How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Deb Your Own Question
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 10445
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
60411192
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Dr. Deb is online now

We rescued a stray cat about 6 weeks ago and have been trying

Resolved Question:

We rescued a stray cat about 6 weeks ago and have been trying to get her right ever since. When my husband found her she was trying to eat from a drain, obviously starving and covered in sores. We took her to the vet and she was given long acting injections of antibiotics and steroids. This seemed to help for the first couple of weeks and the sores began to heal over. The vet believe she had had an allergic reaction - possibly to flea bites. Around 17 days later she began to flare again - we don't know for sure what triggered it. Again she had antibiotics and steroid injection. The vet also recommended piriton daily to try and prevent further flare ups. Unfortunately she appears to be allergic to the piriton and the flare continued. We tried certrizine as an alternative but this also didn't work. On returning to the vet an oral dose of prednisolone which we began but again she has reacted to this. The sores on her neck are now pus filled all the time and she is very unwell - spending most of her time just sitting on the windowsill. In addition she has mammary lumps which are getting larger. Although properly litter trained she has in the last two days taken to peeing where she is rather than move to the litter tray. She is a short haired domestic cat, probably around two years old. We think that as much as we have tried it may be time to admit defeat and have her put to sleep as she is now obviously suffering. Can you think of any alternatives? We are a very low income family due to my disability so allergy testing is not something we can afford.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 3 years ago.

Hello Stefanie, I'm Dr. Deb.

I recently came online and see that your question about Kitty hasn't been answered. I'm so sorry that you've had to wait for a response,but if you still need assistance, I'd like to help if I can.

What an incredibly sad situation:(

I'm assuming that Kitty was tested for Feline Leukemia and Feline AIDS? If she wasn't, then I would suggest that this testing be done since either one of these conditions can affect the immune system and retard healing. If she's positive for either disease, then this could explain her current symptoms.

Even if these tests were done and/or they are negative, I have to suspect that something else is going on with her systemically if she's not acting unwell. Most cats with skin allergies (for whatever reason) typically are still acting fairly normal. They may look pretty rough around the edges but they otherwise are still eating and not lethargic.

I've seen a quite a few cats with food allergies who are itchy to the point that they create significant lesions on their body (often involving the neck/face/chin) and often changing the diet to one which is more limited ingredient or hypoallergenic can be helpful. Drugs can help some but are not usually 100% effective in controlling the skin issues until or unless a change in diet is made.

But, the enlarging mammary masses are concerning as well although I'm not certain if she might be pregnant? or if this is simply a benign condition called Mammary Hyperplasia? or possibly cancer.

From the sounds of it, you have done your best for this poor girl but it also sounds like she has more going on with her than just skin issues. Under the circumstances, if her quality of life is poor, it might be time to made a final decision about her as difficult as that may be.
One other alternative you might consider would be to contact local shelters to determine if she is someone they'd consider accepting given all of her potential issues. It's probably not likely, but at least you could ask.

I'm so sorry that my answer can't be a more positive one but this is a really tough situation for all involved.

I hope this helps although my apologies for the delayed reply. Deb

Dr. Deb and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 3 years ago.
Stefanie:
I wanted to thank you for the rating; it's greatly appreciated.

I also wanted to wish you the best with Kitty, whatever decision you ultimately make about her. Kind regards, Deb

Please ignore the information request.