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. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 33255
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
Type Your Vet Question Here...
Dr. Michael Salkin is online now

There, Sorry if this is long or if i have too many questions,

This answer was rated:

Hi there,
Sorry if this is long or if i have too many questions, but i am going crazy here.
Have a stray cat that we neutered and took care, she had sneezing on and off. She gave birth to 7 babies. 2 were still born, 4 looked fine and one was the runt of the litter. We found home for all except, Big Head, the runt.
I don't know if i can attachs photos, we called him BH because his body was tiny he never grew. At 7 months and 17 days old he weighed approximately 900 grams. He seemed to have laboured breathing. We loved him, and we build him a lovely garden house where he lived with the gang. All day we brought him up and inside, he slept in his villa with his blankets, closed house with a lovely door opening only at nights.
We take him to the vet, he runs tests and we go back after a week for the results. He says FIP. Gives us a pill a day for 2 months IMMUNOVET and 2 tiny pieces of prednisole twice a week, small dose. He also did an x-ray and said there is air in his stomach and that generally BH is small obviously for his age etc. His words "will be ok one month up one months down".
After the vet and for 2 months, i realised he liked sitting next to the heater (it is warm in Greece), we noticed some days he had a big belly like a tennis ball (bigger than what he is), his breathing i don't know he moved his abdomen more than other cats, and 10 days or so he becaun urinating everywhere in the house in some corners (he didn't do that in the past he used a litter tray). More symptoms...he had like a nervous tick bending his head on one side when chewing and he made a loud noise with his mouth like a krats krats krats certain times of day. He also had huge eyes (i don't know if this is neurological). Last month or more he became a bit weaker. He either got let in, in the morning from the communal door and was smart enough to find my door and miow and be let in all day. Or would be always always always waiting by the communal door outside and be fed in the back at the villa. He jumped the ledge and off he went. Last 6 weeks he could not jump the ledge, he basically jumped up to a height that his front legs latched on then pulled himself up. If you ask me that would mean his hind legs got weaker when his front legs were as strong as ever. He also found spots in the sun to sit until i went down to get him, in the morning.
Another thing, he always always always ate like a champ, he would never stop eating but he never grew he looked like a 2 month old kitten, maybe he grew a bit in length but had a boney back and ribs even when he had days of a big belly. His miow was like a screech.
Like a kittens miow at best.
Monday night, as always, he ate all day, ate dinner then i took him down to the villa. I put him in while leaving i looked back and he was out looking left and right completely normal.
In the morning 8am he did not come outside my flat door and screech to be left in the neighbour walking his door as always went down to communal door and BH was not there. 10 am i went down he was not waiting for me and then i went to the villa and no BH.
I am going the building we have 2 dogs that absolutely love him lick him play. There are 2 buildings in the plot, one further right that BG never wondered off too he always stayed in his area.
I called the vet first he said....he felt bad and hid. We have been looking 2 days a few people incg by inch, there are many stuff downstairs as owner is a hoarder but we have covered all bushes, inlets, everything, some places inside wood we could not go into. I hear no screeching from BH. Doctor said give him a chance. BH no food and water one approaching 2 days now no chance. Then he said with FIP you can die suddenly. I do not agree he was eating at 8pm normally he vanished between 9pm and 7am. He behaved normal. If he died suddenly he would die in his house or close by if he felt bad...he was dependent on us, not street wise he would not hide not to be found and i really dont think he hid.
Could he have died?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
i used my 2 emails i got a "sorry this email has been used before"....i asked a question in the past. I did not log in my email is***@******.***. please answer me there thank u doc
Paris, I have to play devil's advocate and tell you that FIP isn't likely. Cats with FIP inexorably worsen and are usually euthanized before their quality of life suffers unacceptably. BH's continuing to eat and act normally isn't consistent with FIP. His inability to grow, however, suggests congenital (present at birth) defects which can be multiple and affect more than one body system. When I see a "big belly", progressive weakness, and dyspnea (difficulty breathing) my first thought would be congenital heart disease and that certainly could be life threatening. I regret that my state board of veterinary examiners doesn't allow me to speak to customers by phone in this venue. Please stay in this conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Doc thank you for your reply. I attached some photos to see for yourself.1) The one where he is lying next to the heat is 4th November 2015 (you can see how thin he is there loved the heat)
2) In his bed 21st October 2015 (looked better?)
3) On couch 3rd October 2015
4) On couch and blanket 17th September 2015
5) Sunning in Balcony 12th November 2015Ill make it in point form to help you doc- 1st April born...his mum feeds him a bit kicks him out prefers his brothers and sisters. He is the tiniest of the pack.
- Sometime in summer still not growing he loses appetite a day or 2 we take to vet antibacterial shot and fever lowering shot. This happen total of 7 visits or so during summer after shots he eats like a piggy again.
- He plays runs with his friends takes his mouse and runs away, jumps the ledge okish, eats non stop.
- Around end summer playing stops, he sleeps more, in the house during the day its sleeping eating walking around a bit more sleeping.
- With time he can't jump the ledge to go back he jumps a bit grabs with front legs pulls himself up (so front legs fine back lost power a bit)
- Lise goes to UK comes to my flat end Sep he pees and poos in the house. Not where he stands. He jumps off me and goes to corner to pee sometime uses littrer box when i grabbed him when he went to pee corner did not pee on me held it till i took to litter box. Eats fine.
- Early october 2 days episode of vomiting i think its cause he ate non stop from everyones bowl his own my cats bowl. This goes back to normal.
- Until this monday, he climbed stairs to 1st floor to whine so he is let in fine, he loved the sun always while downstairs he went to the sun early morning.
- Go to clinic mid september (not vet this time) he says FIP we start 2 months of the immune pills to help immune system 2 small cortisone pills a week and some jelly in mouth time to time. Still eats fine.
-Sunday i give him his cortisone from the mouth like i did once past not the food.
- Monday he climbs the stairs miows outside door i let him in we sleep spend the day he eats non stop (he used to jump on couch but for a month or more he struggles i lift him to help him).
- Tuesday am he doesnt come outside my door i go down he has vanished. His 2 friends in the villa are fine as always garden quiet.No cats ever attacked BG he was too frail, he was just sitting some days in the sun till we went down he had a depressed look sat there in semi slouch position that cats do and did nothing while others played and run around. He would however jog behind me when food was brought for them.Doc i looked all sunday plus building owner plus neighbour every bush he is nowhere. He NEVER leaves the building EVER. He is not street wise he wont survive the quiet area as he cant jump on garbage bins to find food he is totally reliable on us. He would never leave, even when sick and vomiting he hid a bit we called he run to us. He was not independent at all. The others grew he didnt so they stopped playing together.I am going crazy...i have now the # ***** that are fully grown sleeping in my balcony, i chase them to villa they come up spend the night so BH spend the night in villa with the other 2 always snuggled up i checked all the time late, he was inside sleeping. Questions (i am sorry if i am killing you)1) Did the cortisone end him?
2) I did not think it was FIP i am an idiot did not do research earlier to realise maybe he is 10 percent worse but he eats.
3) Stomach bloated huge sometimes we thought was food but it was too big but then it came down to normal size doc.
4) He did not get to a stage where he was FIP bad. Last day we spend together he followed me to balcony, followed me to kitchen ate miowed his screechy low miow for more food etc.I feel so guilty i let my big head down..he should have been in balcony he can pee anywhere there i dont care. I let the other strong ones sleep there i was just making a habit to get them used to our lovely garden with their lovely house cause too many cats. We have looked everywhere for 2 days 20 hours total and not only me.Doc just from your experiencedo you think he felt bad hid to die? (he never hid in the past when he was feeling sick).
why did the clinic say FIP and he will have good months and bad months when i read everywhere fip is a fast death?
do you think i should roam the streets could he survive?
Would his death be sudden how does it work?
I feel so bad doc i cant stop crying and looking 7 months 15 days he never ever left his area or his habits. He was always where we thought he was i am devastated Lise from the UK is devastated. I will never forgive myself for not taking him to the balcony even if he died there i would know :(:(:(
thanks doc and i apologise
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Forgot to add doc his breathing to me (i told Lise on the phone) seemed to be getting better. Since birth he looked kind of strained when he breathed only cause his abdomen-stomach moved, it moved like it needed more labour i cant explain it.
He had this tick with the mouth when he ate and not only clinic said its breathing issues and made a loud scratch scratch scratch noise sometimes with his mouse. The tick had practically left from what i have seen.
But at 7.5 months old he was 900gramms skin and bones.
Last thing a vet came to the block to vaccinize the owners dog and saw BH and said these cats live maximum 2 years (she saw him when he was maybe 3 months old).
Sorry to go on and on doc this is it i am just giving as much info as possible to get your help.
I will never forgive myself.
Thank you for the pics and the additional information. He's a cutie and I don't see anything but a small cat in those pics. The fact that he never exceeded 900 grams, however, can't be ignored nor can his "abdominal breathing" be ignored. I wonder if he is a carrier of either the feline leukemia (FeLV) or feline immunodeficiecy virus (FIV)? Was he ever tested for these? I suspect that these viruses were on the mind of the vet who came to vaccinate the dogs and took a look at BG. Both are life-threatening and I wonder if his vet meant FIV rather than FIP. Are these tests the ones for which you're still awaiting results? The "cortisone" is often prescribed to cats carrying these viruses but I don't agree with doing so. They're already immunocompromised and a steroid is only going to immunocompromise my patient further. Normally such a patient fades away as they become progressively anemic. He might have sequestered himself somewhere you haven't looked yet if he were dying of anemia. He wouldn't be strong enough to wander away very far. You needn't apologize to me. I understand how upsetting not knowing what happened can be.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hey doc thanks for being so kind.
I think he was tested and i wish he was as i took him to the clinic and said ill pay anything do all tests. Lise is in the UK ill try get his blood tests for you tomorrow and put them here for you. On Friday am taking my house cat there so ill ask the doctor face to face.
No we went there he got x rayed and blood tested. Some blood work came back fast but told us others need a few days and to go next wek where he told us FIP and told us what to do he said he will be off and on and wont live for ever but he is ok, which doesnt match FIP. Ill ask om friday he couldnt even remember when i called him yesterday to ask. Greece!
We are sure he said FIP but ill double check he will bring up his file he only gave us the blood work.
What yous ay about cortisone is exactly what my research showed.....make them worse. I wish you would be here and you would be his doctor :(
I had a stray cat i cared for with anemia and everytime he hid to die (i brought him in he escaped and so on) i found him quiet easily but he was fully grown.
Just knowing he is hiding suffering is killing me. I agree he never wondered off he is totally dependent and the only place i can think isa pile of wood behind his house which i did as good a job as possible looking but impossible to see all. I will look tomorrow all day in surrounding gardens its not like him to vanish maybe he followed blackie into the tiny park opposite the street (never does never left building) and got lost.
Ill look in the streets and in the garden again tomorrow maybe someone saw him out loved him and took him i dont know 7 months his habit was his ritual :( thank u for being so kind doc i wish it was u here ill get u more info tomorrow as its late here id pay 10,000 to find him and its all my fault he should have been in the balcony house where he cant leave even if he wanted to.
Last question before i get u the info.
Could he, monday night, look normal, behave as normal as always eat like a pig then took him down then overnight felt bad and then went to hide? i mean does it or can it happen so fast?
Thanks doc ill always apologise cause i am bombarding u and u are doing ur best.
Yes, an acute hemolytic crisis - the rapid destruction of red blood cells - is consistent with those viruses. Death can occur quickly when that happens. In most cases, however, my patient has been profoundly anemic for quite some time but has adjusted (compensated). Once the anemia progresses past a certain point, however, compensation is no longer possible because the tissues aren't getting the minimum amount of oxygen they need. I can't set a follow-up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update - even after rating - at a time of your choosing.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I hear you doc. Mustaffa was severely anemic his abdomen moved so fast when he breathed and he even panted. BH did not breathe that fast kind of more laboured since birth in a way. He slept on me well and his breathing looked better. I didnt understand? So we end here and how do i reach you again?
Bookmark this page for ease of return. I want you to update me, please.
Dr. Michael Salkin and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok doc sorry to ask didnt know how this works. Ill do what u said now and ill bookmark this page ill get the info and look again tomorrow. Thanks for all doc ill look and hope till hope is gone
No worries. Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.
I'll watch for your next post.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Doc thanks for everything speak in a day or so. Take care
You're quite welcome.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hey Doc,I am here, hope you have been keeping well and healthy.Ill just re enact the chat between me and the vet today (i took psu, my cat for a blood test cause she had haemobartonella - all is fine).Paris (me): I really don't think BH had FIP.
Vet: Kind of nods
Vet: i am 99% percent he is a carrier
Paris: i have read a lot on it, if he doesn't show clinical symptoms he is fine
Vet: yes he looked fine here all things considered
Paris: so what do you think happened
Vet: I don't agree with you that he went off to die. Firstly he was dependent on you massively, only knows you in his life he wouldn't even hide if he felt bad, i have had cats come here to stay the night, ate fine at night, found them dead in their cage in the morning. Can be many things but generally cats like BH that weigh 2 pounds at 7 months die young. Can be many genetic factors we don't know. He never hid do he did not hid maybe a delivery guy bringing food to one of the flats took him but at 7 months they start exploring maybe he went out and got lost he might return.
Paris: he never left the building ever ever he had his routine the other 6 kittens are bigger stronger healthy and they never leave.
Vet: can be many things he is not hidden he did not go off to die he tested negative for FIV and FELV (leukemia virus he said) i am 99% sure from his blood work and blood analysis he was a carrier of VIP.
Paris: yes many cats are means nothing.
Vet: yes you came 6 weeks ago lets say....he could, 2 weeks after you left, have developed the symptoms, and then die couple weeks after anything is possible but as u say he was eating behaving quite normally his quiet self sleeping or just sitting and chasing you to eat.
Paris: yes
Vet: anything is possible but i highly doubt he went off to die he is a sweet cat looks boney skin and bones someone might have seen him felt for him put him in his pocket and left
Paris: in the internet everyone that says my kitten is skeletal all stories i have found from my research they say 4 pounds plus for 7 month olds have you ever encountered 2 pound 7 month old cats
Vet: yes quite a few times they mostly all die can leave to 5 years they rarely live a full life
Paris: i know you arent god whats your guess
Vet: either taken and is in a warm house and you wont find or in the streets he wont last long as we know he is weak and needs care keep lookingThen i welled up thinking BH is gone for good and i stopped and concentrated in holding psu as she acts out when she gets a needle inside her.
So doc maybe that is what he meant the 1st time when we took BH. We took him, left him went back after 5 mins got some blood work (ill have them in hand when Lise returns from the UK) and told us to go back after 3 days when microbiology (something like that) is out where he said about the FIP. Maybe he said "will be up and down good months bad months as a carier? he meant that as he had mentioned generally fine.I also asked him about the belly what yous aid about his heart and he said yes but judging from how young BH is i would not have thought that then we spoke generally how he is "ok" but a weak cat and then he said "you ahve him 7.5 months doesn't anything tell you he is not well the fact he hasn't grown nearly at all?" i said "yes" and that was that.What can i say doc :( as i said he should have been in my balcony and Lise's like others that come ill never forgive myself. I have been looking since we last spoke every building every road of my quiet green suburb i am exhausted mentally and physically. Some info i forgot to tell you just in case it helps you doc. Big Head:He stank and never groomed himself (Lise showered him once then stank again)
He kind of had spikey fur or oily cant explain.Maybe i am imagining this as he was so boney in his back.
For a few months he never played with his ball or with others just sat in the sun alone. Became a quiet kitten not playful.
Yesterday i found some poo of his front balcony it is well formed and fine
Doc you think 2 pounds at 7.5 months is not extreme? I mean something was wrong with him?i think of him suffering now breaks my heart i don't know what else to do :(doc i am sorry and i thank u alwaysParis
Thank you for the extensive update. Yes, 2 pounds at 7.5 months is grossly abnormal and suggests congenital (present at birth) defects. FIP doesn't form a carrier state. The coronavirus which is the virus that transmutes into the FIP virus can remain in a carrier state, however. In fact, that's very common in cats but shouldn't be an issue in BH.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hey doc thanks very much for your reply. Yes i read a lot about coronavirus etc maybe the vet speaks to me like making it easier for me to understand. Exactly it is either FIP or he is a carrier of coronavirus. He also told me he has seen cats with actual FIP live many years when i mentioned it.
Last question doc and i wont bother you more.....hand on heart a sick cat never leaves knows our doors has his garden house vanishes after being born and living 7.5 months in the same building-garden. What do you think happened and he vanished from the face of the planet?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
am only asking should i continue looking? chance he is dead and if no a few days out on street cat like him is death sentence anyway? or keep looking? I know you aren't god or a magician what would u do?
I've never seen a cat live many years with FIP. There are a few cats that have survived 1-2 years after diagnosis according to the literature, however. I would knock on doors within a block of where you live. If he had gotten out, he's likely to be nearby. Most lost cats are found within blocks of their disappearance.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
understood doc thank u very much, as i said i hope u lived in athens
thanks so much for your help
i dont think he has gotten out himself he never left his routine over a very closed area but anything is possibly
ill try what u said and than accept he has been taken while out
thanks for everything doc cant thank u enough be well
You're quite welcome. I hope for the best. No need to reply at this time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
dont reply to this just for your info
forgot the vet who gave him his antibacterial and fever shots in the past when he wouldnt eat in the summer i called her she agrees no FIP and said it is a miracle for her he lived this long (if he is still alive)
that all
if i ever find him ill let u know
take care doc
I would appreciate it! (I have to reply to you or the question remains on my list until the end of time!)