Monday, January 18, 2010

Sam's Story Living with Feline Leukemia

A young male Siamese cat appeared in my front yard in August of 2008 and before I could get to him, he ran into the woods. 

He lived in the woods for seven months. I rescued the Siamese tomcat in March of 2009. The Siamese tomcat that I named Sam survived fights with other cats, and the bitter winter when temperatures dipped below zero. He also survived the spring floods only to be diagnosed with feline aids and leukemia. Yes, the house cat named Sam survived the elements; however now he must fight for his life.

Sam went to the veterinarian’s office for his routine checkup, shots and his neuter. My husband called from the veterinarian’s office and told me that Sam’s blood test was positive for feline immunodeficiency virus - Cat-FIV   and Feline Leukemia. - Cat-FeLV.
The veterinarian recommended that we put Sam to sleep. He pointed out that while Sam had no symptoms, he felt that the severity of the virus was devastating, and that Sam health would fail quickly, Sam would suffer and we would have heartache. My husband and I discussed Sam and decided that we would get a second opinion. There was a possibility that Sam’s former master gave him the immunization for feline Leukemia. If that were the case Sam’s blood test would show a false positive.

We brought Sam home and isolated him from the other cats. Sam resides in my office. He helps me to write, file and he organizes my pens and papers. In the afternoon, he sleeps on my lap. I take breaks to play with him on the floor. Sometimes he sits by the windows and calls out to the neighborhood cats. He will turn and give me those sad eyes. He wants to play with his friends, sadly I must say no. Sam will never go outside.

Sam tested positive for feline aids and leukemia on April 15, 2009. My veterinarian did not think Sam would live a month. It is now eight months since Sam was diagnosed and he has put on weight and has lean muscles. He purrs so loudly you can hear him from across the room. 

My Sam is alive today and he is symptom free. This makes me believe that feline aids and leukemia is not a death sentence for symptom free cats.

Update June of 2010 
Sam went to see a new Veterinarian who retested him for Feline Leukemia and Aids. The test showed that Sam did not have Feline Leukemia but he did test positive for  feline immunodeficiency virus - Cat-FIV.  Sam had survived Feline Leukemia however he would live the rest of his life with a weakened immune system.