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feline "fever of unknown origin"

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  • feline "fever of unknown origin"

    So my young barn cat was lethargic, not eating etc. Take him to vet and find out he has temp of 106.5, cats are normally around 100, at 107 they have brain damage and die. Stays 4 (expensive - goodbye new saddle this season) days at vets while they get temp stabilized, test blood, try multiple antibiotics, xrays, cannot find source of infection. Label this as "fever of unknown origin". Has anyone else dealt with this ? Pls share your experiences. He is back home on several meds, temp is back to normal, and yesterday he caught 2 rats and a flying squirrel so I guess he is feeling better. Scared to death of a reaccurance and the related expenses. He is fully vaccinated and they tested for feline leukemia/ kitty aids, all that to no avail. Any armchair cat vets want to play ?

  • #2
    FIP is a major concern with FUO


    • #3

      Agree with Marshfield. FIP - notoriously difficult to diagnose. Did your vet mention the possibility?

      I lost a stray kitten to FIP ; he had the dry form. Fortunately his mother and sister did not succumb to it.

      (disclaimer: I'm NOT a vet)


      • #4
        Corona fip possibly newly acquired fiv... but i have also known cats to get fuo with normal viral screens. I would do a retest on feluk fiv and keep an eye on him for potential dry or wet fip. Hopefully its not fip


        • Original Poster

          what are all those initials ???

          FIP ??? All those in the kitty know pls fill me in on all the initialed responses, would love to suggest testing for them to my vet but don't want to sound like an idiot. Thanks for all your ideas !


          • #6
            I had this happen once. Turned out the cat had an abcess in his thigh bome where he had been bit.
            "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


            • #7
              FIP is feline infectious peritonitis. It affects primarily young cats, under two years old, and is caused by an as yet unexplained mutation of the corona virus. The corona virus is very common in kittens and cats, and normally doesn't cause a big issue. However, FIP, the wet form, is always fatal and almost impossible to get a definitive diagnosis for. One of the symptoms is a high fever of unknown origin. FIP affects the organs, can cause neurological symtoms including blindness, and often causes the belly of the kitten to become distended with a straw-like, pussy fluid. That can put pressure on the lungs and heart. All in all, it is a horrible disease. I have a three y.o. male cat whose litter mate died of it when he was about six months old. He is now past the high worry age, and hopefully he stays well. I hope your barn cat has some other cause of the FUO.
              Mystic Owl Sporthorses


              • #8
                My last cat went through this when she was about 2 or 3. Presented with that same high temp, lethargic.

                My apartment mates at the time were all Cornell vet students (I was working in a lab there at the Vet school). I came home to find them and a resident crowded around the kitchon table about to castrate my apartment mate's male cat. "Excuse me" I stated "did any of you soon to be highly paid vets happen to notice MY cat was catatonic??" They were so excited about the castration (I think there was alcohol involved) they really didn't notice Brandy lying on the couch in a stupor.

                Well, we whisked her off to the emergency clinic at Cornell and after 3 days, the best feline vets in the country could not find a thing wrong. Every panel known to vet science at the time (okay, this was ~20 years ago) turned up negative. One vet thought her spleen was slightly enlarged. Plenty of fluids, antibiotics and eventually the temps came down. Thank god I was a employee of the school, got a tremendous break on the bill. She had another episode about 5 years later after I had moved east. I told the vet not to bother testing, give her fluids and antibiotics, she was better in 4 days. Cat lived to be 17 1/2 so she ended up fine.

                Male cat did end up getting castrated once we were sure there was no viral or bacterial infection among our cats. The testicles lived in a jar on our TV for quite a while.

                “You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” - Wayne Gretsky


                • #9
                  Sending major jingles is ISN'T FIP. Trust me, you just don't want to go there, 99.999999999% fatal It IS a horrible horrible disease
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                  • #10
                    Oh ET, I'm so glad your kitty was ok, and the rest, well....
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                    • Original Poster

                      now I 'm really scared

                      Thanks, Clint, for the info on FIP. I did some further online research and that's one BAD disease. There also seems to be no definitive way to test for it. My guy is home and avidly hunting again but the idea of remission scares me. The odd thing is he is an only cat, FIP sounds like it runs in concentrated cat populations. We live on a 200 acre farm so there is no telling who or what is lurking in the woods but we don't see other cats, hear cat fights, or find battle wounds on him. My immediate worry is that the antibiotics are the only thing keeping the fever at bay. Last night he stayed out late hunting and missed pm meds. This morning he was a bit slow again but temp was normal. No nocturnal activities for him tonight - we have locked the cat door and he is already complaining !


                      • #12
                        baldfaceboyz - jingles that it isn't FIP and like my cat goes on to live a long happy life.

                        “You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” - Wayne Gretsky


                        • #13
                          Considering his temp has stabilized and he's feeling better, I would think its probably not FIP.


                          • #14
                            Me too - antibiotics really won't touch an FIP fever.
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                            • #15
                              Years ago I had a barn cat with a super high fever. She spent a few days in the hospital and they too couldn't find the cause. I spent an absolute fortune on her and got to the point where I couldn't spend anymore so I brought her to my house and nursed her myself with fluids and nutrical. She lived for a couple more years but never left my house again to go back to the track. She ended up getting cancer but recovered from whatever her fever was from. Jingles.
                              McDowell Racing Stables

                              Home Away From Home


                              • #16
                                FIP is always possible with a FUO in kitties. I've also seen kitties with FUO's from things like autoimmune diseases, though it's rare, as well as other types of infections like toxo. But then they aren't FUO's anymore!

                                Sometimes you just never find out why - they have it happen once or twice and go on to be fine the rest of their lives. Don't get yourself into a panic about FIP as it is ridiculously hard to diagnose and virtually impossible to treat. I'll keep my fingers crossed it was a one-time thing!


                                • #17
                                  For an offshoot away from FIP, I had an identical experience with an indoor cat; he was hiding, I scooped him out, he made a death moan and off to the vet we went. Fever was 106, fluids and antibiotics later we had no idea the source...until roommate mentioned he had snuck outside for an hour a day before. Scouring his body we found one teeny, tiny puncture wound. He's totally fine now.


                                  • #18
                                    One of my kitties (8 years old now) had this TWICE as a young cat. Each time, she'd get lethargic, stop eating, and run a temp of 106. Vet did a thorough exam and tested for feline leukemia, FIV, FIP, collected urine samples, checked for an anal gland abcess (that was real fun for poor Nora!) and could not find anything. We ended up treating empirically with a shot of ketoprofen to bring the fever down, fluids and antibiotics. It worked and she was better within about 3 days (but I had to wrestle with getting the antibiotics down her throat for another week!). Never could figure out what it was...the best guess is a maybe an infection in a small bite from one of my other two kitties. At the time, they were young and liked to play ROUGH. It was very scary...

                                    Glad to hear your kitty has recovered.
                                    Proudly owned by 2 chestnut mares
                                    Crayola Posse: sea green
                                    Mighty Rehabbers Clique


                                    • #19
                                      My cat with high fever, her foot pads were SO hot, had a urinary tract infection and pancreatitis. That time it was overnight hospitalization and fluids.


                                      • #20
                                        Hey baldfacedboyz, I was thinking of your cat/FUO - any update? I hope cat is alive and well.