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.




9 comments:

amber said...

Good luck with Sam. He's beautiful!

Susang6 said...

Amber, Thank you for commenting on Sam...He is a very special cat. He tugs on my heartstrings daily.

Kristin said...

When I found out my cats were felv + it was devastating. I lost one cat to find out another was also infected with FELV. And like your vet mine recommended that I put the infected but healthy in all other aspects cat to sleep.

I looked at him and I told him no way in hell. Im going to give this cat the best life it could ever wish to get because its unfair already its life will be cut short.

Lilu is now a year old I found out in dec 2009 that she was FELV+ As much as it kills me to know that i will have to go thru the loss of another felv cat with her I couldnt just let other felv cats be put to sleep when they are otherwise healthy So I adopted another felv cat (chester) that had been in a cage all his life.

i am continuing to spoil these two rotten And my credit card shows it with all the amazon purchases lol

Glad to know I am not the only one willing to do this

Good luck with Sam

SGolis said...

Kristin: you are doing God's work by caring for the FeLV cats. There is no reason to put a cat down that is symptom free and I believe that some veterinarians are starting to realize this. Of course you need to be cautious especially if you have healthy cats in your house. But you can make this work, just as I have. A FeLV cat can live a long and healthy life. Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,
I just adopted a fur baby with FeLV and wanting to make sure I take the best care of her that I can. How is Sam doing? Do you know the average life expectancy of a cat with FeLV? I LOVE Chloe. She is the most affectionate cat I've had. We adopted her knowing that there was little chance that anyone else would. I hope Sam is doing well :-)
Shelley

S Golis said...

Shelly...my cat Sam was able to beat Feline Leukemia before the 3rd stage however he still has FIV. Sam is doing very well, sleeps a lot but that is Okay with me, thank you for asking.

As far as the life expectancy of cat well that is hard to say. I heard from a man in the UK and his Feline Leukemia cat was diagnosed and lived 8 years after diagnosis. He put his cat down when the disease progressed and cat was suffering. Another lady in India contacted me and her FeLV cat was in remission, no change after diagnosis. She noted her cat was in their 5th year. So I guess it is up to the cat, the health and living condition. If a cat is watched closely by veterinarian and gets their wellness check-ups then the cat may live a longer life.

Willow Jan said...

I recommend a natural supplement called monolaurin for FIV and other serious diseases such as feline leukemia. I've seen it work for FIV and bobcat tick fever. Give a 300-milligram capsule of monolaurin mixed with cat milk (not cow's milk) or water with an eyedropper every hour for 8 doses. Monolaurin is available at some health food stores and online. I use Ecological Formulas brand. It is very safe with no side effects.

Willow Jan said...

I recommend the natural supplement monolaurin for FIV and bobcat tick fever, for which I've seen it work. I think it's also worth a try in feline leukemia. Monolaurin is available at some health food stores and online. Empty a 300-milligram capsule of monolaurin into a cup and add a few drops of water or cat milk, available from pet and grocery stores, etc., (not cow's milk), mix it and give it carefully with an eyedropper into the cat's mouth. Give a dose every hour for eight doses. Monolaurin is safe with no side effects.

S Golis said...

Willow Jan: Thanks for the update on the natural supplement. You stated that you saw the monolaurin work. How does it help the FIV cats?