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Discussion Starter #1
well, today as i was getting ready to leave work i went outside to check on my crew - bring a late afternoon snack to tide them over til supper - i saw a cat leaving one of my feeding stations. i had seen this one only once before, about two months ago.

today after seeing me he only went about 15 feet an laid down under my car. after a few minutes he slowly walked off towards the path that leads to the cats houses and just laid down. i didn't find it too strange given the fact that today was well into the 90s with oppressive humidity, all my crew were pretty much avoiding any movement. he let me get to within 10 feet of him and i could see that his eyes were totally caked/snotted up. well, even though i had something to do i knew that i needed to try and get this one now.

surprisingly, even though he had a big meal before i knew he was there i was able to catch him within an hour. i got him to the hospital and unfortunately he has a raging upper respiratory infection and is, to quote the vet, "wicked FIV+". i am having him treated with fluids and antibiotics. once he (hopefully) starts to respond we can make a better call on what to do.

i am hoping that once/if he feels better and we can get a better take on how feral he is and it will turn out that he is not too feral, this way i can possibly place him for socialization. the hospital does not release + ferals for return, not wanting a spread of disease, so i told them i would take him in.

i am unable to take him myself right now, so, once i have let my local animal control officer know the deal, will return him if i can not find anyone to socialize him.

please keep your fingers crossed for "spotty"
 

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So glad Spotty is getting help.
I've never been in this situation, but can imagine what you're going through - lots of stress and uncertainty, not to mention vet bills. There have been a few ragged-looking cats that show up at my barn colony from time to time, but none has ever stayed long enough to assess or catch.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
thanks for the warm wishes, it is appreciated.

no news as of yet. they should be calling me tonight to give me an update on his condition but the vet thought that if we were going to see improvement it wouldn't be until monday. in the meantime i am just trying to keep positive thoughts, i figure that a guy like him, not having been a member of a colony that was maintained, is a real strong guy since he made it this far.
 

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Any news, Whaler?

Yesterday while I was sitting quietly in a corner of the barn watching the ferals eat, a big orange cat I'd never seen before came out of the shadows. My cats obviously knew him and let him eat. However, he was moving with difficulty and I thought, oh no, here we go. I set a trap for him, but no results yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
we hopefully have a happy ending for spotty.

monday morning i spoke with my animal control officer and she went to the hospital and explained to one of the vets that is quite "feral friendly" how i already have a FIV+ in my colony and that i do take good care of them and look out for issues. the vet said that he can be released into my care while he gets better and then i can do as i see fit.

i went to visit him monday night and while he is clearly not feeling well he has not taken any steps backwards. a tech brought him into a room and he didn't try to get up, he seemed reasonably comfortable as i was petting him. also, one hopefully good sign is that the tech told me "he likes to eat". at least even though he isn't feeling well he still has a huge appetite. obviously since we are dealing with both bacterial and viral issues he is not out of the woods yet but i will go with a glass half full way of thinking.

he is still at the hospital and he has been receiving clavamox as well as an antibiotic gel for his eyes. he has been docile enough that the techs are able to give him his meds without any assistance.

today is the big day, i recruited my mother to foster him and she will be picking him up today. depending on how things go he will be back at the vet in two weeks to get his vaccines and then get altered. after all of that we will try and determine what to do with him. if, as he gets better, he reverts to a more "true feral" i will reintroduce him to my crew. i am guessing that after having been at the hospital for four days and then at my moms for at least a few weeks he will remain at least a bit docile. from there, if he seems strong he can stay at my mothers and live there. the only bad thing would be that since she has moderate allergies he would be an indoor/outdoor cat. my parents do live at the end of a dead end road that is on the edge of a large track of woods so there is no traffic and over the years they have only had one cat that might have been lost to a predator. last possibility is if his health is still a little sketchy i will try to work something out so he can remain indoors exclusively - not sure how, but i will make something happen.


once again, thanks for the kind wishes.

Greenport - good luck getting this new one, i will keep my other fingers crossed for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
a little update on spotty.

i have not seen him since he got to my parents house, they live about a half hour drive and i have not had time to make it over there yet. hoping to be able to visit him this weekend.

my mother reports that he seems to be feeling a bit better. he has only hissed a couple of times and just meowed to my mom yesterday, she said that he now knows that she is the "feeder". he has even allowed them to pet him while he is eating.

he has been eating like a pig. when i spoke to my mom last night around 8:00 he had already eaten 2 5.5 oz cans and another half of a small can, and he still had his bedtime snack to go! he has not been picky about food at all. with him being FIV + i had my mom pick up only high quality foods like wellness and evo. she bought a bunch of different flavors and he has eaten every bit, even cleaning the sides of his dish. the vet weighed him the day he was discharged and he tipped the scales at 13 lbs, but i think that when/if he gets back to a healthy state he should be more in the 16 lb range, he is one big boy.

she has been giving him his clavamox about a half hour after eating. she puts it in pill pockets and he wolfs them right down. the eye meds were a little bit tricky. they were not able to give him his first dose, he was struggling hard - not attacking, just trying like crazy to avoid it. we called the vet to give them a heads up that if they are still unable to get the meds in his eyes we would either bring him back to stay at the vet until his eye meds were finished or, if possible my mom would drive him to the vets twice a day to have them administer it. fortunately that evening they were able to do it. once he went to his food my father got him in a blanket and my mom got him his meds. his eyes have improved, at least they look better than they did even a day ago, and they look a million times better than when i trapped him.

another good sign is that he has been spending a good bit of time grooming himself, he certainly had not been doing that for a while before i trapped him.

my moms camera is pretty crappy, but here is a pic -



 

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He's a handsome boy! Do you know how old he is?

You and your parents are awesome for spending the time and money to help Spotty!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
He's a handsome boy! Do you know how old he is?
i think he he is a good looking boy as well, the pic does not do him justice. the initial vet(s) that saw him did not note any age estimate but the tech that i spoke to when i went to see him this past monday guesstimated around four. but it is hard to tell with a feral cat.

You and your parents are awesome for spending the time and money to help Spotty!!!!
thanks very much. the initial costs weren't that much, about $300 including meds, which i gladly spent on him. i have a rule, if a cat ventures into the area of my colony then he/she is my responsibility. my parents have the short end of the stick financially, they are buying all his food. my mom told me that yesterday between all his meals he ate over 18 oz of canned food, all of it either merrick, evo or wellness. my folks may go broke just trying to feed the big boy!



some more positive signs - he has been doing a lot of "power stretching" as he has been getting plenty of good quality sleep, and my parents have discovered that he enjoys the chin rub very much.

on the negative side - while his eyes are much better than they were last saturday when i trapped him, they still are not great. i kind of wonder if he hasn't suffered at least some degree of permanent loss of vision.
 

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What a handsome tuxy! How great your parents are that they let you enlist them to help.

Just curious why your going to vaccinate him if he already has FIV and a compromised immune system? Have you thought of retesting incase it could have been a faulty first test? Since your colony already has FIV, you must know alot of ins and outs of this. I was wondering your opinions. (Im not criticizing.)
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
What a handsome tuxy! How great your parents are that they let you enlist them to help.

honestly, it wasn't all that hard to get them to foster. they have spent some time with me at my colony just hanging out with my crew (even feeding treats out of their hands to the two that are a little less feral). they also just lost their cat (RIP Rocky) about four months back, so this is a perfect fit.

Just curious why your going to vaccinate him if he already has FIV and a compromised immune system? Have you thought of retesting incase it could have been a faulty first test? Since your colony already has FIV, you must know alot of ins and outs of this. I was wondering your opinions. (Im not criticizing.)
once he (hopefully) is back to full speed i am going to have a western blot run on him to confirm the result of the snap test.

as far as vaccines, he will receive rabies vaccine as it is both state law and there has been an outbreak of rabies here. he may get a MLV combo, depending on what is going to happen to him. i am hoping that, seeing as how quickly my parents are falling for him (my mom said that my father is in the room with him all the time :)) and how he is quickly adjusting, they will wind up keeping him so there would not really be any need. if he does end up having to return to the colony i will weigh the options and make a decision at that time.

also, if it ends up that he has had any vision loss i will make sure that he does not have to return to the colony. i am figuring that if that is the case i will have no trouble convincing my parents to keep him.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Oh, a very handsome tuxedo...I have a thing for black and whites.

He is getting great care and it's cool he's responding to your parents so well.
yeah, i told my mom that she should consider going back to school, it looks like she would make a great vet tech :)

while i am always somewhat of a pessimist, i really do feel that this will end up with a great outcome for him.
 

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^
Good looking cat. He's eating, grooming, and they can pet him, hold him in a towel, and give him eye medicine!
Well, that sounds like a pretty tame cat to me!
He'll be a house cat in no time at all...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
^
Good looking cat. He's eating, grooming, and they can pet him, hold him in a towel, and give him eye medicine!
Well, that sounds like a pretty tame cat to me!
He'll be a house cat in no time at all...

yup, even though he has only been with my parents for a week they have really fallen for him, and he seems to have done the same. they now are brushing him for a while every day and he has started purring when they do it.

he had developed a large fluid filled lump on one side of his face and a smaller one on the other. also, when i was visiting him the sunday i thought that his abdomen seemed a little bloated. with everything that he has gone through i immediately worried that it could be FIP. no, he didn't really have any other symptoms of FIP, but i was worried nonetheless.

my parents brought him back to the vet the monday and the vet aspirated some of the fluid from his cheek. after examining the fluid she said that it was probably just yet another infection and changed him to a broad spectrum antibiotic. as far as his abdomen, she said that he has a large bladder (not a surprise, he is a BIG boy) and that was probably what i was noticing. she also checked out his eyes and said that they are much better, but he will need his eye meds for at least a couple more weeks.

he has gained a half pound (up to 13.5 lbs) in the six days since he left the hospital, not really a surprise since he has been eating over a pound of canned food every day.

he is going back at the end of next week so the vet can check everything again. hopefully he will continue to show improvement at the same rate that he has been.
 

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This is so awesome. I love when a cat gets a chance at a good life after it being so diffacult. Tell your parents we think they are great for helping this sweet guy. You are too BTW!!!
 

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Brushing? Wow, he really does sound tame. I'm jealous (the feral at my house will barely look at me, let alone let me near her or touch her).

He's definitely telling your parents the kind of life he wants.

As soon as he's over the sickness he'll be even more affectionate I'll bet.
 
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