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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2008, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Worried

My brother's girlfriend's kitten may have Feline Leukemia (FeLV), the vet thinks that is what it is and has run tests that will be back soon. Ziggy has started eating his litter, drinking a lot, not eating much and having less energy. his blood count was extremely low. They are devastated I don't know where he got it, unless he's had it since birth, he was from a shelter that should have vaccinated him against it.

My main worry though is for my own cats safety. They have met Ziggy 2-3 times, once he stayed for the weekend. They never groomed each other but did play including biting although no skin was broken that I saw. How worried should I be?

please keep Ziggy in your thoughts/prayers and please hope that he has something with a better prognosis.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2008, 11:49 PM
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Re: Worried

Oh, bless that poor kitty. He will probably have a good few years, if he's well taken care of. Of course, he'll have to be isolated from other cats. We took in a stray who had been getting in the house and eating my cats' food. I took him to be neutered, and discovered he had feline leukemia. All of my cats (4 at the time) were tested, and all were OK. We found a home for the "Bandit." I would get your cats tested also, just to be sure, if the test comes back positive. My prayers are with all the kitties.




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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-07-2008, 01:29 AM
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Re: Worried

~Siameseifuplz~-
First of all, relax.....chances are that your own cats are just fine. It has been shown that the cats who are most "at risk" of contracting FeLV are kittens and very young cats. Most cats will develop a natural immunity to FeLV during this period, only a few will actually contract it. Adult cats appear to do well against exposure. (That's been borne out by experience of others on CatForum.)

Now, while I do realize that there may be waaaaay more to the story than the little you've been able to provide (and I say that without any criticism), the little you've related gives me cause to suggest to you that you recommend that your brother's girlfriend gets an immediate second opinion from a competent feline Veterinarian. The symptoms you've described are of anemia - anemia is life threatening and MUST be treated - yesterday!

This issue of waiting for test results for FeLV????? The standard FeLV test (which is quite reliable because it tests for the virus itself, not antibodies) produces a result in minutes....so, why are people waiting for test results???

I'd also suggest that you recommend she joins up here at CatForum - that way she can get direct help and support.

IF it turns out that Ziggy has FeLV, there are specialized support groups who can help your brother's girlfriend with treatment options. Please pass this along, and for sure, should the current Vet recommend euthanasia, ensure that she understands there may very well be other treatment options....most Vet's initial response to FeLV, unfortunately, is to recommend euthanasia. (Sad commentary on the state of Vet medecine, I would say!)
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-07-2008, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Worried

Thank you for your replies. The vet actually did give them some sort of medicine, my brother does not know what it's for though, I'd have to ask his girlfriend. He said that the medicine has helped, it's probably treating the anemia right? i don't know what's up with the tests, they don't know for sure if it's FeLV but they took blood and tested the blood count, the vet said he thought it was FeLV or possibly some kind of anemia not caused by FeLV. I don't know what's up, I'll need to actually speak with his girlfriend, my brother isn't the best listener.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-07-2008, 04:59 PM
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Re: Worried

Fingers and paws crossed here for you. It's impossible not to worry when anything is wrong with our little ones.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-07-2008, 07:40 PM
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Re: Worried

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Siameseifuplz~
...I don't know what's up, I'll need to actually speak with his girlfriend, my brother isn't the best listener.
You know, if you'd like some help for this cat, you need to get the "girlfriend" on here, so she can relate directly "what's up".

Providing health related information/personal experience/advice on Internet forums is inherently difficult at the best of times (i.e. when the parent/owner is relating information first-hand). The use of a third party introduces all kinds of other difficulties/dangers.....and, it's unbelievably stressful to anyone trying to help who can relate directly (from painful personal experience) to the sick kitty.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-07-2008, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Worried

I'm sorry, I don't mean to frustrate you. I don't know the girlfriend all that well, I'm 16 and she's 22 so we don't talk over the phone or anything. I have not seen her since Ziggy became ill, if she visits I will ask her more.
My brother came home today, they are awaiting the FeLV results, I told him what you said about the test being a quick one that only take a few minutes and he said the vet said it will take 10 days. they have Ziggy on three medications, one is an injection. Along with eating litter he had been licking cement and the vet said it was because of an iron deficiency.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-07-2008, 08:56 PM
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Re: Worried

Stryker is correct that there is a test for feline leukemia that gives results in minutes. Most vets call it the SNAP test or ELISA. 1/3 of cats that contact feline leukemia will be able to throw the virus, 1/3 will carry the virus but never become symptomatic and the last third will become ill because of the virus. The majority of healthy adult cats will be able to throw the virus even when exposed, especially if they have been vaccinate. I belong to an on-line feline leukemia group. The people on that group are extremely helpful with options to help keep FeLV+ cats healthy and what to do if a cat is symptomatic. The most important things are high quality food and low-stress environment.
Three of my cats are FeLV+. We have been fighting anemia in one of them, Buzz, since mid-summer. You have to aggressively fight it if you want your cat to live. Buzzy is currently on Prednisolone, Doxycycline and Leukeran. His red blood cell levels were up to normal at one point but I suspect we backed off of the Prednisolone too fast, and his levels went back down.
My other two FeLV+ cats are not symptomatic. Orlando is 10 and Tweezer is 2.
The other thing to think of is that feline leukemia is not the only reason for a cat to be anemic. If it is feline leukemia, though there is plenty of support out there. I don't think I am allowed to post the link to the feline leukemia group I belong to here?? At any rate it is easy to find if you Google FeLV talk.

Sue



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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2008, 04:31 AM
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Re: Worried

katlover13-
Posting Yahoo/other support groups links is fine here - it's the posting of other cat discussion forums ("competitive" sites) that's frowned upon. Please do post your group's link.

~Siameseifuplz~-
No need to apologize! However, I can't state my case for getting her on here any stronger. I'll let you figure that one out. Perhaps print out this thread and pass it along to your brother.

The plain facts are that all Vets are not "created equal"....are not sufficiently knowledgeable about anything feline that goes beyone everyday, run-of-the-mill "stuff". Difficult to diagnose cases, chronic conditions and the like often require extra work by the Vet: research, networking etc etc....these are things that are most often "non-bill-able" to the client, and so, not worth the Vet's time and effort. That's often why, when a cat is diagnosed with FeLV or CRF, the recommendation is so often, eithanasia. Pathetic!

As katlover13 said, anemia can have a number of causes, including "unknown". It takes a competent, ethical Vet to stick with the diagnostic trail. Frankly, however, I just don't "get" the waiting period for the FeLV test. I'm already very suspicious of that Vet....with the caveats of realizing I don't know the balance of the story - and, that the cat is being medicated.

As well, that process may very well be expensive...and, that may (unfortunately) be a consideration for your brother.

Now that you have a "heads up" about the possibility of a recommendation for euthanasia with a FeLV diagnosis, I suggest you forewarn your brother. Sometimes that diagnosis is "couched" by Vets in such absolutely awful terms, that the parent/owner is made to feel guilty if it is not accepted. The undisputed facts are that many kitties can, with appropriate treatment, go on to live happy lives.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-2008, 08:20 AM
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Re: Worried

The feline leukemia group I belong to is simply called feline leukemia talk. You can sign up with the group using this address:
http://felineleukemia.org/mailman/listi ... ukemia.org
It works through e-mail. The people on the group are very helpful and supportive. Many seem to have researched feline leukemia and have more information then then most vets have. They have been so much help to me. I believe Buzz is alive now because of the help they gave me when he first got sick.

Sue



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