Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dilemma Part 2

After phoning several times yesterday morning, Cat Action called back. It was the weekend this happened of course; WHY, oh WHY, does everything have to happen on the bloody weekend???  She said there were no Vets available that the Society works with so she called round and got back to me with a clinic that was open - on a Saturday - and I got the cat in this morning. 

Having just got home in the early afternoon, the phone was ringing. It was Cat Action. Because of this cats symptoms they did a FeLV test which turned out to be positive. So this kitty is in cat heaven now and no longer suffering the way he was. 

Feline leukemia virus is a retrovirus that is species-specific to cats and does not infect other animals, such as dogs. Humans are also immune but other pet cats and colony cats are a high risk. FeLV can be transmitted between infected cats through the transfer of saliva or nasal secretions. Transmission is mainly through saliva and friendly behaviors such as sharing feeding bowls and mutual grooming (this is distinct from fighting and biting). If not defeated by the animal’s immune system the virus is lethal. The disease caused by this virus is a form of cancer of the blood cells called lymphocytes; a leukemia.

Go here for more information

The symptoms of FeLV are diverse: The signs of infection with feline leukemia virus are quite varied; they include loss of appetite, poor coat condition, infections of the skin, bladder and respiratory tract, oral disease, seizures, lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes), skin lesions, fatigue, fever, weight loss, stomatitis, gingivitis, litter box avoidance, pancytopenia, poor grooming, recurring bacterial and viral illnesses, anemia, diarrhea, and jaundice.

This one year old cat must have been in the early stages and it progressed fast because we only noticed he had a fever about the middle of last week and Friday he was given some oral penicillin that seemed to help at first, but by evening he was having issues with breathing and it worsened overnight. He was eating very little just because he was sick and sleeping a lot so he'd lost weight. He could walk but stumbled at times and when he jumped down from anything, he'd not be able to catch himself and would usually fall flat on his face. I am not too concerned about our four because they are fixed and have all their shots up to date but the other colony cats are at risk. 

I spent part of Saturday dumping the litter boxes, washing and bleaching them; did the same with their water/ food bowls and treat pan. I even wiped down the places where he spent most of his time while being in the house over the past two days. In this one instance, it is ironically fortunate that my cats don't take to having the colony cats anywhere near them. My biggest concern, once I learnt what he had, was to sanitize the food dishes and litter pans. I have to let the colony owner know so she can do the same and be on the watch for any sign that the other colony cats may have the same symptoms. 

I urge everyone who reads this blog to learn more about FeLV; enough to recognize the symptoms and take immediate action for the sake of your pets and your neighbors animals. This episode ended badly for this very friendly, darling of a cat and he was way too young to die this horrific way. The only consolation we have is that his suffering has ended along with his life.  

Cat Lost His Life To FeLV
He had no name, being just a colony cat but he had the sweetest deposition and wanted desperately to belong ~ to be a house pet. I fulfilled that wish as much as I could.
Don't ever believe that colony cats, strays, homeless animals and the ones we so readily abandon because they become 'inconvenient' ~ 

Don't believe that they lead charmed lives of freedom. They don't! They lead lives filled with pain, sickness, suffering, desperate loneliness and death; a lot of times without the benefits of a single human kindness. I did what I could for him and offered a temporary home and all the love and affection he deserved to have, while he was around.

I have to give credit where its due! Cat Action Colony Coordinator, Diane Minick found the vet clinic that took him in and she paid for the vet services out of her own pocket.You don't find many people like her anymore!


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