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Old 07-21-2009, 05:04 PM
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Default Autoimmune disorder in cats - advice needed!

Hi forummers,
My crankiest kitty, coco, has been diagnosed with autoimmune disorder.. this is not very specific and refers to a breakdown of the immune system. there are a few types of autoimmune disorder but they are difficult to pin down and their causes are not really known. sadly there isn't really a cure for these ailments.. only medications to help deal with symptoms.. but the medications themselves can actually worsen the condition of the immune system.. does anyone have experience with this? and what can i do to make coco more comfortable?

i'll copy and paste some articles about autoimmune disorder here..
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: Autoimmune disorder in cats - advice needed!

taken from http://www.provet.co.uk/petfacts/hea...unedisease.htm

AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES

Note for Pet Owners:

This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

Topics on this Page: Description
Cause
Breed Occurrence
Signs
Complications
Diagnosis
Treatment
Prognosis




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Description
In nature animals have evolved a sophisticated defence system that produces glycoproteins called immunoglobulins or antibodies in response to chemicals (antigens) on the surface of organisms (eg bacteria, viruses) or other substances (eg toxins) that gain access to the body. The antibodies chemically bind with the antigens - an initial step in the process to remove them from the body.

Under normal circumstances the body's immune system recognises tissues and cells that are part of itself, and the immune system will only produce antibodies against foreign cells. However, sometimes the controlling mechanisms fail and the immune system does produce antibodies which attack the animals own body tissues. These are called autoantibodies and the disease that results is called an autoimmune disease.

Autoantibodies may be formed against specific organs or specific types of cell (eg blood cells), or they may be non-organ specific. In the last category antibodies are often produced which act against nuclear material within the nucleus of cells and these are called antinuclear antibodies (ANAs). ANAs are commonly found in some forms of autoimmune disease eg systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)


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Cause
The cause of autoimmune diseases is the production of autoantibodies against the animals own tissues. The underlying reasons for these disorders occurring are complex and not fully understood.

Infectious agents are thought to be the initiating factor in some of these disorders eg Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)


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Breed Occurrence
There are several reports of possible increased incidence of autoimmune diseases in some breeds and sexes :

Cocker Spaniels,Old English Sheepdogs and Poodles may be predisposed to develop autoimmune haemolytic anaemia
Poodles are over-represented in reports of autoimmune thrombocytopenia
Female dogs more often develop autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, and autoimmune thrombocytopenia than males
Poodles and German Shepherds may be predisposed to develop Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Toy breeds of dog may be predisposed to develop rheumatoid arthritis

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Signs

The common signs of autoimmune disease in animals depend upon the target organ(s) for the autoantibodies :

Adrenal gland

Some cases of canine hypoadrenocorticism (Addisons disease) are due to autoantibody production against the adrenal glands.
Signs include :
Muscle weakness - the dog collapses during exercise
Depression
Sudden collapse and shock
Kidney failure
Inappetance
Diarrhoea - sometimes contains blood
Abdominal pain
Increased thirst (polydipsia)
Increased urine production (polyuria)
Weight loss
Blood

Autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (dogs, cats (rare - often secondary to leukaemia), cattle (very rare), horses (rare - usually secondary eg abscesses). It can occur with autoimmune thrombocytopenia.
Due to autoantibodies against the animals own red blood cells causing them to disrupt (called haemolysis)
Coombs test is positive in these patients
Anaemia may be present on routine haematological examination
Free haemoglobin is present in blood and urine
The animal may develop jaundice (accumulation of yellow pigment in tissues)
Affected animals are lethargic
Extremities (ears, feet, nose and tail) may become blue (cyanosed) or reddened, swollen, ulcerated and crusts may form.
Enlargement of the spleen may occur
Enlargement of lymph nodes may occur
Sometimes autoimmune haemolytic anaemia has a primary cause eg it can be induced by drugs
Autoimmune thrombocytopenia (dogs, cats (rare), horses. It can be secondary to systemic lupus erythematosus - see below). It can occur with autoimmune haemolytic anaemia
Due to autoantibodies against platelets which are important in blood clotting.
Haemorrhages into the skin (small petechial haemorrhages, larger ecchymotic haemorrhages (patches) or sometimes massive haemorrhages - nose bleeds or internal bleeding into the abdomen or chest )
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) - see below
Musculoskeletal System

Myasthenia gravis (dogs and cats)
The acquired form of this disease is associated with the production of autoantibodies against acetylcholine receptors on muscle. Signs include :
Poor exercise tolerance
Muscle weakness
Difficulty eating and swallowing
Regurgitation of food
Dilation of the oesophagus (megaoesophagus)
Rheumatoid arthritis - Autoantibodies against IgG are associated with rheumatoid arthritis the signs of which are :
Lameness
Swollen joints - often affects the same joints in the left and right limbs.
Restricted range of movement in joints, and in advanced cases there may be no movement in the joint
In some cases the joint dislocates because local ligaments rupture, and so there is an excessive range of movement
Crepitus (a grating sensation and clicking or cracking sound) is present when the joints are manipulated
High body temperature
Inappetance
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) - see Multiple organ autoimmune diseases below.
Skin

Bullous Autoimmune Skin Disease
Pemphigus vulgaris (dogs and cats)
Erosions or ulcers around the mucocutaneous junctions (mouth, nails)
The lesions discharge serum and crusts form over the ulcers
Depression
Inappetance
Death
Pemphigus foliaceus (most common canine and equine autoimmune skin disease, also reported in cats and goats)
Small swellings under the surface of the skin (bullae or pustules)
Crusting
Scale (scurf or dandruff) formation
Loss of hair (alopecia)
Black pigmentation of the skin (hyperpigmentation)
Sloughing of the foot pads
Itchiness (pruritus)
Usually affects the head and nose, but can be generalised
Pemphigus vegetans (rare- dog))
Pustules
Crusting
Papilloma formation
Can be generalised or in the groin area
Pemphigus erythematosus (dog and cat)
Discharging sores
Crusting
Itchiness (pruritus)
Affects mainly the skin around the eyes, the ears and on the bridge of the nose.
The disease gets worse if the skin is exposed to sunlight
Bullous pemphigoid (dog and horse)
Erosions or ulcers around the mucocutaneous junctions (eg lips and mouth), the ears or the groin
The lesions discharge serum and crusts form over the ulcers
Depression
Inappetance
High body temperature - due to secondary infection
Thyroid

Autoantibodies against thyroglobulin (and occasionally against thyroid hormone T3) are associated with lymphocytic thyroiditis - the main cause of hypothyroidism in dogs. Signs of hypothyroidism include :
Bilateral hair loss (alopecia)
Thinning of the skin
Lethargy
Black pigmentation of the skin
Scurf (dandruff)
Lethargy
Obesity
Cold intolerance - seeks warm places to lie down
Reproductive problems.
Fat deposits in the cornea of the eye (lipidosis)
Dry eye (keratitis sicca)
Diarrheoa
Vomiting
Constipation
Slow heart rate (bradycardia)
Muscle weakness
Multiple Organ Autoimmune Diseases

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) - (dogs and cats)
Arthritis (rheumatoid) in several joints - see above - most common presenting sign
Skin disease - second most common presenting sign
Bilaterally symmetrical loss of hair and production of scurf (scale or dandruff)
Ulcerations and crusting form in severe cases - often affecting the ears, feet and head
High body temperature - does not respond to antibiotics, does respond to corticosteroids (present in over 50% of cases)
Inappetance
Anaemia - causes lethargy. Positive Coombs test.
Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count - less than 50,000 per cubic mm - present in about 30% of cases) - may lead to haemorrhages
Neutropenia - low white cell count (neutrophils) (present in up to 50% of cases)
Kidney disease - glomerulonephritis (in about 25% of cases) - protein leaks into urine.
Weight loss
High total serum protein

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Complications
Multiple organ system involvement is common and this can make diagnosis difficult.


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Diagnosis
Diagnosis depends upon tests to identify the circulating antibodies, or antibody-antigen complexes that form and other tests specific to the organ involved ;


Adrenal gland

Adrenal insufficiency (Addisons disease)
Indirect immunofluorescence tests
Low blood cortisol concentrations (below 35 nmol/l)
Low plasma sodium concentration (less than 135 mmol/l)
High plasma potassium concentration (over 5.5 mmol/l)
High blood calcium concentrations (in about 50% of cases)
High blood urea and creatinine (about 75% of cases)
Poor ACTH stimulation test
Histopathological examination of adrenal biopsy
Blood

Autoimmune haemolytic anaemia
Coombes test positive
Autoimmune thrombocytopenia
low platelet count (less than 40,000/cubic mm)
Sometimes prolonged ACT (activated coagulation time)
Immunofluorescence tests
ELISA test
Musculoskeletal system
Myasthenia gravis
Immediate response to therapy with 0.1-1.0 mg edrophonium chloride (an anti-cholinesterase drug)
Rheumatoid arthritis - diagnosis is difficult
Rheumatoid Arthirtis (RA) factors may be present on serology - titre needs to be 1:16 or higher
Synovial fluid examination - white blood cell counts exceed 3,000/ cubic mm and can be very high.
Histopathological examination of synovial membrane biopsies.
Radiological findings :
Loss of joint space (due to loss of articular cartilage)
Soft tissue swelling
Radiolucent areas in subchondral bone - typical findings
Other secondary changes eg DJD, ankylosis, luxation
Multiple organ systems
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
Positive ANA assay test - low titres may be present in NORMAL dog serum - so care is needed in interpretation.The titre should be higher than 1:100.
Positive LE cell preparation
Thyroid

Lymphocytic thyroiditis
Clinical signs
Low thyroid hormone (thyroxine - T4) concentrations in the blood
Histopathological examination of thyroid biopsy
Detection of antithyroglobulin antibodies in plasma

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Treatment
Treatment depends upon the organs involved . The aim is usually to reduce the immune response, however it should be remembered that this will also reduce the animals resistance to infection, so secondary complications may occur.

Adrenal gland

Addisons disease
Emergency treatment to replace fluids and electrolytes
Long term treat with mineralocorticoids eg fludrocortisone acetate at 0.1mg/kg body weight per day AND glucocorticoids eg prednisolone at 0.1-0.3mg/kg body weight per day
Blood

Autoimmune haemolytic anaemia
Immunosuppressive drugs eg
High dose corticosteroids - prednisone or prednisolone at 2mg/kg body weight twice daily by mouth
Cyclophosphamide - in acute, severe cases - 1.5-2.5mg/kg body weight daily by mouth
Blood transfusion - may be beneficial but controversial as haemolysis (disruption of the red cells) may occur
Removal of the spleen (splenectomy)
Treat any primary cause eg remove drug therapy if it is a drug-induced problem
Autoimmune thrombocytopenia
Immunosuppressive drugs :
High dose corticosteroids (see above)
Vincristine - 0.01-0.025mg/kg body weight intravenously every 7 days until platelet counts are normal
Cyclophosphamide - in severe cases - see above
Blood transfusion - severe cases
Splenectomy - if recurrent or non-responsive
Treat any primary cause eg drug-induced problem
Musculoskeletal system

Myasthenia gravis
Cholinesterase inhibitors eg pyridostigmine bromide at 10-60mg three times daily
Corticosteroids eg prednisone at 2-3mg/kg body weight per day
Rheumatoid arthritis
Aspirin - for its anti-inflammatory/analgesic effects - but not if SLE or thrombocytopenia are present
High dose corticosteroids (with/without aspirin) - see above
Cytotoxic drugs :
Azathioprine - 2mg/kg body weight daily or on alternate days or in combination with cyclophosphamide
Cyclophosphamide - 2 mg/kg body weight daily for 4 days per week
Gold salt therapy - 1mg.kg body weight of sodium aurothiomalate every week
Systemic lupus erythematosus - see below
Enteropathic arthritis
Polyarthritis associated with inflammatory bowel disease has been reported to occur in dogs
Multiple organ autoimmune disease

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
High dose corticosteroids - see above
Azathioprine - for long term treatment
Cyclophosphamide - see above
Vincristine - if thrombocytopenia is present - see above
Skin

Bullous autoimmune skin diseases
Drugs to suppress the immune response. Combinations of these are often given together :
Corticosteroids - eg prednisone or prednisolone 1-2mg/kg body weight by mouth twice daily
Cytotoxic drugs
azathioprine 2mg/kg body weight daily or on alternate days OR
cyclophosphamide 2 mg/kg body weight daily for 4 days per week
Gold salt therapy - 1mg.kg body weight of sodium aurothiomalate every week
Megestrol acetate (cats only)
Avoid exposure to sunlight (cases of pemphigus erythematosus)
Thyroid

Lymphocytic thyroiditis
Synthetic thyroid hormone (T4) replacement therapy

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Prognosis
In autoimmune diseases the prognosis is always guarded with only fair to poor chances of long term survival without treatment. However some respond well to therapy. Some examples are:

Autoimmune thrombocytopenia - prognosis is good if treated aggressively
Bullous autoimmune skin diseases - can often go into remission and be controlled with drugs.
Canine hypothyroidism due to lymphocytic thyroiditis can often be controlled well with thyroid hormone replacement therapy
Myasthenia gravis - prognosis is guarded. Some can undergo remission and be controlled, others progress and die
Systemic lupus erythematosis - prognosis is fair
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: Autoimmune disorder in cats - advice needed!

taken from http://www.paws-and-effect.com/html/pawsandeffect9.html

medical advice from two kitty cats and their mummy:

My cat has autoimmune disease; what can I do to help?

Dear Sinéad and Siouxsie,
My kitten, Phantom, has been suffering from sores on one of his back feet. I took him to the vet and he was put on antibiotics, but those didn't work and the sores spread to his other back foot. So I took Phantom back to the vet, who kept him overnight and gave him some cortisone shots to bring the swelling down. I just got Phantom back from the vet today, and the vet told me he thinks Phantom has autoimmune disease. He put Phantom on all sorts of medications and said he might have to come back for more cortisone shots later. I have two questions for you.
First, they took blood from him, and when I got him home I noticed his neck was shaved. Do they take it from the neck? This seemed odd to me that his neck was shaved, since it's his two BACK FEET that are hurt.
Also, the vet said autoimmune disease is rare for a cat but that's what it appears he has. I know nothing about autoimmune disease, so any info you could give me on that I would soooo greatly appreciate it.
Thanks,
Phantom's Mommy

Sinéad: Oh, Phantom, you poor little bipkie. What a horrible thing to have to go through as a teeny tiny little kitten!

Siouxsie: We wish we could be there licking and grooming you and helping you feel better, but we figure that helping your mama help you get better is the next best thing we could do.

Sinéad: First of all, we'll give you a tiny bit of info about the immune system. The immune system is the body's defense against germs and other invaders. Normally, the immune system works just fine and kills germs before they make you sick. But sometimes, the immune system gets sick.

Siouxsie: There are two ways the immune system gets sick. First, sometimes the immune system gets too weak to fight off germs. This happens when cats get FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) or FeLV (feline leukemia virus). These viruses hurt the white blood cells, which are our germ fighting cells, and make the body unable to fend off infections and cancers.

Sinéad: Another way the immune system gets sick is that it forgets what it's supposed to fight off and starts overreacting to normal materials in the environment or starts attacking the body's own natural cells. This is what's called autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases are things like allergies, skin rashes, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.

Siouxsie: That sounds pretty yucky, huh?

JaneA: Many vets will prescribe a bunch of different medications for autoimmune disease problems that mask the symptoms of the disease, including cortisone shots to reduce the swelling, antibiotics to fight off infections, and possibly medicine for pain. But there are many other vets who say this is the worst thing you can do for a cat with autoimmune system disease. By masking the surface symptoms of the problem, they say, you are only driving the disease into deeper body systems and producing worse problems down the road.

Sinéad: Oh, Blessed Bast! Poor little Phantom . . . We've got to do something for him. We don't want him to get really, really sick! Mama, there's got to be something Phantom's mama can do to help him. Please?

JaneA: Actually, there is something that can help. First, you have to know that many reputable veterinarians are noticing that autoimmune disease in on the rise in cats (and dogs, too, by the way). Many of these vets have noticed that there's a correlation between the increase in autoimmune disease and the increase in the number of vaccinations our animal companions are getting. In other words, overvaccination is increasingly seen as a key cause of immune system problems in animals (and human children, too, by the way!).

Siouxsie: I always knew there was a good reason I hate Shots!

JaneA: I don't like Shots, either, Siouxsie. And I try to make sure you and Sinéad get as few Shots as possible. The three-in-one type vaccines are seen as the worst culprits. I found an interesting article on cat vaccinations at holisticat.com, which certainly provides food for thought on the benefits and risks of vaccinations. Believe me, I'm not saying you shouldn't immunize your cats! I'm saying, be aware of the benefits and risks, talk with your veterinarian, and get informed about vaccinations and issues around them.

Sinéad: Yes, please do get informed. It's very important. I know that whenever I get Shots, I get sick for days afterwards, and I hate it! But Mama helps me feel better by giving me herbs and things that make me stronger.

JaneA: Also, cats are very sensitive to stress and to chemicals in the environment. Their immune systems are much more easily triggered than ours. So if they're eating low-grade commercial cat food with lots of preservatives and artificial colors, if there are chemical air fresheners, exhaust, cigarette smoke, carpet cleaners, smelly cat litter, and the like, it can cause cats' immune systems to be overloaded, and autoimmune disease can result. So if you have a cat that suffers from autoimmune disease, keep the chemical burden in your environment to an absolute minimum. Throw away those plug-in air fresheners. Use natural carpet cleaner/deodorizers like plain baking soda. Don't smoke indoors--I stopped smoking inside because Sinéad and Siouxsie sneezed and coughed whenever I lit up. Use odor-free cat litter. Put your cat's food in glass or ceramic dishes rather than plastic ones. Use "free and clear" laundry detergents and avoid smelly fabric softeners and dryer sheets. Avoid chemical bug sprays and flea preventatives whenever possible.

Siouxsie: We're lucky our mama has always been good about that stuff. She doesn't like stinky stuff in her house, either. And we're glad Mama doesn't smoke inside anymore, even though we wish she'd stop smoking entirely! I mean, really! Who wants to inhale burning leaf smoke? What's that about?

JaneA: Hey, at least I don't eat live rodents and lick my butt! But that brings up another suggestion. If your cat suffers from autoimmune disease, it's crucial that you feed your cat the highest possible quality food. You may even consider making your own cat food. If you make your own food, don't do it on your own. You have to be extra careful about making sure your cat's nutritional needs are met if you're making cat food. There's a great book, Natural Health for Dogs and Cats by Richard H. Pitcairn, DVM, that has lots of good natural recipes specifically designed to meet cats' nutritional needs. Dr. Pitcairn is not just a veterinarian; he's a well-respected veterinary immunologist and practitioner of alternative health care for animals. I highly recommend this book to you, Phantom's Mommy. Not only does it have the recipes, but it has good information on alternative health care methods that can help Phantom get healthier.

Sinéad: Yeah. We like the recipes in Dr. Pitcairn's book! Except for the egg one.

Siouxsie: We hate eggs!

Sinéad: They're cold and slimy and yucky, and we won't eat them!
JaneA: I know, I know. Have I tried to feed you eggs since the Egg Recipe Experiment? And that was six years ago. Jeez, you guys really know how to hold a grudge.

Siouxsie: Oh, come on, Mama. We're sorry. We know it was a mistake. How were you to know that we hate eggs?

Sinéad: And it's true, you haven't tried to feed us eggs since then.

JaneA: Another important thing for you to do, Phantom's Mommy, is to get a second opinion about Phantom's treatment. It sounds like your vet is going really drug-heavy, and I'm concerned that all those drugs are going to do more to hurt Phantom than help him in the long run. I'd highly recommend finding an alternative practitioner--a veterinary homeopath, herbalist, or naturopath--who can help you use natural foods and remedies to strengthen Phantom's immune system and undo the damage from the drugs he's already gotten. I don't know where you live, or if there are any alternative vets in your area. But I urge you to find one if at all possible. If not, get Dr. Pitcairn's book and a copy of The New Natural Cat by Anitra Frazier, read them through, and learn how to use their methods of diet, homeopathy, etc., to support and supplement the veterinary care Phantom is already getting. If you can only afford one of these books, go with Dr. Pitcairn first. Herbalist Juliet de Barclay-Levi also wrote a good book on herbal medicine and nutrition for dogs and cats, but I'd classify that book as more "advanced" reading, while Pitcairn is a good place to start.

Siouxsie: Even I can read Pitcairn's book. And it has nice pictures, too.

JaneA: Definitely find out if your current vet is sympathetic to the "less is more" philosophy of drug use and how he feels about alternative health care and natural diets. If he pooh-poohs you, I recommend you find another vet. In the meantime, I'll give you some websites where I found articles about autoimmune disease in cats:
The Holisticat.com article I mentioned above
Vetinfo4cats.com article on allergies and autoimmune disease
A good article on Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, another type of immune system disorder
An article on Autoimmune Disease in Dogs (this article has a good synopsis of how the immune system works, which will be helpful for cat people, too)
A story of one cat's experience with immune system disease and Interferon as a treatment (beware the annoying MIDI file that auto-plays when you open the page!)
The LiveJournal community PetCare could be a good resource for you, too. There are at least a couple of vets who are members of this community.
Oh, and about the blood drawing? Usually the vet draws blood from the forearm of a cat, but since Phantom is so tiny, they may have had to draw blood from his neck to get a vein big enough to poke.
Good luck, and all the best to you and Phantom. Please let me know if there's anything else I can do to help.

Sinéad: Me too!

Siouxsie: Me too, too!

Sinéad: Since we've just had a huge, long discussion about how chemicals are bad for cats, it only seems logical that we should include a letter from another reader regarding last week's tip for using dryer sheets to get extra fur off your kitty.

Got a question? Need some advice? E-mail Sinéad and Siouxsie at advice@paws-and-effect.com. None of the advice in this column is meant to be a substitute for regular veterinary care.
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: Autoimmune disorder in cats - advice needed!

i wonder if the haze has anything to do with coco's condition?

the skin on her neck has crusted.. her ears have a yeast infection inside.. the outside of her ears have a raw itchy crust. her gums are swollen and some of her teeth have fallen out.

my very nice vet prescribed antibiotics and steroids twice. but she doesn't want to keep doing this because this only provides symptomatic relief and cannot cure the problem. in fact while suppressing uncomfortable symptoms, these medicines may actually further weaken the immune system. she has informed me that the disorder will not go away and can only be maintained.

there must be another course of action for coco!! she is already cranky to begin with..
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:16 PM
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Maneki Neko Maneki Neko is offline
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Default Re: Autoimmune disorder in cats - advice needed!

Dear Lynie,

I'm so sorry about Coco! I don't have any first-hand experience to share, nor specific hints, but I can send you in a couple of directions which may or may not be helpful...

I don't know what vet you normally use, but you might try getting in touch with Dr. Jon at the Ampang clinic. (I think his PF ID is Pandorasbox something or other.) He mentioned in a message to me that he has had good results for various ailments using alternative therapies.

Also, Alicia wrote on the Pet Epicure blog a while back that she had hosted a session with a woman who does Reiki healing for cats. The woman works as a team with her husband, who is a retired vet. You can probably get more info on that by looking back through the blog posts or calling Alicia.

Can any of these alternative therapies help? Who knows, but at least they are unlikely to do any harm, unlike the pharmaceuticals over extended times. How frustrating, trying to deal with such a nebulous problem! Best of luck to you and Coco...
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: Autoimmune disorder in cats - advice needed!

Dear Lynie,

I'm so sorry about Coco! I don't have any first-hand experience to share, nor specific hints, but I can send you in a couple of directions which may or may not be helpful...

I don't know what vet you normally use, but you might try getting in touch with Dr. Jon at the Ampang clinic. (I think his PF ID is Pandorasbox something or other.) He mentioned in a message to me that he has had good results for various ailments using alternative therapies.

Also, Alicia wrote on the Pet Epicure blog a while back that she had hosted a session with a woman who does Reiki healing for cats. The woman works as a team with her husband, who is a retired vet. You can probably get more info on that by looking back through the blog posts or calling Alicia.

Can any of these alternative therapies help? Who knows, but at least they are unlikely to do any harm, unlike the pharmaceuticals over extended times. How frustrating, trying to deal with such a nebulous problem! Best of luck to you and Coco...
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: Autoimmune disorder in cats - advice needed!

yes i know dr jon. he has treated my pets on many occasions but nowadays he doesn't come to their clinic branch in hartamas. i'll try to get in touch with him. i guess alternative therapies are the only way to go..

i thought of finding her a home without so many animals.. stress is a contributing factor to autoimmune disorders and i think she has been especially stressed since i began fostering molly and conan.. but no one is adopting molly and conan.. and coco, being a persian mix, would be much easier to find a home for. but then i realized that a new environment would also be stressful for her. i also don't relish the idea of being separated from any of my pets.
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:10 PM
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Default Autoimmune disorder in cats - advice needed!

Hi!! Lynie,why don't u try Reiki with Alicia?? It works on my Peterpan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lynielime View Post
yes i know dr jon. he has treated my pets on many occasions but nowadays he doesn't come to their clinic branch in hartamas. i'll try to get in touch with him. i guess alternative therapies are the only way to go..

i thought of finding her a home without so many animals.. stress is a contributing factor to autoimmune disorders and i think she has been especially stressed since i began fostering molly and conan.. but no one is adopting molly and conan.. and coco, being a persian mix, would be much easier to find a home for. but then i realized that a new environment would also be stressful for her. i also don't relish the idea of being separated from any of my pets.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:08 PM
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Default Re: Autoimmune disorder in cats - advice needed!

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Originally Posted by lynielime View Post
yes i know dr jon. he has treated my pets on many occasions but nowadays he doesn't come to their clinic branch in hartamas. i'll try to get in touch with him. i guess alternative therapies are the only way to go..

i thought of finding her a home without so many animals.. stress is a contributing factor to autoimmune disorders and i think she has been especially stressed since i began fostering molly and conan.. but no one is adopting molly and conan.. and coco, being a persian mix, would be much easier to find a home for. but then i realized that a new environment would also be stressful for her. i also don't relish the idea of being separated from any of my pets.
I dun have first hand experience with my pets regarding to autoimmune.. But I do have first hand experience in human.. Yes, I , myself have autoimmune disorder myself.. But in human, which I believe, the same with the animals, has a vast variety of it.. Some may be deadly...some may not.. As for me, mine is not deadly as my autoimmune loves to attack my hair follicle which makes the hair fall and started to leave bald patches on my head.. I was on steroid before... that is the only solution to it... Orally and direct injection to the spots... I remembered I used to get more than 3 injections of steroid when I was treated last year..

As per using steroid (tho my doc did not specifically announced this tho I asked several times, running away from the type of pills he is giving me )..I know it was steroid as my face bloated tho my body not..THen after awhile.. The steroid began to show its bad part where it eats up 2 of my toe nails.. I end up without any toe nails before ( which I was so damn freak out that I wont be having any)..Now, I am okay.. Now, I stopped the treatment as I am okay now.. as usual as normal, having great hair like others.. But then, I hav eto be careful to remind doctors that treat me afterwards that I have Alopecia Areata..which their antibiotic may harm me if it is too strong..as now my immune system already attacking my parts of body.. It goes away.. No steroids and my face back to normal..

As my cousin, she lost her battle to autoimmune also..Hers was deadly as the autoimmune attacks the white blood cells of hers or more known as LUPUS...

Some of you may think it is inherit..but it is not as until now..my doctor or any other doctors cannot tell why it is happening... My doc just said 1:1000 people has it and sorry to say..you are the one of one thousand...

So..as for your cat.. try to verify which autoimmune and which part it is attacking.. Ask your vet over and over again... Maybe consult more than 1 vet.. Get those who are serious in saving pets life..

As for my advise...your cat is unlucky..so dun make it be unlucky the rest of his/her life..
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:06 AM
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Default Re: Autoimmune disorder in cats - advice needed!

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Hi!! Lynie,why don't u try Reiki with Alicia?? It works on my Peterpan.
hi june! i'm actually not sure what reiki is.. can you give me a brief description?
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:08 AM
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Default Re: Autoimmune disorder in cats - advice needed!

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Originally Posted by nurkasih View Post
I dun have first hand experience with my pets regarding to autoimmune.. But I do have first hand experience in human.. Yes, I , myself have autoimmune disorder myself.. But in human, which I believe, the same with the animals, has a vast variety of it.. Some may be deadly...some may not.. As for me, mine is not deadly as my autoimmune loves to attack my hair follicle which makes the hair fall and started to leave bald patches on my head.. I was on steroid before... that is the only solution to it... Orally and direct injection to the spots... I remembered I used to get more than 3 injections of steroid when I was treated last year..

As per using steroid (tho my doc did not specifically announced this tho I asked several times, running away from the type of pills he is giving me )..I know it was steroid as my face bloated tho my body not..THen after awhile.. The steroid began to show its bad part where it eats up 2 of my toe nails.. I end up without any toe nails before ( which I was so damn freak out that I wont be having any)..Now, I am okay.. Now, I stopped the treatment as I am okay now.. as usual as normal, having great hair like others.. But then, I hav eto be careful to remind doctors that treat me afterwards that I have Alopecia Areata..which their antibiotic may harm me if it is too strong..as now my immune system already attacking my parts of body.. It goes away.. No steroids and my face back to normal..

As my cousin, she lost her battle to autoimmune also..Hers was deadly as the autoimmune attacks the white blood cells of hers or more known as LUPUS...

Some of you may think it is inherit..but it is not as until now..my doctor or any other doctors cannot tell why it is happening... My doc just said 1:1000 people has it and sorry to say..you are the one of one thousand...

So..as for your cat.. try to verify which autoimmune and which part it is attacking.. Ask your vet over and over again... Maybe consult more than 1 vet.. Get those who are serious in saving pets life..

As for my advise...your cat is unlucky..so dun make it be unlucky the rest of his/her life..
yeah poor coco is very unlucky.. and the whole situation is especially unfortunate for her because she is not a very happy kitty to begin with. she has some major emotional issues.. and now this..

so, with your autoimmune disorder, you also couldn't have symptomatic treatment longterm right.. so what are you doing now to maintain your wellbeing?
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:33 AM
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Default Re: Autoimmune disorder in cats - advice needed!

Lynie, I am so sorry to hear about Coco.

The use of steroids (i.e prednisolone) in human is not only for symptomatic relief but also for maintenance and control of auto-immune disorder. (I guess it applies for cats too?).

Coco's condition sounds more like inflammation of tissue and allergies, skins, treatment of antibiotic and steroids (prednisolone) are to cover two possible bacterial and also auto-immune caused inflammation.
Did the vet prescribed any anti-histamine? It can calm and reduce itchiness.
Are her organs (blood, kidney, liver ...) involved?

In human (I believe cats too), autoimmune is normally controlled and managed using steroid. Once the symptons improved or condition is no longer active (remission), its dosage will be tapered down to the lowest possible as maintenance dosage.

Also, it is very possible that the condition will go under remission with proper management.

Lynie, don't worry too much. Cat can sense when human is worried, and they in turn will worry too! (Stress/worry is a big trigger to autoimmune condition!)
Always remember, Cats are very resilient animal, they've got 9 lives!

{{{hugs}}}
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:51 AM
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Default Re: Autoimmune disorder in cats - advice needed!

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Originally Posted by sillylupie View Post
Lynie, I am so sorry to hear about Coco.

The use of steroids (i.e prednisolone) in human is not only for symptomatic relief but also for maintenance and control of auto-immune disorder. (I guess it applies for cats too?).

Coco's condition sounds more like inflammation of tissue and allergies, skins, treatment of antibiotic and steroids (prednisolone) are to cover two possible bacterial and also auto-immune caused inflammation.
Did the vet prescribed any anti-histamine? It can calm and reduce itchiness.
Are her organs (blood, kidney, liver ...) involved?

In human (I believe cats too), autoimmune is normally controlled and managed using steroid. Once the symptons improved or condition is no longer active (remission), its dosage will be tapered down to the lowest possible as maintenance dosage.

Also, it is very possible that the condition will go under remission with proper management.

Lynie, don't worry too much. Cat can sense when human is worried, and they in turn will worry too! (Stress/worry is a big trigger to autoimmune condition!)
Always remember, Cats are very resilient animal, they've got 9 lives!

{{{hugs}}}
hello!
yeah my vet gave antibiotics and steroids and stuff to help with coco's itchiness and swelling.. also got some topical ointment to apply on the scaly, crusty parts. can't do anything about the lost teeth though.. just try to prevent more from falling out..

the problem with the steroids though is that taken long-term, they can cause kidney and liver damage.. and weaken the immune system more. i really don't want this to happen.. it sucks!! i can't win!! also, giving coco medication is a nightmare. she is not like my other pets at all.. she is an aggressive, ill-tempered kitty.. very difficult to handle and she is not afraid to hurt you, well me... hahaaha. i'm afraid she's going to rip out one of my eyeballs soon, or i may lose a finger or two.

i'm not sure about her organs.. we have to do more testing.. i'll try not to stress, hopefully she will go into remission. how do i build up madame cranky's immune system and keep her calm and happy? its difficult with 5 other cats in the house right now and 3 dogs.. she hates them all.
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:46 AM
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Default Re: Autoimmune disorder in cats - advice needed!

Me? Six months strict treatment and I am fine now..without any steroid needed.. But only God knows what will happen next.. If my mum is like you, thinking of the possibilty/effects that you dun know whether it will attack your cat or not..I dun think I am well rite now..

Give it a shot tho.. Treat one by one.. And dun give her up...She is just unlucky.. I think that is the best way for the situation rite now...

AS for administering med.. give her some sort of promise.. like what I did with my kitties.. I put on the table, the B complex vitamin which they love most.. Give him one before administering the pills, then wrap him up tightly in with a towel.. then... grab his head to open up his mouth and put the pill as far as possible so that the bubbles will not come out... After that, give him water... Finally, I du forget to treat him the vitamin that I promise him... And the administering will be easier and easier by time..

I dun mean to be harsh..if you love your kitty..try your best.. There's always a way... She will be well soon... AS I said..not all autoimmune is deadly ... and every human body or animals body will react differently to the steroid.. So forget about the long time effect now, focus on the things happening NOW... and then when she is well..try to cut the med one by one... I dun think your vet would suggest she will be on pills for the rest of her life ait?..
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:58 AM
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Default Re: Autoimmune disorder in cats - advice needed!

well thing is, my vet is also reluctant to prescribe anymore steroids and antibiotics. she doesn't think they will be good for coco. that's why now i'm looking into alternative holistic methods.. she has improved a little already so now we want to maintain this. but how?
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: Autoimmune disorder in cats - advice needed!

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well thing is, my vet is also reluctant to prescribe anymore steroids and antibiotics. she doesn't think they will be good for coco. that's why now i'm looking into alternative holistic methods.. she has improved a little already so now we want to maintain this. but how?
http://www.longlifepetsupplements.co...-treatment.php

Try read that..they give alterbative to it also..
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:32 PM
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Default Re: Autoimmune disorder in cats - advice needed!

thanks! i will definitely look for this type of natural, herbal supplement!!
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:04 PM
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Default Autoimmune disorder in cats - advice needed!

Hi!! Lynie,Reiki does not involve with any medication.it is more like transfering aura/energy from one human to the other which applicable to animals as well. From what I understand from Alicia,not animals/human have positive aura.Those with positive aura have more chances to heal. For more explanation maybe you can talk to Alicia.

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hi june! i'm actually not sure what reiki is.. can you give me a brief description?
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:59 PM
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Default Re: Autoimmune disorder in cats - advice needed!

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Originally Posted by lynielime View Post
well thing is, my vet is also reluctant to prescribe anymore steroids and antibiotics. she doesn't think they will be good for coco. that's why now i'm looking into alternative holistic methods.. she has improved a little already so now we want to maintain this. but how?
Being a autoimmune person myself, I'd say, steroid is very, very, very important to control an autoimmune disorder. It works to get symptoms under control. Once symptoms has subsided or improved, steroid dosage will be tapered slowly.

Autoimmune can adversely affect kidney, liver, lungs in a very short period of time, so the long term side-effects of steroids are not the primary concern!
Steroid is a very potent and life-saving drug, although like many drug, is not without side-effects.

BTW, is your vet certain of Coco's autoimmune diagnosis?

I've read that "cats" are pretty resistant to side-effects of steroids (aka preds...), pls check out the link below, I've also copied and paste the text for your easy reading!

http://www.vetinfo.com/ceffect.html

------

Long term use of cortisones

Question: Dear Dr. Mike,

Two years ago, I wrote to you regarding our cat, Equus. We adopted he and his brother from a no-kill shelter at 11 weeks. They were healthy (except for a tendancy to be overweight) but did have some problems with their teeth (our vet called it 'sheltermouth' -- teeth not developing properly in stray kittens due to lack of nutrients).

At 4 years of age, our vet decided to pull teeth. Equus had all of his back teeth pulled. Over the next 4 months, he lost 7lbs. The vet was flummoxed. Then, he began to vomit profusely. Two days later, I woke up in the middle of the night to find him curled on my legs -- burning hot. He was weak and lethargic. I took his temperature and it was 106!! I panicked and called the vet. I ended up on the phone with the vet for 30 minutes while I held Equus, wrapped in freezing cold, wet towels.

For two months, Equus faded away. We tried everything, to no avail. Finally, our vet thought he found Hemobartenella in his blood smears and we started treating. He sent the blood to the U. of Colorado for testing. It came back negative. At our wits end and fairly sure we were going to lose our beloved boy, we agreed to let them do exploratory surgery. They took stomach lining sample and finally were able to diagnose Equus with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (although it was a difficult case to diagnose, even after staring at Equus' insides.)

Equus is doing well now -- though, he still has bouts of vomiting from time to time. We are fairly a well-oiled machine in dealing with it. A week of prednisone and he is back to normal. And here is my only question: long-term prednisone? Can we expect Equus to live a long life (barring any other health-problems)? Or, does long-term low-dose predinisone usually affect the liver too extensively?
Anyway. I thought I would let you know how helpful you were during this panicked and seeminly hopeless time. And, if it helps, here are Equus' symptoms and our treatment machine, just in case anyone out there is dealing with something similar. There is hope!

Weight Loss Depression Vomitting -- regurgitation, in our case. Constipation, sometimes with blood (irritation related) High Fever (only happened once)

*Equus eats probably 7 times a day, we feed him whenever he shows interest. He eats pretty well. We have him on Limited Diets Canned Rabbit. He will instantly regurgitate anything else.

*We are very careful not to leave any other food out that he can get into. Once in awhile, he gets into things anyway (this cat is a genius and a junkfood addict). This last flair-up was brought on by a piece of barbecue chicken wing he got out of the very bottom of the trash.

*We bought a water-fountain style cat water dish with a filter in it. He has had less frequent flair-ups, though he still does have them about every 3 months.

*We keep their box immaculately clean. This also seems to help for some reason.

*During a flair-up, he gets half a 5mg prednisone two times a day for 5 days, and then one time a day for 5 days. He also gets a quarter tab of tagamet in the morning.

Anyway, again -- thank you, so much. I cannot tell you how distraught we were when I last wrote. We have a happy home again.

Always Fondly, Stephanie

Answer: Stephanie-

I am glad that Equus' problems are under control. You have worked hard to make that happen and Equus is fortunate that you choose to adopt him.

Cats are pretty resistant to the side effects normally associated with prednisone usage in humans and dogs but can develop clinical signs of hyperadrenocorticism, such as hairloss, increased drinking and urinating, pendulous appearing abdomen, with continuous use of corticosteroids over a long time span. This usually happens when using long acting injectable corticosteroids at frequent intervals, though. Dogs are much more prone to developing "iatrogenic", or medically induced hyperadrenocorticism, due to cortisone administration.

Liver problems associated with cortisones are also not reported as often in cats as often as they are in dogs and liver problems severe enough to be life threatening are rare even in dogs. There are elevations in serum alkaline phosphatase (SAP) associated with the use of cortisones. Since this enzyme is also elevated in liver disease, there is the mistaken impression that the cortisones cause liver damage frequently. There is a similar impression that kidney damage may be occurring due to increased drinking and urinating. Both impressions are false. Actual liver damage from corticosteroids does happen but it does not happen frequently.

To sum this up, cats are pretty resistant to the side effects of cortisones. If you can successfully use oral prednisone to control the inflammatory bowel disease and you can use it in a "pulse" treatment manner, as you describe, it is very unlikely that Equus will suffer long term problems from the corticosteroid. Even long term use of prednisone on an every other day basis (NOT daily) in cats is unlikely to cause clinical signs of hyperadrenocorticism or liver damage. There is an increased tendency to develop diabetes with long term alternate day use of prednisone in cats, though. So try to stick with the occasional therapy (pulse therapy) approach that you are currently employing for as long as possible.
You have a good relationship with your vets, so I am sure that they will keep you informed of any changes that worry them, such as hairloss or a more pendulous look to Equus' abdomen, and you should do the same.

Mike Richards, DVM 4/28/2000

--------

In short, if it is really autoimmune, I personally think that steroid is the way to control ...

{{{{hugs}}}}} to Coco, what a character gal!
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Old 07-22-2009, 08:13 PM
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Default Re: Autoimmune disorder in cats - advice needed!

sounds good!
well you're right that the steroids work.. she definitely has responded to them. i suppose if she's only taking them whenever she has a system breakdown she should be fine right.. so far she only has taken them for a week at a time, half a steroid tablet once a day, and one antibiotic tablet twice a day. after each week is over we bring her back to the vet for a checkup and she has shown some improvement. when this current breakdown is over, we will stop. i suppose, then i can maintain her health and strengthen her body with vitamins and immune boosters.

thanks so much for the advice from everyone. i do feel better and i hope coco will soon too.
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