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Old 11-29-2007, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
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Oy, it's been a bad week for my mother's cats! First Jasmine goes missing for 5 days (home safe now, thank goodness), and then her tabby ends up in the hospital. He's had this weird head "tic" since he was a kitten, but it started getting much worse all of a sudden - he is just over a year old, fyi. Along with that, he developed a lump on his cheek, and the hair around his cheek & nose was falling out.

So my mom rushed him to the vet, where he's spent the last two nights... thankfully he tested negative for leukemia & cancer (they did a biopsy), but the toxoplasmosis test came back "inconclusive." They're treating him with antibiotics & anti-fungals, if I remember correctly, and want to see if that will help. They believe the lump was a swollen gland, and might have been pressing against a nerve - thus causing the head tic. Does anyone here know about toxoplasmosis, or anything else that could explain his condition? I think a few vet techs (or vets?) post here, so any professional advice would be especially helpful! Poor Simon...
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Old 11-29-2007, 09:51 AM
 
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Never heard of it, but here are some links:

Toxoplasmosis: Fact Sheet | CDC Parasitic Diseases

Toxoplasmosis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Interior AK
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Toxoplamosis in cats does not normally carry any symptoms and the parasite infection usually goes away on it's own. A severe infection may cause some brain damage and/or blindness, and occasionally some swollen lymph nodes while fighting the infection.

It is possible that the lump & hair loss on the snout is due to a dental abscess. If a cat has excessive plaque & tartar build up or has broken or chipped a tooth, they do tend to get abscesses easily. The increase in his tic could be because of a toothache. If it is an abcess the antibiotics should help, but they would still need to do some dentistry to repair or remove the infected tooth.

Also, cats can have epilepsy - either congenital or due to head trauma. So that may also be a cause for his tic (i.e a very mild seizure).

I'm not a vet, but I've had and taken care of several sick kitties in my time. I would definitely have your mother get the cat's teeth checked before giving up. Good luck!
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
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Thanks for the info! And I must correct myself... I meant to say "swollen lymph nodes" rather than swollen glands, which would explain the suspicion of toxoplasmosis. As for his teeth, he is a very young cat (just over a year), so it seems unlikely that he'd have tartar build-up already. But I'll mention it anyway, in case the vet hasn't checked that. Will keep you updated!
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Old 11-29-2007, 11:01 PM
 
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What I do know about this is if a cat has Toxoplasmosis and a pregnant woman deals with the little box or stool in any form her baby can be seriously affected. I have a friend whose daughter was pregnant and this happened to her. The baby was born deformed and with many problems. She was never able to care for herself in any way, not feed herself, control her bodily functions, nothing. She required total care and died in her teens.
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Old 11-30-2007, 04:45 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
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That's really sad, broken crayola. But I've actually read that the risk is fairly low (from cat waste), and you're more at risk from tainted meats... so while pregnant women should avoid cleaning a pan, they shouldn't be too paranoid about it! And according to the research I've done, they now have a treatment for toxoplasmosis in pregnant women.

Toxoplasmosis in Cats
MedlinePlus: Toxoplasmosis
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Old 07-29-2011, 11:41 AM
 
Location: East Boston, MA
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I know this thread is 4 years old, but I figured that since the subject matter is the same, it can't hurt to concentrate it.

Does anyone have any experience with Toxoplasmosis recovery in a cat?

My parents took their 2 year old Bengal to the emergency room last Sunday with what they thought was heat stroke. She was disoriented and weak (went limp when Dad picked her up) and breathing irregularly.

The vet hooked her to fluids and did a series of tests, she didn't think it was heat stroke. Even though the test initially came back negative, the Vet believed it was a Toxoplasmosis infection. The symptoms made sense, blindness, lethargy, sensitivity, weakness, etc. She's been on antibiotics and a number of other medications since Monday. Now, the vet said she may always be blind (she can see shadows, but not much else) and if her eyesight recovers at all, it won't be wonderful.

Right now, the cat is at my parents' house. She is being treated with a number of different medication (antibiotics for infection, steroids for brain swelling, etc). According to my father, she has made slight progress (a little more strength, better appetite, occasionally cleaning herself, etc) but it has been slow. Has anyone had experience with treating a cat for Toxoplasmosis? How long before you started seeing results? The Vet said 3-5 days and if there is no improvement after that, it may be something else (in the case of this cat, they believe it could be a parasite in the brain which is fatal). While there has been improvement, my parents are concerned that much of the improvement could come from being home (she spent 3 nights at the Vet), adjusting to her new blindness, and relaxing more than she would be in a cage at the vet and not so much medical improvement. I guess they're taking her for a follow up tonight, so that should be telling. I'm just curious as to whether or not anyone has had experience with this?
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:32 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
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i have no experience with toxoplasmosis......

just wanted to wish your parents and their kitty well..... and a speedy recovery.....

please keep us posted on progress......
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Old 07-29-2011, 04:02 PM
 
Location: East Boston, MA
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Thanks! I'm visiting them for the weekend and the cat is curled up right next to me right now being super affectionate.
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Old 07-29-2011, 06:18 PM
 
2,873 posts, read 5,363,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
Thanks! I'm visiting them for the weekend and the cat is curled up right next to me right now being super affectionate.

As a vet tech, I knew two cats that were infected with toxo bad enough to show symptoms. One was a young kitten who experienced many of the same things you are describing, including blindness. Her sight did not return within a week, but her other symptoms did resolve- as your vet noted, if the blindness doesn't resolve fairly quickly, it isn't likely to. This kitten adjusted very well to her blindness- to the point where when her sight DID return some 6 months later, her owners didn't notice any difference! We only realized she was visual on a routine exam.

The other cat is not a very happy story. The cat presented to a different hospital with a fever and weakness, and was diagnosed with toxo. Two days later the cat presented to us as an emergency for SEVERE behavioral changes. The toxo had infected the brain, and the cat savaged both owners. I ended up being badly bitten to the point I had to go to the hospital. Basically, he went from being a normal house pet to something out a horror movie- I've never seen anything like it.

Please keep in mind that while toxo can infect the brain, such cases are VERY rare. Most cats will be infected with toxo at some point in their lives, and it rarely causes more than a mild fever. In most cases where the symptoms are more severe, the cat will make a recovery.

To those worried about pregnancy and toxo- toxo cysts are only active in the litterbox after 24 hours have passed because they have to hatch. So if you wear gloves and changes the litter every day, the risk is vanishingly small. The greatest risk of becoming infected occurs while gardening of all things- toxo is present in soil, and from eating undercooked food. Also, toxo is only a risk if the very first time you catch it is during pregnancy, but most humans are already infected.

If worst comes to worst and your parent's cat does not regain her vision, reassure her that most cats adjust just fine and she'll be okay. Cats don't spend a lot of time worrying about what they've lost- they just get on with living!
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