Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What's Wrong with Kitty: Part 2

So, the answer to yesterday's little picture/question was: the cat was icteric or jaundiced - or simply: yellow. The photo was of his  hard palate, one of the places we can see this color change. Other places include the sclera (or normally white part of the eye), just in front of the ears on a cat (the hair is normally thinned there) and the gums. Sometimes, the skin underlying the hair is also yellow.

Let me explain why when we, as doctors and technicians, see this in the exam room and don't immediately say a word. In vet school, one of the cute "phrases" we learned was Yellow Cat=Dead Cat.  A client that comes in with these cats often has no idea just how ill the cat is. In fact, I saw a "yellow cat" case that came in for vaccines. It was only after I pointed out the color on this white coated cat (making it easy to see), she mentioned "oh yeah, he hasn't been eating well.." Needless to say that cat didn't get vaccines, did get hospitalized and did not live long. 

Sadly, that is often the case, no matter the original cause of becoming yellow.

Back to our story though. This is the cute little 4 yr old neutered male: 

He became ill in mid-Dec and went to another hospital. His signs at the time were vomiting and not eating as well. They ran some tests and made appropriate recommendations on how to proceed (yes I am purposely leaving you in the dark on this for now). I want to make you think.   

What are some differentials (possible causes for this) and/or do you have any other questions on info I just gave you? 

What tests do you think they did?

On his exam, they found his ears to be oh-so-slightly yellow and felt something abnormal in his cranial abdomen (or the region closer to his liver/stomach/pancreas).  

What tests would help determine what this could be?

What possible next steps are there for this cat?

Ok, think on it. Throw out some stuff here. I will answer these questions and more tomorrow.

For now, our cat is doing quite well and may go home tomorrow. We are NOT out of the woods yet, however!

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