Sphynx Cat with URI and FLUTD and Lameness

by Isna Mostert
(South Africa)

Electron micrograph of the feline calicivirus (FCV) - Picture in public domain - user Joelmills

I have two Sphynxes. First I took my cat, Seth, to the vet because he had difficulty walking on his front leg. After X-rays and a full blood count the vet could not find anything wrong except that the vet mentioned that he had a low (scientific word) count which they picked up in the blood count and it could be because he had an infection in his bone?.... OK.

They gave me medication, some antibiotics, as well as tablets for pain and inflammation.

After a week all was well and Seth's attitude was back to normal. Just before Christmas last year, Phantom (my other Sphynx) suddenly had a swollen eye, almost the size of a ghoony.

We took Phantom to the vet and they gave us an ointment, which helped for the swelling but the puss kept on coming.

About another week after this both Seth and Phantom had eyes that had puss, the third eyelids were pink and they still are.

Phantom started sneezing quite a lot.. Once again my babies went to the vet. The vet gave us Synulox and Maxitrol.

It has been 3 weeks. The Synulox helped just for a week and the symptoms came back after the antibiotic. Now both Seth and Phantom are on eco-immune just to boost their immune systems.

In the meanwhile Seth developed swollen, VERY, VERY sore and tender tarsals. Seth is very stiff in the legs and is grumpy, hissing and growling letting us know - PLEASE do NOT touch...

It seems like he does not want to walk. Yesterday afternoon I watched him do his thing in the litter box (number 2) and you could hear him struggling to pass..(if you get my drift).

I have done some studying as I have not had any real answers from our vet and I fear the worst - Feline Leukemia?

Please, I need some advice on what to ask the vet or rather tell him what to do at our next visit which will be this weekend.

Help - Desperate


Hi Isna... Thanks for asking. I am very sorry to hear of the health problems of Seth and Phantom.

I'll try and answer this by (a) looking at the symptoms and treatments for feline leukemia and (b) looking at alternatives based on the symptoms described.

Feline Leukemia: the symptoms are unspecific.

Also see Adoptable FeLV cats for more info about the disease.

I am not sure that your cats' symptoms are those of feline leukemia. But as mentioned the symptoms for this virus are unspecific. The symptoms described are somewhat general (URI - Upper Respiratory Infection and FLUTD - Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease). Blood tests can be carried out

As you know there are two blood tests, one of which can be carried out at your veterinarian's clinic.

Conclusion: blood tests are required. I am not sure if the blood test referred to included a ELISA and IFA test. The latter is carried out after bone marrow is infected, which the vet thinks is the case. Is this test being carried out?

There is no cure for FeLV. An alternative is FCV.

In addition to respiratory disease, Feline calicivirus (FCV) can cause inflammation in the joints, which results in lameness. It is highly infectious.

This squares with Seth's tender legs. This problem points to FCV. Apparently, the majority of cats recover from FCV.

Tests include a serologic blood tests (a blood test to detect the presence of antibodies against a microorganism).

I hope this helps.

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Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

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