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What Causes High White Blood Cells, Low Energy, and Breathing Issues in Cats?


Dear VetBabble: My Cat Has High White Blood Cells, Low Energy, and Breathing Issues – What Could Be the Cause?

Hello! You mentioned that your 7-month-old female Turkish Angora cat has had extensive bloodwork and tests, leading to the discovery of high white blood cells and an infection in her red blood cells. She’s on antibiotics and nutrition drops, but she still lacks energy, has breathing issues, and has been soiling herself. You’re looking for possible thoughts on her condition to help her get better, and we’re here for you. Let’s discuss some potential reasons for her symptoms and the importance of thorough diagnostic testing.

Why Bloodwork and Tests Are Important

Diagnosing a cat’s ailment can be complex, and the more information we have, the better we can determine the root cause and recommend the appropriate treatment. Bloodwork can be particularly useful in identifying health issues and can give us clues about potential causes of symptoms. You can read more about the importance of bloodwork for dogs and cats here. It’s important to know precisely what tests have been done for your cat, including urinalysis, radiographs, and cultures. Having the actual test results or as much information as possible about these tests at hand can be very helpful for further examination and diagnosis.

Potential Causes of Your Cat’s Symptoms

High white blood cells can be an indication of an infection or inflammation somewhere in the body. Although the source of the infection might not be clear, we’ll discuss some common areas where infections can occur and lead to the symptoms you’ve mentioned.

1. Respiratory Infections

One potential cause of your cat’s symptoms could be a respiratory infection. This could partially explain her breathing issues and low energy. Infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi, and antibiotics might not always be the most effective treatment. You can learn more about respiratory infections in cats here.

2. Urinary Tract Infections

Another possible cause of her symptoms could be a urinary tract infection, which may be accompanied by blood in the urine. If your cat has an infection in her urinary tract or bladder, it could be impeding her ability to use the litter box and lead to her soiling herself. More information about blood in your cat’s urine can be found here.

3. Kidney Disease

While less common in younger cats, kidney disease can be another reason for high white blood cell count, lower energy, and difficulty using the litter box. You can learn more about kidney disease in cats here.

Next Steps for Your Cat’s Treatment

We recommend consulting with a veterinarian to discuss your cat’s case in more detail, taking into account her specific test results to help determine the best course of action. They may suggest additional testing or adjustments in her treatment plan based on her bloodwork, test findings, and symptoms. Please be ready to provide as much information as you can, including the specific name of the antibiotic she’s on and how long she’s been taking it. We hope that this information helps guide you in the right direction for your cat’s care so that she can start feeling better soon.

Best wishes, and take care of your kitty!

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