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FelLuk & AIDS Positive...freaking out

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.

  
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Sammy

I'm a wild-man!
 
 
Purred: Thu Aug 2, '12 5:23pm PST 
I have 8 rescues. All 8 were rescued over the past 9 years in my neighborhood (which is rampant with stray & feral cats). One of our rescues, Sammy, is 5 years old & he has had a rough road. About 3 years ago he tested positive for FelLuk (it was a very faint positive on one of those test strips similar to a pregnancy test). About a month later we retested him and it was negative. 2 & a half years ago Sammy had a thrombo embolism which is almost always a death sentence. Somehow my vet saved his life and since then we've had him on a cocktail of low-dose baby asprin, Co-enzyme Q 10, vitamin E, fish oil, and a multi-vitamin. Our vet said after his embolism he would probably have another one that was fatal within 6 months. Well here we are two and a half years later and he's still alive. But in the past several months he's lost a lot of weight (he's a large framed cat and he got down to 9.2 lbs) I've been feeding him wet canned food multiple times a day & I've gotten a pound on him so far (in the past he was free-fed dry TOTW & got a bowl of wet Friskies each morning). Today I took him to the vet to see what could be wrong. The vet did a basic blood panel which was negative for any disease. He also tested his thyroid which was fine. But the machine he ran the blood through showed that he was positive for FelLuk AND AIDS! My vet then used one of those test strips to see what it might say, and it came back negative! So to be absolutely sure my vet sent some of his blood out to a lab that can determine for sure if he is positive. It's going to take 7-10 days to find out the results. I'm just losing my mind. I love this cat so much and I don't want to lose him. On top of worrying about his life or death, I'm also worried about my other 7 rescues. I know some of you might think I'm a bad pet owner, but I don't vaccinate my cats anymore. I used to have them vaccinated every 2 years, but every time I got their shots they all got SO sick that they had to be rushed back to the vets to get treatment to stabalize them. It scared me so much that I questioned my vet about whether I should vaccinate them or not. She said that since they are indoor cats that I could take the risk and not vaccinate them. But then there's Sammy...he has the taste of the wild. He wants outside so bad and sometimes (maybe 5 times a yr) he escapes and is gone for hours. It's a big production trying to catch him. Besides that, it seems every summer we add a new rescue kitten to the mix (that's how we've ended up with 8 in the past 9 years!) The new ones are always taken to the vet and tested for diseases. None of them have been positive for anything. They do all have herpes. That has not been fun to deal with. When one of them gets an outbreak, they all get it and it's a mess trying to med 8 cats 2x's a day for weeks. But we love them so we do it. Anyway, I'm sure if Sammy really have FelLeuk or AIDS it's from getting outside. I wanted to vaccinate him for it years ago but my mom (who lives with me and "shares custody") was totally against it because after experiencing all our cats getting deathly sick from these vaccines, she was so afraid Sammy's heart couldn't take the vaccines effects. I regret so much not insisting. Anyway, sorry so long but I'm hoping someone has had similar experiences and can give me some advice. My vet said something about Sammy maybe being a "carrier" of FelLeuk....he said that Sammy would probably be dead by now if he had it full-blown. But he didn't say much about the AIDS. I am so terrified that my other fur-babies will contract it if he in fact has either one, or that they might already have it. I just don't know what to do at this point. I mean, I really won't know anything for sure until the final lab test comes in in a week or so. In the meantime I'm going to be a wreak. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Tigger

Knead softly &- carry a big purr
 
 
Purred: Thu Aug 2, '12 6:25pm PST 
I don't know a whole lot about it, but I do agree with the carrier part. From what I do know, he would be very sick if he had it full blown. I have heard that before. At this point, I would just wait to see what the test says. I understand about the shots - I question them too. Do not beat yourself up for helping all those kitties. (And I was worried about 4?) Did the vet say anything as far as if he is positive what is the next step? Keep loving them kitties & maybe try some LLysine. I do know it helps immune issues - which you may already use since they have herpes. I send you so many hugs, it is hard to wait for results. purrs & more purrs
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Sammy

I'm a wild-man!
 
 
Purred: Thu Aug 2, '12 9:04pm PST 
Thanks Tigger. No, vet didn't say anything about what we were going to do if Sammy is truly positive. I just DON'T want to put him down. I don't think I could do that unless he was in obvious distress. But then again, I am risking my other 7 cats lives keeping him a part of the clouder. I'm just so scared. It's such a difficult situation because I am really poor and there's only so much I can do. I mean, believe me, I love my cats so much that I sacrifice my own needs for theirs....they get the best food I can afford (TOTW), they get toys, treats, vitmains/supplements, meds, and lots and LOTS of love....I go hungry to take them to the vet when they need to go. But if Sammy is positive I'm going to need to have the other 7 tested again to see if they have contracted it, and that's going to put me in the hole so bad. Ugh. It just never ends.

Most of my rescues have some health issue or another. I've got two with a heart condition, one with asthma, one with a polyp in her ear that causes all sorts of issues and expenses, two elderly cats with arthritis, and they all have herpes. It's a lot to deal with. I do the best I can for them but I wish I was able to afford better treatment (like high-tech tests for the two with heart conditions). Sigh.

And btw, I DO use L-lysin to treat their herpes. I swear I'm keeping the company that makes mine in business! (lol) I buy A LOT of it. But it really does help the herpes.

Oh, and another thing, besides the 8 rescues we have inside, we have about 10 feral and semi-feral cats outside that we take care of! It's crazy. We have probably had over 30 cats over the past 9 years outside....some we've domesticated (not easy!)and found homes for, some we've surrendered to no-kill shelters, and many have succumbed to diseases and died. It's a real problem in our neighborhood. We've tried to control the problem by volunteering with Pet FBI and doing the trap/spay/vaccinate/release, which has helped, but I have so many horrible, ignorant neighbors who keep bringing new cats in here, not fixing them and letting them outside to get pregnant and spread disease. It's been a fighting battle for the decade I've lived here. But my mom and I are determined to save as many as we can.
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Tigger

Knead softly &- carry a big purr
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 3, '12 8:50am PST 
Boy do I understand - there are 10 outside, well 9 now since I took the one little guy. I got some phone# I hope to take the kittens to, as it is wearing me out - I can only imagine how frustrating it is for you. Does Sammy go nose to nose with your other kitties? share bowls? I don't know how easily the leuk is spread. I mean speaking realistically, if he has it & they were going to get it, they would prob have it already. I have to work today, but I will also try & see if I can find anything this weekend. I know how overwhelming it can be to try & find info. Maybe too the Llysine has their immunity up to thwart the virus also. Don't give up hope - hug
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Sammy

I'm a wild-man!
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 3, '12 9:05am PST 
Thanks Tigger. Yes, the other cats LOVE Sammy. He is the alpha male and the other cats love grooming him and just snuggling with him. They all share food and water dishes, as well as litterbox. Sigh. So scary. Today I'm going to do a lot of reserch about both Feline Leuk and AIDS and learn as much about them as I can. To me, hearing your cat is positive for either of those diseases is about the scariest thing. I was litterally shaking when the vet called and told me and had to fight from bursting into tears. Anyway, good luck with your 9 outside and your new kitty you brought in. If only more people were responsible we wouldn't have to sacrifice so much to save those that are abandoned and left outside to fend for themselves. People like that make me soooo mad! Keep on keeping on girlfriend! We can't save them all, but the ones we do save are so worth the effort!
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Gumpy Sweet- Boy

Love wrapped in- fur
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 3, '12 9:10am PST 
Hi, I don't have much information to share, but I just wanted to send along some caring purrs for you and Sammy. This has got to be so difficult and scary. There are a couple FIV positive kitties active on Catster that I'm aware of, and they live with other cats and seem to be doing well. I don't know much about this disease, but hopefully others that do will see this and give you some more info and advice. Don't give up hope yet.

How wonderful of you to take care of all those kitties.

hug hug hug

Purrrrrrs....

Edited by author Fri Aug 3, '12 9:13am PST

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Jack

1198637
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 3, '12 9:21am PST 
Having these diseases is not the be all end all for a cat. They can have full, wonderful lives too. Being positive is not an instant death sentence. It just means you have a special needs cat that will need extra TLC. It is a labor of love. I understand your concern, and you do have a right to be concerned, but just keep in mind that it is not the end of the world if it is positive. Your kitty can still have a good life with you.

Purrs go out from us to you. We know it's not easy to face this, and wish you the best.
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Sammy

I'm a wild-man!
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 3, '12 9:43am PST 
Thanks Gumpy Sweet-Boy...Thanks Jack! I'm trying to stay positive! It's just scary cuz Sammy has other health issues (a heart condition and herpes) that I'm afraid will make his chances of survival not so good if he really is positive for Fel Leuk & AIDS. I just love all my babies so, so much. Sometimes I wish I didn't have this incredible love for cats, because it just wreaks me when they suffer or I lose them. But it's who I am. "I was born this way", to use the words of Lady Ga Ga! lol I feel like it's my purpose in life to rescue every cat I can. But it can be so heartbreaking. Of course it can be so rewarding too, so I need to remember that more!
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Tambolina

No...the magic- is still- here...!!!
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 3, '12 10:38am PST 
Dear Sammy and Sammy's Meouwmy....don't know what to say about the illnesses....but, have to say....OOOhhhhhh you are a WONDERFUL Kitty-Meouwmy....!! Just keep loving them all...and keep hoping.....and trying...

I have had cats for many years...and sometimes they live long lives, and sometimes short lives....but the love of me for them and them for me is always the same...as I am sure it is with you and your kitties....

We have four kitties at present and I WOULD SO LOVE TO HAVE MORE....

Just keep slogging on....it is SO worth it.....

Hugs and Kitty-Kisses

Jan and furry family
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Sammy

I'm a wild-man!
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 3, '12 11:38am PST 
Thank you Jan! It is so wonderful to have a site like this where I can get such loving support from other's who love cats as much as I do! It helps keep my spirits high!
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