let her stretch one hip. His temp was slightly elevated, but she said that could be due to the stress of the long wait and the barking dogs in the waiting room. She gave me three days of anti-inflammatories and wanted to see us back in three days.

We went back and he was not better. She did x-rays and had permission to do blood work if the X-rays were clear. He got the blood work. He is anemic due to a parasitic bite. His hemoglobin is suppose to be 35, his was 23. She said most people don't notice anything is wrong with their cats until it is around 14 or lower. He is on anti-biotic and starts steroids tomorrow. His spleen was enlarged from shooting out the bad red blood cells.

The vet said this is more common in outdoor cats. Parker has been with me for two years and is strictly indoors. His previous owner let him go out. The vet said this could have laid dormant for two years. He might have to be on the meds for as long as 6-8 weeks! One full day of meds and he is already running and jumping!

His X-rays were interesting. His spine is slightly offset. Mine is too. I have spina bifida. He also has a really old break injury in his knee. There is a tiny little chip of bone floating by his knee. The vet knew that wasn't the issue because his knee would have been swollen if it were a new break.

Parker is on the fast track to recovery, I just wanted others to know his story so they know what to look for in their own kitties.

Member Since
Purred: Sun Aug 17, '14 9:31am PST 
Thank you for sharing Parker's story and for being a diligent cat guardian! I'm curious as to what was the parasite that caused your kitty all the trouble? Hope he's doing better!


Go Gently Into- the Night

Purred: Sun Aug 17, '14 10:01pm PST 
Thank you for sharing. Your story can help others if their cats exhibit similar symptoms.

Welcome to Catster, Parker. Hope you're feeling better and make a full recovery.

cat on moon


Purred: Mon Aug 18, '14 7:32am PST 
The vet and I are not sure where he picked up the parasite that caused the anemia since he has not gone outside since he has lived with me. She said it could have been a flea or mosquito, or even something that bit him two years ago when his former owner let him go outside. She said it is possible that is something that laid dormant until recently.

He goes back today for follow up blood work. I am hoping for a miracle and that he was fully healed in 10 days instead of 4-6 (or even longer) that the vet thinks it might take. He is awful about taking meds, no matter what I try!