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Author Topic:   My Cat is FeLV+ should i put him to Sleep?
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Posts: 1
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 08-30-2003 01:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for quantass     Edit/Delete Message

I have been noticing for the last 2 weeks my Siamese cat go from totally normal to a very anorexic (doesnt eat or drink anything), always tired (24-hr sessions) feline. I took him in to 2 vets today for blood work and while there it had a few convulsions and began urinating (first time it had urinated outside of his sand-box). The first vet took blood and had the following results:


+ Type: Siamese, Chocolate Point
+ Age: 10 years
+ Weight: 6lb
+ Temp: 38.2 degrees
+ The tongue was observed to be very pale (normally it should be very pink)
+ Dehydrated
+ Vomited during the time it ate something. Now it eats nothing so no vomitting.
+ Looks very anorexic (can feel the spine very prominently)
+ Very lathargic (it rarely moves) -- yesterday it was moving around a bit but today, nothing
+ Experiences convulsions


+ Urea: 26.8 mmol/L (Normal Range: 4.0-10.7) <--Notice this is HIGHER than normal
+ A/G Ratio: 0.7 (Normal Range: 0.8-1.3) <--Notice this is LOWER than Normal
+ Bilirubin(Conj.): 2.2 umol/L (Normal Range: 0.2-2.0) <--Notice this is HIGHER than normal
+ Alk. Phosphatase: 8 U/L (Normal Range: 10-85) <-- Notice this is LOWER than Normal
+ Amylase: 2425 U/L (Normal Range: 4-1175) <--Notice this is HIGHER than Normal
+ ALT: 89 U/L (Normal Range: 5-67) <-- Notice this is HIGHER than Normal

+ Total Protein: 78 g/L (Normal Range: 60-80)
+ Bilirubin(Total): 5.1 umol/L (Normal Range: 0.0-10.0)
+ Albumin: 33 g/L (Normal Range: 30-48)
+ Globulin: 45 g/L (Normal Range: 20-55)
+ AST: 35 U/L (Normal Range: 5-71)
+ CK: 106 U/L (Normal Range: 15-295)
+ Lipase: 28 U/L (Normal Range: 1-100)
+ Cholesterol: 3.20 mmol/L (Normal Range: 2.00-7.00)
+ Glucose: 6.7 mmol/L (Normal Range: 3.9-8.0)
+ Glucose(Grey): 7.0 mmol/L (Normal Range: 3.9-8.0)
+ Creatinine: 129 umol/L (Normal Range: 50-177)
+ Sodium: 154 mmol/L (Normal Range: 145-155)
+ Potassium: 4.0 mmol/L (Normal Range: 4.0-5.8)
+ Chloride: 121 mmol/L (Normal Range: 101-125)
+ Na/K Ratio: 38 (Normal Range: 25-40)
+ Calcium: 2.13 mmol/L (Normal Range: 2.00-2.60)
+ Phosphorus: 2.4 mmol/L (Normal Range: 1.1-2.5)
+ Hemolysis: Normal
+ Icterus: Normal
+ Lipemia: Normal

+ WBC: 3.7 (Normal Range: 5.5-19.5) <--LOWER than Normal (Units: x10E9/L)
+ RBC: 1.9 (Normal Range: 5.0-10.0) <--LOWER than Normal (Units: x10E12/L)
+ Hemoglobin: 28 (Normal Range: 80-150) <--LOWER than Normal (Units: g/L)
+ Hematocrit: 11 (Normal Range: 24-45) <--LOWER than Normal (Units: %)
+ MCV: 58 (Normal Range: 39-55) <-- HIGHER than Normal (Units: fl)
+ MCHC: 263 (Normal Range: 300-360) <-- LOWER than Normal (Units: g/L)

+ MCH: 15 (Normal Range: 12-17) (Units: pg)

Differential: % abs. Reference:
------------- ---- ---- ----------
Lymphocytes 33.0 1.2 1.5-7.0 <-- LOWER than Normal (Units: x10E9/L)

Bands 0.0 0.0 0.0-0.3 (Units: x10E9/L)
Neutrophils 67.0 2.5 2.5-12.5 (Units: x10E9/L)
Monocytes 0.0 0.0 0.0-0.9 (Units: x10E9/L)
Eosinophils 0.0 0.0 0.0-1.5 (Units: x10E9/L)
Basophils 0.0 0.0 0.0-0.2 (Units: x10E9/L)
Nucleated RBC 20 - (Units: /100 WBC)

Lymphopenia: Mild
Anemia: Marked
Polychromasia: 0-1
Poor Response
Platelet Estimate: Low


The results above were from the first Vet. After looking over the data, the cats appearance, and convulsions he concluded it should be euthanized. He also told me that he suspected the cat was FeLV+ and so i was instructed to take my cat into the Emergency Clinic for further blood tests. At this clinic they did the blood test (i "think" it was ELISA) and it came back positive ... he has FeLV.

The Vet prior to doing the blood test looked over the chart above and said "this is acceptable" ... but when she came back with the news that my cat had FeLV she said that in her opinion the cat should be euthenized.

I decided to bring the cat back home and think it over and read more about FeLV. So i pose the question to all of you. Do you think i should have my cat put to sleep? From my readings i found that there is a possibility that the virus could go into remission and my cat could get better (?). I also found out that i would have to keep him in doors for the rest of his days which is fine by me. The only thing i want to know is considering my cat's current condition (convulsions, anorexic, eating/drinking nothing, etc) CAN HE GET BETTER? I dont want a cat that is a vegetable with seizures and worst of all, IN PAIN during all of this! If i could just know if my cat is in pain or not, and if it would get better or continue to get worse then my decision to euthenize would be easier. I dont want to put him to sleep simply because he has a virus and in 3 weeks he gets better (the virus goes dormant).

My cat never received a vaccine for FeLV in his life. And they told me that they couldnt give it to him now ... I guess it is too late.

Can someone tell me what to do? I am still hesitant to take him down simply because i am thinking the vets are giving me a textbook answer to how pets who have a temporary problem should be delt with ... to euthenize it ... like a horse with a broken leg. Or maybe the vet is saying the euthenize course of action because s/he considers this best since the cat could potentially spread the virus, despite the cat could later get better. I know there will come a point when my cat will be FeLV+ for life (and it likely already is) but if there is a chance that he will be walking around, eating normally, looking healthy, with "no noticeable problems" of any kind (as before), BUT must remain indoors for the rest of his life then i will take this acion hands-down. So tell me what should i do?


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Posts: 141
From:Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: May 2003

posted 08-30-2003 01:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cat     Edit/Delete Message

I am so sorry to hear about your cat. I don't have much information about the disease for you. I spoke to my vet about feline leukemia when my cats were tested and she told me the that it is possible for a cat to have it and the owner never know about it - kind of like AIDS. People have it and carry it and live a comfotable life until it takes over the body.

However, as difficult a decision this would be, if this was my cat and she was suffering I would put her out of her misery. I love them too much to want them to suffer to the end.

This is a very tough decision and the decision is your and your alone. My only advice is to put your cat's best interests at heart and not yours. My thoughts are with you and your beloved kitty.

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Posts: 996
From:sheridan, wy
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 08-30-2003 11:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fleafly     Edit/Delete Message
Personally, I would wait to have a kitty euthanized until the cat was in a lot of pain and it wasn't getting better. I have had vets tell me to put kitties to sleep on several occasions and I decided not to. The cats went on to recover and live very happy lives. One time I had a kitten with FIP who was in a lot of pain. Since there is no treatment for FIP I had her put down. It is really hard. I would give it a little while and see how your kitty does. I don't think vets take into account the will of some cats to live. I think they give textbook answeres sometimes, and the cats have a different idea.

I don't think FeLV is always a death sentance. From what I have heard cats can live long lives with the disease. The worry is that if you have other cats they might get it also.

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Posts: 790
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 08-31-2003 02:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for charmedagain     Edit/Delete Message
my mums cat suffered from felv and he started to recover but this is a virus that goes into submission and then comes back and it really takes hold if your cat is not eating drinking or doin much of any thing then the kindest thing is to put her to sleep yes it is a hard choice to make but your cat isnt eating or drinking and its goin to get worse with my mums cat he still ate and drunk a little but the kindest thing to do is let her go i am speaking from experience as i was the one that made the decision on my mums cat as she couldnt he was 5 and we had him since he was born and it was hard if i was an animal and suffering like that i would want my owner to do what was best and the kindest

hope this really helps and i am so sorry this has happend keep us posted

thoughts with you


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Posts: 38
From:United States
Registered: Jun 2003

posted 08-31-2003 04:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mac     Edit/Delete Message
I am sorry to hear about your kitty and its health. It's truly a bummer to be in this situation to make a decision about life or death for our little buddies. I know exactly the feelings you are going through right now but I won't go into my situation but I will share some steps I did to make a decison.

My suggestion would be go by your gut feeling. Ask the Vet about What If's? And this means what if you don't put him down at this time what will happen to his health and conditon? Will he use number one and two without notice? Is there maybe organ damage right now?

I am sure you get the message but quiz your Vet with your concerns and if what he or she says doesn't feel right at gut level about putting him down or keeping him alive then you can make your decision on this.

Remember as hard as it is your decision will be the right one and a caring one for if it wasn't you wouldn't have taken the time to ask on this board.

Keep us informed and I hope for the best for your kitty.


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