When one young sibling is ill, will the other sibling get infected? This depends on the diagnosis. Recently I encountered two cases of sibling illness. One case was of two male ragdoll cats, 11 months old.
The other case was not under my care but the owner, being my wife's ex-classmate phoned me for a second opinion as she was worried that the living 6-month old Golden Retriever X, now healthy might suffer from the same disease. This would be written in Sibling Illness 3 - The Vomiting Golden Retriever X
"My wife consulted Vet 1 and Vet 2 for 4 times in the past 2 weeks, but the cat continued vomiting. We told the vets that the cat was not putting on weight compared to his sibling." He consulted Dr Jason who took a blood test and gave the necessary IV drip. The cat died overnight. I saw the owner the next day. He appeared upset and so, being the Practice Manager which is equivalent to the KEO or licensee, I spoke to Dr Jason as to what was going on. Dr Jason said that the owner thanked him and was not unhappy. This is the type of emotional situation where a blood test gave clues to the cause of illness and satisfy the owner.
BLOOD TEST OF RAGDOLL 1.
Date Mar 4, 2011 (date of admission to Toa Payoh Vets).
Urea 16.9 (7.2 - 10.8)
Creatinine 83 (71-160)
SGPT/ALT 91 (<121)
SGOT/AST 214 (<67)
Haemoglobin 6.6 (8 - 15)
PCV 0.21 (0.24 - 0.45)
Platelets 152 (300 - 800)
The cat was recumbent. 2.5 ml of blood was taken from the femoral vein and put into 3 tubes for laboratory analysis. With the blood results, Dr Jason had supporting clues as to why the cat had died and the owner was satisfied and his unhappiness was "why the other vet did not take blood test".
His questions to me today, Mar 17, 2011 when I met him again while his 2nd cat had been treated by Dr Vanessa for constipation and 6 days of hospitalisation earlier for fever (very high white cell count) were as follows:
1. Why didn't the vets take a blood test? He said it could be that the cat was treated by different vets in the practice.
2. Would the first deceased cat be saved if a blood test was taken earlier?
3. What was the cause of the illness, leading to weight loss compared to his sibling? Both lived in a house, had freedom to roam, fed canned food and given dry food unrestricted.
I took out his case sheet for the Ragdoll 1 to review the case and asked him more history. This required time and so time is seldom available for most vets.
"Did your first cat prey on lizards and cockroaches?" I asked since the 2nd cat treated for a high fever had a very high white cell count.