Don’t Waste Time with Meat Diets & Supplements. Get a Diagnosis & Save Your Cats’ Lives

Question:

When my 5-year old sibling cats had a dental cleaning, the vet performed blood tests.  The results indicated less than 50% of normal red blood cell count for one and low normal for the other. He suggested feeding them some red meat. I also have been putting drops the vet prescribed, to prevent anemia, on their food. Both are feisty, active, well-adjusted and affectionate cats. I don’t want to subject them to more blood work, but do not know if their red blood count is normal.

 

Dr. Nichol:
Even pets who appear normal can have serious disease smoldering beneath the surface. Your cats are anemic (low red blood cell numbers) for important reasons. But unless you feed them cardboard or wood chips, it isn’t due to their diet. To protect their health you need a veterinarian who will tackle the problem. Right now you’re only guessing.

 

Have them tested for feline leukemia and feline AIDS. These viruses are passed by mutual grooming and bite wounds, as well as shared food bowls and litter pans. Your girls also need a serum chemistry profile and urinalysis to check for chronic disease of the kidneys, liver and other internal organs. Blood parasites, hormone imbalances, or toxins like lead poisoning could also be responsible. A bone marrow biopsy may be necessary to find out if they’re making enough red blood cells.

 

Some of these possibilities are curable, others only manageable. It’s hard to think of your beloved cats as having a life threatening disease. But if you stay in denial (avoiding blood tests and trying to fix it with meat and supplements) you are sure to lose them both. Be brave and go for it.