My 3 year old male cat has had a yet-unexplained persistent anemia. He's been under the care of a Vet for the last 7 weeks. Here's a rundown of what's happened so far: • 7 Weeks ago - He was having a problem with one of his ears, constantly batting at them. Looked very dirty. Also, was overgrooming himself. We had bloodwork run because it was also his annual, which his RBC came back at 19 indicating anemia. Everything presented fine. Vet suspected infection, prescribed an antibiotic (pink liquid - zythromicin?), and told us to come back in 10 days. • 6 Weeks ago - no response, vet ran additional test which indicated nonregenerative anemia. Is posistive for coronavirus (multicat household) and feared FIP. Prescribed doxycycline and prednisone for 3 weeks. • 4.5 Weeks ago - RBC still at 19, but vet was encouraged that test now showed he was producing large amounts of immature red blood cells. Expected improvement upon next test • 3 Weeks ago - RBC raised to 25 , still slightly anemic (normal 29), refilled prescriptions. • Today - RBC still at 25, test showed an elevated lymphocyte count. Vet said that this could indicate lymphoma or persistent virus, and that we either should double his predisone dose to 10mg per day, or get a bone marrow biopsy. We decided to do the latter.
All other tests have been normal throughout process. Was positive for coronvirus. No FELV or FIV. Since his first visit, he's gained 1.25 pounds and his appetite and water consumption seem normal. He shows no signs of illness and is one of our more active cats.
I feel like we may be missing something. Has anyone else encountered this? Any thoughts on what this could be?
I would suggest geting a second opinion from a "cats only" vet. Have copies of the current records faxed over so they know what tests have already been done. My Chelsea was diagnosed as hyperthyroid which is pretty rare in a 2 year old cat. The pills were making her really sick and her hair was falling out so I freaked out and called a new vet. (I had used them before when Kira was sick before going to a specialist for surgery) The new vet clinic has 3 doctors that consult with each other and are easy to reach. Great communication and they don't stop trying until they fix the problem. Chelsea is fine now and I switched all my cats to the new vet. I could not be happier with them. Not to say my old vet was that bad but his resources were limited. A fresh look from somebody new might be helpful for your cat's problem too.
"One cat just leads to another" - Ernest Hemingway
Anaemia in cats may be due to many possible causes, and these should be investigated. However if your cat's PCV risen from 19 to 29 than this should be followed up and check over a longer period, particularly if he is active and well. the slight drop for 29 and 25 may not be significant at all. the reason for this is that the PCV (packed cell volume) means the concentration of red blood cells in the blood volume. this can be influenced by hydration state for example. so if you cat was slightly dehydrated the PCV would be different but there is no clinical significance for this.
It is strange to me that a treatment like you described was started with out having a diagnosis for the cause of anaemia. antibiotic are usually given for infection like haeabortenella infection, external and internal parasites should be treated as they are a major cause of anaemia in cats and dogs. steroids are given for more severe forms of problems such as immune mediated anaemia but I suspect that if your cat has this condition hen would not so happy and healthy as you described.