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10 Year old cat diagnosed with FIV/FeLV

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Purrloin, Nov 5, 2012.


  1. Purrloin

    Purrloin PetForums Newbie

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    Hello all, apologies in advance for what will undoubtedly be a long read!

    I have a 10 year old tomcat who recently started exhibiting some very strange behaviour. I thought it might be his eyesight because he had an eye infection about 2 months ago which made him a little clumsy (but it cleared up within a week following treatment and he was back to normal), but this was a bit more extreme; wandering around the house pretty aimlessly, walking towards the hinged side of doors, unwilling to jump onto/off things etc. And the days leading up to when we went to the vets he was off his food, which was completely out of character.
    So I took him to the vets and following an overnight stay and numerous tests I got the horrible news that he has both Feline Leukaemia and AIDS. The vet did say that cats can live for years with these conditions, but if they get into a bad spell, sometimes they'll simply go downhill and never come out of it. Not what I wanted to hear.

    The vet gave me some anti-inflammatories to make him feel a bit better and get him to eat some food, and when we got him home he was back to his old self. Very active, purring like an engine, eating everything we put in front of him, all positive signs! But the last few days have been a nightmare. He seems to be extremely disorientated because he's just plodding around the house, going to areas he never usually goes and pressing his head against the wall. He won't jump anywhere, even onto the sofa which was his favourite sleeping spot (I lifted him onto it and it took him around 5 minutes of groping with his paw over the edge before he actually got down, and even then he landed awkwardly), and he seems to be permanently uncomfortable as he's not purring, his claws are out and he's adopting positions he wouldn't normally. And he's off his food again. I left him a veritable kitty banquet - a bowl of Sheba, a bowl of crunchy food, a bowl of cut-up chicken fillet, and a bowl of water. Apart from sniffing the Sheba and licking it briefly, he hasn't touched any of it. He has always been a *big* meat eater, chicken especially. If he knew there was a scrap of chicken in the fridge he'd sit camped outside it until it was opened and he'd devour it, so for him to ignore it completely is very worrying.
    He always went out to go to the toilet as opposed to using a litter tray, and he'd always let us know when he wanted to go out by sitting at the door and ringing his "doorbell" (a newspaper he'd flick repeatedly), and regardless how long he was left in the house never went indoors. But I came downstairs the other morning to find a pool of urine on the kitchen floor, strangely odourless. I put him outside to see if it might jog his memory but he just sat there huddled up until I let him back in. And now any time I let him out, he goes to a spot next to the door and starts licking the ground!

    I admit I have pretty much no knowledge of FIV/FeLV, but from reading other peoples' experiences, for the most part when it occurred in their cats it was somewhat of a gradual decline over a period of months. But with my cat it was *literally* overnight. And he's always been as healthy as a horse. Neutered and vaccinated when he was young, and in 10 years only needed to visit the vet's twice - an infected paw in 2009 and the more recent eye infection. He used to sometimes vomit up his food but that was due to him eating too much too fast. He was always a tad overweight, not obese but very solid. He had lost a little bit of weight over the last year or so, but nothing noticeable and nothing out of the ordinary for a cat of his age. But in the last several days he's gone from healthy to skin and bones, and it's shocking to look at him.

    I was wondering if anyone else in the forum has gone through the same thing with their own moggies? Or from the symptoms above, does it sound like it could be something else? I don't want to second guess the vet but a decline of this magnitude in such a short space of time just seems bizarre. He's had all his blood work done and his kidney function is fine, had an x-ray and there's no bone damage, had a biopsy but nothing cancerous. So apart from perhaps getting a second opinion I can't think of anything else. Any responses would be appreciated!
     
  2. spid

    spid PetForums VIP

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    So sorry to hear about your cat :(

    I would imagine the vets are correct - the tests are accurate as far as I am aware. Cats are very capable of hiding pain and feeling poorly so maybe he has been ill for a while without showing it.

    However, don't despair - many, many cats live with these diseases for many,many years and in my experience vets do seem to state the worst. My cat has HCM and was given 6 weeks to live - that was three years ago and I reckon she will live to 21! SO take each day as at a time and enjoy your cat, don't look for problems just deal with them as they occur.
     
  3. Ianthi

    Ianthi PetForums VIP

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    Sorry to hear about your cat Purrloin however......

    I'm assuming the FeLV was diagnosed first on the basis of an in-house snap test ( ELISA) at the vets BUT has any further testing been mentioned since? Has the blood ever spoken about sending away for further tests, for instance? Given that the ELISA is prone to false positives I would never accept a definitive FeLV diagnosis on the back of one snap test alone so please discuss this with your vet now. As you can see I'm focusing on the FeLV because of the two this is the most ( potentially) serious of the two conditions even though both impair the immune system. Actually how recent was the initial testing done? It's not clear when exactly he last saw the vet or when other bloodtests were run. Which anti-inflammatory was he given? Was it Metacam?

    Now as to the current symptoms - have you looked at his eyes and if so do they appear normal and not saucer-like? Given what you've described I'm wondering about high blood pressure ( head pressing, disorientation etc ) and I would take him back straight away and have this checked, if only to rule it out. Another is kidney problems-he may have developed an infection, for instance since last tests-licking the concrete sounds to me as if he's anaemic ( again like BP, renal related) and this (renal issues) could certainly account for all you've mentioned here.

    Of course it's possible to have anaemia on its own (this can acually kill so needs treatment now) so I would have him tested for a blood parasite (Haemobartonella) which can cause Feline Infectious Anaemia for which FeLV ( which I hope he hasn't) is a risk factor. Pale gums are very suggestive of anaemia so do check.

    At any rate he need to see a vet asap! Let us know how you get on!
     
    #3 Ianthi, Nov 5, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  4. Purrloin

    Purrloin PetForums Newbie

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    Hi, thanks both for the replies!

    spid, that's great to hear about your cat, I hope my own has a similar lifespan ahead of him! My cat has always been pretty forward whenever he was uncomfortable, he's had no problem growling, hissing or swiping whenever he was the least bit agitated before anyway! I would like to think if he was in pain I would have spotted it before. However I had another cat, (female, 15) and in direct contrast to my tom she always kept to herself. It turned out she had arthritis for the best part of a year but never made so much as a squeak about it.

    Ianthi, sorry I was a bit sketchy on the timeframe as regards vet visits.

    Around the start of September I noticed his right eye was weeping quite a bit, and appeared slightly swollen, so I took him to the vet for this specifically, and to have a general checkup as well (as he hadn't been to the vet for over a year at that point). The vet weighed him, said everything appeared normal and prescribed an ointment for daily administering. I gave him this for about a week, and after it had cleared up he was back to his usual self. He was a bit restricted around this time because he had to wear one of those lampshade collars to prevent him rubbing his eyes. I brought his litter tray back out of mothballs but he refused to use it, so I just put the ointment in in the morning, and when his eye dried up towards the end of the day, I took the collar off and let him out to relieve himself. After a week or so it cleared up and he was back to normal.

    I had actually forgotten the litter tray was out, and I noticed around mid-October that he was sniffing around it and once started licking the litter in the tray. I put it away but caught him again sniffing around the bag of litter, trying to get into it. I know this is usually the sign of a deficiency, as this was the case with my old cat, but when I enquired with the vet (over the phone) she said to keep an eye on him but it was probably nothing to worry about. I put the bag away and after that he never seemed to pay much attention to where it was; he just acted/ate as normal.


    All was well up until Friday 26th October. He spent around 16 hours asleep which was out of character, but I thought he might just be tired.
    Saturday 27th, he got up and was very groggy, walking around the kitchen in small circles, just being listless etc. Still eating, but not as much as he usually would.
    Sunday 28th, very disorientated, wouldn't jump anywhere, ate a lot less and even turned his nose up at some roast beef (the Sunday roast is usually the highlight of his week). Also, found the pool of urine on the kitchen floor.
    Monday 29th, more of the same. Couldn't take him to the vet because it was a bank holiday.
    Tuesday 30th, took him to the vet. She weighed him and said he had dropped a massive amount since his last visit in September, and advised that we leave him overnight to let them perform tests on him.
    Wednesday 31st, got the results back. Hearing/vision not impaired. General health blood profile came back fine for kidney/renal functions, negative for anaemia etc. Performed an x-ray and no damage anywhere. Performed a biopsy on a small swelling (I noticed this myself but put it down to a bump when he was wearing the lampshade collar), which came back negative. Performed FIV/FeLV tests which both came back positive.

    However, brought him home Wednesday evening and he was bright as ever; eating, purring etc. Still a little unsteady on his feet, but he was sedated at the vet's so I figured that would be working its way out of his system.

    Thursday/Friday, ate very little but still appeared quite lucid.

    Saturday, I was at work until 6pm so he was on his own for most of the day. Came home and he sat up and meowed straight away, went to the door to be let out, came back in after around an hour and ate the sachet of food I gave him. Waited about an hour and gave him some chicken, he didn't eat all of it but still had a bit. He seemed fine after that, although not as active as he usually was. He was asleep on the sofa for a few hours, and when he got up and started looking around like he wasn't sure where he was, then got off the couch and went over to a corner of the room he wouldn't usually go to and sat there for a while.
    Plodded out to the dining room and I heard him heaving, so I knew I'd find some sick when I went into the room, but jeeze... If I hadn't been the only person in the house I would've sworn another person had done it! It was huge, and contained his undigested sachet food and the chicken and what I can only describe as a froth of some kind. What was most disturbing was that after he got sick, He just lay there with his face in it. I had to lift him out of it, clean the floor and clean him after. And this is a cat who is always fastidious about his appearance, so to see him sitting there with his paws and face covered in vomit was unpleasant.
    After that he was wandering here and there, the worst was when he squeezed himself between a wall and a bookcase, and seemed unable to back out (he never had any problem reversing out of tight spaces before), he just bunched up and scraped at the wall, and the only way for me to get him out was to pull him out by the tail!

    Sunday, didn't touch any food. I let him out for a while and it started raining. He always used to shelter under the shed until he was let in, but he just sat in the middle of a downpour, almost oblivious. I brought him in, dried him and put him to bed, where he started shivering frequently for the best part of an hour, then settled down.

    Today has been more of the same. I've been at home all day to keep an eye on him and all he's been doing is wandering back and forth. I let him out a few times but each time he went out he just stayed on the patio, licking the ground. I brought him down the garden in case he wanted to go to the toilet but he just sat there and plodded back up to the door. Then I was having a shower and I heard him do a long, low meeeeooowwww from the other room, and when I came out there was a puddle of urine again. I put him out again, and this time he did wander off for around half an hour. When I let him in I opened a new tray of food which he attacked with enthusiasm. Although after he was finished I could see that he had licked all the gravy but only ate maybe 1/3 of the actual meat.

    He has to go back to the vet's this week anyway in order to get a stitch out that they put in after the biopsy, and maybe for another prescription of anti-inflammatories. The name of it is Metacam, 0.5mg/ml.
    I was advised to either put it on his food or directly into his mouth via a syringe, and for the first day or two I put it onto his food, but when he stopped eating (all food, not just the medicated ones) I started putting it in orally, although it hasn't made much difference.

    Blood pressure was never brought up, so I'll have to mention that the next time I'm there. The last time I gave him his meds I checked his gums and they seemed to be as normal (also, the vet cleaned plaque off his teeth when he was there last week, so I'd think she would have noticed if they were off colour). Since this trouble has started, his pupils have been quite wide (although not "about-to-attack-something-saucer-wide") more often than not, when usually he has just the standard undilated pupils and bright yellow eyes.
    Since the diagnosis I've been reading about how those tests constantly show false positives, which I'm hoping might be the case.

    At the moment he's asleep under the radiator and actually looks to be comfortable, so I'll see what he's like when he wakes up. Thanks again for the responses!
     
  5. Sussexplumber

    Sussexplumber Banned

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    Sorry to hear about your cat. Would it be worth getting a second opinion elsewhere as another vet may give a different view?

    Hope things work out!
     
  6. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Purrloin, can I ask what your cat's stools are like? How frequent and what
    consistency? Bringing up so much food might suggest a blockage somewhere in the gut. Though gastrointestinal problems can be a symptom of FeLV....if
    that is the cause, then there must surely be a way of managing it -- perhaps through diet?

    Is he eating solids now, or just licking the gravy?

    It does seem as though all the strange symptoms came on very suddenly, am not sure if this is usual with FeLV ? (certainly not with FIV which develops slowly until the final stage) The disorientation, lethargy and urinating on the floor instead of in the litter tray might all possibly be suggestive of an infection, perhaps a UTI. Did the vet rule this out?

    It must be worrying for you, I sympathise with you, and your poor cat. I think I would want to get an opinion from another vet, and certainly have the IFA test done for FeLV.
     
  7. Littlerags

    Littlerags PetForums Junior

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    Hi Purrloin

    One thing that has sprung to my mind is whether you have ever had him tested for FIV or FeLV before? It's not something you would usually do without having a reason to, but if you haven't had him tested before, it could be that he has actually had FIV / FeLV all along. If you'd not tested you wouldn't have known. This may mean that your vets are just assuming that this is the problem, and have stopped looking for what actaully may be the problem (if that makes sense).

    I agree with the others that FIV / FeLV do not just appear.

    I also had a cat once who was tested and they said was positive for FIV, but it turned out (after lots of re-testing and sending bloods to the lab) that this in-house test was a false positive.

    I'm also thinking that some of his symptoms sound similar to my poor girl Abi who became quite quickly disorientated and wobbly on her legs. She also had a head tilt and was off her food, and slept a lot. After many tests and a referral to a specialist vets it transpired that she had a potassium deficiency.

    I'd definitely get a second opinion.

    Good luck :)
     
  8. Ianthi

    Ianthi PetForums VIP

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    Purrlion-thanks for clarifying the events! In your position I would take him straight back to the vets tomorrow.

    I'm assuming he was on IV fluids during his stay and this could certainly account for his improvement post-hospitalisation. Since you've not mentioned his drinking habits I'm assuming he wasn't drinking excessively etc and he's like most cats who derive most moisture from their food? So if he'd not been eating much then it sounds as if dehydration could have been likely. I feel it's unlikely they'd have missed something else which could account for this, like infection in bloodtests. Which makes me wonder why he's was precribed Metacam in the first place? Unless there were sign of inflammation? Pain?

    So...given his further deterioration since coming home combined with the fact he's not eating much at all ( or drinking? what are his current habits?) I'm seriously considering if there's a connection with the Metacam - I assume he's been having it daily since discharge-it's certainly not at all advisable to give it to an inappetent cat ( can cause digestive problems for one thing and more seriously renal ones) who is also most likely dehydrated. I would personally stop it for now-at least you need to rule this out as a possible cause of some of the symptoms and book a vet visit for tomorrow.
     
  9. Purrloin

    Purrloin PetForums Newbie

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    Sussexplumber, I've been seriously considering it based on what others have been saying, the only reason I haven't gone for one straight away is that the only other vet's is quite a distance away and I've been wondering if Sid (my cat's name, by the way!) would travel well.

    chillminx, I couldn't have told you what they were like because he always went to other areas outside our garden to defecate. His previous routine would be probably around twice a day, depending on what he ate/what the weather was like. But he's quite a private cat and when he was in the vet overnight he never went, despite the x-ray showing that there was one ready to go!
    But he was asleep on the couch earlier tonight in quite a deep, relaxed sleep, when all of a sudden he woke up and half-opened his mouth like a grin of some sort, wandered around for a minute or two, then went out to the hall and defecated. I was relieved to see that he had at least eaten enough food to produce a sample, and what I saw was quite standard - dark brown, solid with a *small* bit of semi-solid but still dark brown waste - no diarrhea and no blood (sorry to anyone eating!).
    Saturday was the only time he's vomited so far, and he hasn't vomited since thankfully, so hopefully no blockage. Over the course of today he ate around 1/2 a sachet but attacked the gravy with enthusiasm. We did a roast chicken for dinner and gave him a plate which he also ate.
    The vet never mentioned a UTI so I'll bring that up. I've been debating bringing back the litter tray, but as a test I put some litter in a box and he started making towards it like he wanted to eat it again so I put it away, at least until I've talked to the vet tomorrow.

    Littlerags, no never had him tested, and neither were his siblings or his mother. Actually he was the only surviving kitten of the litter, because his mother didn't know how to lift them by the scruff of their neck and ended up accidentally killing them :( So it's difficult to say if he had it from when he was a kitten or not, because the only reason he's been to the vets before was to get neutered and to get the usual vaccinations. Never had anything wrong with him so there was never any reason to have blood tests etc. done. So it could well be that he's had it since he was a kitten and the vet is just jumping to conclusions?
    It does sound similar to what your Abi had; he'd just sit on the floor and sway back and forth slightly like his equilibrium was off. And this is a cat who was literally less than a fortnight ago scampering across a rickety 8 foot high, 1" wide trellis with no issues! I'm really hoping it is a deficiency of some sort that might get rectified with a supplement of some kind.

    Ianthi, I'll be bringing him tomorrow evening after work (with a tiresome list of questions for the vet!) to hopefully get some clarification on some things.
    He could have been on an IV, I'm not 100% sure but a section of his arm was shaved so that might have been where it was put in? I know I must sound very careless but I was so shellshocked by the diagnosis that I wasn't really thinking straight!
    He was never a cat who drank much. Unlike my old cat, he hated milk and would seldom drink water. Sometimes in the Summer he would drink a bit more often, but *only* from a running tap, never from a saucer/bowl! However, this evening I decided to try him on a saucer of milk and to my surprise he lapped it up, so that has me wondering.
    The vet said the Metacam might make him feel better, like give him a bit of a boost and hopefully help get his appetite back, but I've been petting him and he hasn't exhibited any obvious signs of pain (he's the kind of cat that recoils/swipes if you hit a sore spot).
    For a few days after he came home I put the Metacam on his food, but when I saw he was essentially just licking the food I wondered if it was due to the taste and started administering it directly via the oral syringe. The bottle was emptied this morning so he won't be getting any more until at least after the vet's tomorrow evening.

    He seemed to be a lot more lucid today. Certainly not back to himself but not as doddery as he was previously. As I said above he ate about half of one sachet, a plate of chicken and drank a saucer of milk which was more than he had previously, but nowhere near what he should be eating in a regular day. And again, he did defecate indoors without making any indication he wanted to go outside, and for a while before he had gotten sluggish again. The strange thing is that he has flashes of lucidity and flashes of disorientation, he's not permanently in either state. Hopefully the vet will have some theories tomorrow.

    When you're quite close to your cat for such a long time and get so used to their personality it's really distressing to watch them essentially disappear over the course of 2-3 days, not just physically but mentally.
    That's him at the start of October, asleep and comfortable!
    [​IMG]
    And that's him from this evening, asleep again but his legs were askew and you can clearly see the weight loss from the contours on his back.
    [​IMG]

    Thanks all again for so many suggestions, I really hope it's something treatable and not as dire as I've been thinking it might be, fingers crossed anyway :)
     
  10. Purrloin

    Purrloin PetForums Newbie

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    Today was more of the same; sniffing around food but not eating a whole lot. Stuffed his head into an empty tin of tuna for a while so that was a bit of a positive I suppose :)

    Anyway, just home from the vets. She was quite thorough and addressed a lot of the issues I brought up. She said a false positive would be extremely unlikely due to the condition of his lymph nodes - she got me to feel them (under the hind legs, under the throat) and they were hard as rocks.

    She said the disorientation could be due to a combination of dehydration, lack of nutrients from food and indeed the Metacam on an empty stomach, so she advised me (as above) to stop the Metacam for the moment.
    There were no signs of anaemia because his gums and the inside of his eyelids are still a healthy shade of pink, no discolouration etc. I asked if there could be a potassium deficiency and she said that whilst it could be a possibility, it would rarely manifest itself in all the symptoms that he's exhibited.

    She did say it was uncommon for cats to develop such a sudden change in character (when other FIV/FeLV cats go on a gradual decline), but not unheard of that they suddenly feel completely under the weather. She said he could live quite happily(!) with FIV but when the FeLV flares up it's what drags the cat downward, and some do snap out of it but others just continue downhill until there's no choice left but to get them put down.

    I asked about the increase in energy he had the first day we brought him home and she said he wasn't on an IV during his stay, but that he was given an injection and that he probably just responded a lot better to a direct syringe as opposed to oral etc.

    So for the moment she's given me two things; a/d Feline Critical Care, which is described as "An extremely palatable, high protein, high calorie food to promote fast revocery of your pet.", which is something I can give him normally, but may have to syringe it orally if he's not interested. And Calo-Pet paste, a high calorie pet food supplement which can be smeared on his gums or if he likes it, he might just eat it as normal.
    She also gave him two injections to give him a similar boost like he had last week, and it was amusing to see him back to his old self as he made a swipe at her when she stuck it in :D

    She did say if the paste etc. are not successful that she will try a series of immuno-boosters, but the combination of high cost, and often high failure rate has that more of a last resort. So hopefully it won't come to that, but there is at least another road to go down. She's not the kind of vet to try things unnecessarily; she is the type to give the unvarnished truth which I prefer to false hope (admittedly not several years ago when she blatantly said my other cat needed to be put down), so the fact that she's still willing to try means there is a chance he'll pull through.

    He's in the kitchen now looking a little brighter, after eating a plate of chicken and gradually lapping up a saucer of Whiskas milk I bought earlier. I'll start him on the paste and the supplement later and hope for the best. Thanks all again for your suggestions, depending on how the next few days go I'll be back in the vets either at the weekend or early next week, so if you think I should ask anything else please do say, and fingers crossed in the meantime :)
     
  11. Littlerags

    Littlerags PetForums Junior

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    Hi Purrloin

    Firstly, thanks for the photos - he's a handsome chap! :001_wub:

    It sounds as though you have a good vet who has discussed everything with you and gone through all of your questions, which is great.

    I can say that from experience a/d is great for getting a disinterested cat to eat. I had that for my Abi in the past too. Sometimes, when I couldn't really get her to eat, I'd mix some a/d with some boiled warm water into more of a liquid so that she could lap it. It did seem to help her and they really don't need to eat much to get the nutrients etc. You may only need a spoon full at a time.

    Fingers crossed that he continues to eat and drink and that the new meds make him brighter. Keep us posted.
     
  12. Ianthi

    Ianthi PetForums VIP

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    A false positive of what exactly? FeLV or FIV or both? While her suspicions ( after all, in the absence of any firm diagnositic that's all they are at present) may turn out to be correct, it doesn't mean the ELISA test didn't throw up a false positive! You do need to run the IFA test to be absolutely sure and this would be my next step-you really need one way or another. For one thing, even though it's possible, I find it a bit odd he tested positive for both! My own hunch here, based on what you've told us is ( for what is't worth!) is that FIV is a far more plausible of the two!

    Lymph nodes can be swollen ( I know they are associated with FIV in some instances) for completely unrelated reasons also ie infection and although common with both immunosuppressive conditions, can obviously occur independently. Did she take his temperature? It does concern me ( Littlerags mentioned this earlier and it's a valid point ) that the vet is so convinced about the viruses, that other causes are not being investigated more thoroughly. Either way, even in confirmed cases of the above it's common to treat symptomatically so I wonder if he woudn't do a bit better if he were prescribed antibiotics. Also I do wonder why the Metacam was prescribed ( and the reasons for his initial good response ) and if it could be a case of infection as opposed to inflammation?

    You mentioned earlier he was vaccinated when younger? Did this include FeLV?

    At any rate I hope he's doing better now!
     
  13. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    I completely agree with Ianthi.

    As I said in my previous post, his symptoms, particularly as they came on quite suddenly, could well suggest an infection of some kind..
    Now you have also mentioned he has inflamed lymph nodes, this adds to my suspicions of an infection.

    I am surprised the vet has not prescribed antibiotics, as I would have thought that would have been the first resort in such a case. Could you maybe phone the vet and ask her why she feels antibiotics are not indicated?
     
  14. Purrloin

    Purrloin PetForums Newbie

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    Ianthi/chillminx, I meant to say I did ask her why she didn't think prescribing antibiotics would have any effect, because I found that odd myself. She said that due to the fact that both FIV and FeLV are retroviruses they are immune to antibiotics. And because he hadn't exhibited symptoms of any specific infection, prescribing a general antibiotic would most likely have no effect, as well as the fact that it could do him damage due to how weak he was from lack of nutrition.
    I've been trying to find out what exactly he was vaccinated against when he was a kitten to no avail. I wasn't initially responsible for him when we got him, so I'm not sure what exactly it was that he got, unfortunately.

    Just an update for the last few days. I gave him some of the Calo-Pet paste which he was none too fond of, but had no choice but to lick it up when I rubbed it on his mouth. I then put a small amount of a/d on a saucer and after sniffing at it, he lapped it up in a few seconds! I gave him two more saucers (about 1/3 of the tin) and he didn't leave a trace. It was a relief to know he was getting nutrients into him after days of nothing. He went off to sleep under a radiator after.

    Thursday, I gave him more of the Calo-pet on his mouth, and gave him another small saucer of a/d which he downed straight away. Left a saucer of milk out and went to work. I came home for lunch and found to my surprise (and joy) that he had drank all the milk and ate half a plateful of the dry food I had left out a few days ago! Also he was a lot more energetic, not plodding around unfamiliar routes and getting stuck, but walking with intent! I left some more of the a/d, milk and a sachet of food and went back to work. When I came home I found the a/d and milk gone, and half the sachet eaten. He was also on the sofa, which means he jumped up himself. And when I went in to see him he lifted his head up and meowed, then hopped down, purring for the first time in days. I was cautiously optimistic however, considering he had a similar reaction after he got an injection last week too.

    Friday, he was like his old self again. Not eating as much as he usually would, but much more than he was a few days ago. Drank most of a bottle of cat milk, 1/2 a tin of a/d, and a sachet of food. He stopped looking for small spaces to cram himself into and started reversing out of other places, which made me realise most of his coordination was back. Also, his pupils weren't dilated anymore.

    Saturday morning, he started flicking at papers to signify he wanted to go out, so I dually obliged! He went off down the garden and I didn't see him for a while, so I went out a bit later to look for him and my heart soared when I looked up and saw him sitting on the apex of the roof, not a care in the world :D
    I produced his favourite wire-bristled brush and he started meowing like crazy, so I started grooming him and he purred like an engine. Later on I saw that he was grooming himself again; his paws and other areas that had been getting grubby were spotless again.

    And today he's been in and out, eating this and that and in general high spirits. His improvement since Wednesday has been nothing short of miraculous, considering the condition he was in only a week ago.
    I'm trying to regulate his intake of a/d, he absolutely loves it but I presume too much will sicken him so I'm giving him around 1/3 a tin of the course of a day.
    It's great to see him almost back to normal, especially given the condition he was in less than a week ago. In fact he's even put on a bit of weight in the last few days. This was him on Friday:
    [​IMG]

    And this is him today:
    [​IMG]

    A marked improvment! If he had shown no signs of improvement by Saturday I was to bring him back to the vet's, but seeing as he seemed to be on the road to recovery I didn't think it necessary. I will be bringing him during the week anyway, to see what her opinion is and to arrange an IFA test to be sure. Hopefully it will turn out to be a false positive after all, but for the moment I'm just counting my blessings for his improvement :) As ever, if anyone has any ideas based on his recent improvement I'd love to hear them. Thanks again all!
     
  15. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    This is wonderful news Purrloin!:thumbup1: I am so pleased to hear this:)

    Cats are amazing creatures the way they can bounce back aren't they?:) I have had similar experiences with a cat being unwell, rushed to the O.O.H vet, and the next morning being completely normal!

    Who can say what was the problem with your cat, perhaps he had some kind of a passing virus and has managed to throw it off. The fact you managed to get him eating again (well done for that!:)) would have certainly had the effect of giving him more strength to fight off anything that was attacking his system.

    Also, I do believe when we have manage to persuade a poorly cat to eat, it seems to boost their morale a great deal.

    I do hope the IFA test proves negative, but if by chance it doesn't, I'm hopeful it will be possible to manage the symptoms and keep him stable.
     
  16. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    Try not to give more metacam than you have to...i have read some worrying thins about it. Hope he's improving.
     
  17. Ianthi

    Ianthi PetForums VIP

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    Gosh this is a transformation Purrloin which I'm very glad to hear about! I can only surmise that whatever the problem was, be in viral or bacterial infection or else has resolved. I assume the lymph nodes are no longer enlarged? To me he was behaving very like a cat with one-though I still wonder about the head-pressing which I know can be a sign of high blood pressure in some cases.

    A/D isn't intended for long term feeding ( due to high Vitamin A levels, I think) but I'd imagine he's happy to eat his normal food now anyway. In addition, while I remember cats who go without food for more than a day or two are in danger of developing hepatic lipidosis which can in some instances be very difficult to treat.

    He's a loverly kitty by the way! Let us know how the vet visit goes!
     
  18. Littlerags

    Littlerags PetForums Junior

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    Wow Purrloin!! How fantastic :D

    He looks amazingly better, brighter and less skinny.

    I do think that sometimes cats can get into a cycle of not feeling well, so not eating, and then feeling worse because they're not eating.... and so it goes on.

    In my opinion this is when a/d can be brilliant - it can give them that kick start to get them eating again and hopefully then also feeling better.

    Well done to you and your love and care. He's a lucky chap :yesnod:
     
  19. littledarkpoet

    littledarkpoet PetForums Newbie

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    What a handsome boy, and so good to hear he is doing better.

    I did wonder if letting him wander outside is a good idea if he has FIV - could this not be spread to other cats if he were to fight/they were to fight with him? Perhaps other more knowledgeable members could advise? It's something I would like to know for myself if I were ever to be in that situation.
     
  20. Purrloin

    Purrloin PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all, apologies for resuming the thread on a downer but I suppose I have to. Sid got progressively worse over the last week and on Friday I had to make the heartbreaking decision to have him put to sleep :(

    It was all looking so good after he got his first injection; like I said above he got his appetite/equilibrium back and was simply back to his old self. Over the next week or so he started to put a little bit of weight back on which was a relief. As I said in my last post I was waiting until he had gotten most of his strength back before putting him through another test, but approximately 15 days after getting the shot it seemed to start wearing off; eating less, becoming more lethargic, sleeping a lot more. That said, he wasn't as disorientated as he was before, so I hoped it was just a general malaise, maybe just the illness working its way out of him (as silly as it sounds).
    I brought him back to the vets and she gave him another 2 shots (steroid & antibiotic) which again gave him a bit of a boost, but not to the same extent as the first shot. And not for the same length of time either, as after a week or thereabouts he started going back the same way.
    He had lost interest in food again, even the a/d which he loved even when he was initially disinterested. I did try mixing it with warm water and administering it via the syringe which he seemed to enjoy. Again, only for a day or two. At this point he was sleeping maybe 18 hours a day, only shuffling downstairs to go outside for a bit. When I would present him with food he might turn his nose to it and walk away, or a lightbulb would go off and he'd start to devour it (only to lose interest after a few mouthfuls). And when he was awake and inside he just spent his time crouched down looking rather uncomfortable. He had also started losing weight again.
    So, again, he was taken to the vets where I was told we were at an impasse. Most likely any more of the shots he was getting would have little to no effect, so she referred me to a university small animal veterinary hospital. I was warned about the cost but money was no object (I'm sure this is the same for all cat lovers) and I asked her to make the booking anyway.
    So I brought him up on Thursday and they were extremely thorough, going through everything from his eye infection in September right up until last week. They kept him overnight and performed a variety of tests on him (including IFA) but when I arrived back on Friday the news wasn't good.
    He was definitely positive for both FIV/FeLV, but on top of this his general health had declined dramatically; his bone marrow was no longer producing red blood cells, his liver had massively increased levels of bilirubin, they had examined his lymph nodes to discover toxoplasma, suspected lymphoma, suspected cancer, etc. etc. Essentially so many ancillary cases wouldn't be present without being positive for both FIV/FeLV. Most likely, going ahead with treatment for all these conditions would put the cat in a great amount of discomfort and may only have added weeks, if even that, to his lifespan which really wouldn't be fair on him. So as hard as it was, I had to put an end to it.

    I still don't accept it and I doubt I ever will. That a cat so fit and healthy - never needing to visit the vet apart from getting a thorn in his paw several years ago - could just go asleep his normal and vibrant self and wake up a shell, it beggars belief. I had an older cat who succumbed to kidney failure a few years ago. But she was always of a somewhat timid, scrawny build, and when it happened she was nearly 16 and had been going gradually downhill for the better part of a year. For Sid who was always of a robust constitution to just go so fast at only 10 years old, seriously distressing. I know people have lost beloved pets before but I really can't explain the effect it's had on me. I got him when I was 17 and being 27 now he's seen me through quite a tumultuous time. Regardless how bad a day I was having, all he would have to do was walk into the room and I'd forget about it. Having a presence like that in your life is a real comfort, and for it to be gone all of a sudden is quite difficult to deal with.
    But thank you all for your contributions over the weeks, they were all appreciated.

    So now of course I have to contend with the "what-ifs". Because I don't know what he was vaccinated against as a kitten I'll never be satisfied with the outcome. I had pretty much never heard of FIV/FeLV before this, so if I was less ignorant earlier on is there a chance I could have prevented it? I know it does no good but I guess questions like that will always be hanging over me.
    Anyways, apologies again for the bad news but I suppose I had to break it at some point.
    I suppose the only advice (if any) I can give other owners is make sure your cat is vaccinated at all costs!
     
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