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My cat has serious issues...Please help.

September 7th, 2009, 02:23 PM
Hello to all,
Thank you for taking the time to read this post.....It's a long one so have fun.
I have 2 cats, a 6 yr old male (Geep) and a 5.5 yr old female (Olive). Both cats are strays acquired while living in Italy in 2003/04. They have always been up to date on vaccinations, are fixed and have always been indoors. Olive is in great health but poor Geep is another story.
Geep was in good health until about 6 months ago. At first he simply became anti-social. He would pick a hiding spot and stay there for days. He would only come out to urinate or defecate and he would usually do that in the bathtub. At that time we believed that he had an altercation with Olive and that it was a territorial issue. We attempted to reintroduce him into the rest of the household. After several attempts we began to notice he was losing weight and self mutilating by way of scratching his neck excessively. He also decided to hide in the litter pan and eat kitty litter for several days which is when we decided to go to the vet. At the vet he was diagnosed with feline leukemia. The vet gave us no available options for treatment and left us with our death sentence. Olive tested negative and was vaccinated.
My husband and I were not ready to accept this and decided to research any and all options for making Geep healthy again. At this time we settle on ImmunoRegulin. A series of injections known as an immunostimulant therapy. The injections seemed to help. His attitude and health seemed improved and he stopped losing weight. The self mutilation, however, increased. His scratching reached horrifying proportions. At the time of vet visit #2 he had scratched all the fur off his neck and had large open/scabbed sores all the way around his neck. This time we went to a local animal hospital that had a little more experience with cats. The diagnosis was a skin infection and they gave him an antibiotic shot and steroid injection. We returned 2 weeks later for another steroid injection and since he has stopped scratching and his neck has healed...
I would hope this was the end of the story but no, that was just a preface. Currently, Geep has returned to his hiding ways. He selects either a box or the enclosed litter pan. Every other day urinates or defecates inappropriately, behind chairs or on the linoleum floor. (We have two litter pans and they are cleaned regularly) He eats constantly and is very cranky with our other cat especially regarding food. Despite eating constantly, he has not regained any of his previous weight and is currently about 5.4lbs. He has also allowed his coat to become yellowed and unkempt.
Please help. This summer we have spent about $1500 on vet bills and it seems we are back where we started. I cannot afford to keep going to the vet but I also want my cat to be healthy. Thank you for suffering through this incredibly long post.

September 7th, 2009, 02:45 PM
I'm sorry Geep is having such difficulties :grouphug:

How was Feline Leukemia diagnosed? Was there a FeLk snap test done?

Were there full panel blood & urine tests run? What values were abnormal on those tests?

Did they do a culture & sensitivity test on the urine to check for crystals or infection?

Did they add a Thyroxine aka T4 test?

Some common symptoms of HyperThyroidism are furloss especially from pulling it out, weight loss despite good appetite, yeowling especially at night, cranky

Did they run a Complete Blood Count aka CBC?

Litter eating is often attributed to anemia.

Scratching the neck is often associated with food allergies, a cat/dog can eat the same food for years without issue then one day become allergic to something in it.

What are brand/flavour of food they eating?

September 7th, 2009, 02:57 PM
Olive should also be tested for FeLk every 3-6 months for the next year to ensure she is not currently infected, though since the virus is shed by a postive cat she may also test positive at a later date

September 7th, 2009, 02:59 PM
The first vet did a Felv/FLV Test that came back positive. No info other than that.
The second vet did a skin scrape and fungal culture. Both came back negative.

September 7th, 2009, 03:11 PM
Some FeLk info:

Feline Leukemia info from Veterinary Partner (

FeLk Brochure Cornell University (

September 7th, 2009, 04:20 PM
GG.first off,thank you for bringing these two strays all the way from Italy:thumbs up
I hope there is treatment for Geep,our Growler is one of our cat-gurus,there is not much she does not know about kitty-problems.
One of my cats,had similar problems to yours,ate an awful lot,but still lost weight from 16lb's to 12lb's in no time at all,he was diagnosed with HyperThyroidism.

September 7th, 2009, 04:43 PM
So I guess that is my thought/question...Is there really anything more that can be done for Geep or is this all just a byproduct of the feline leukimia?

BTW Thank you for your advice. I love my Geepster and want him to get better.

September 7th, 2009, 05:33 PM
i had a cat with leukemia granted she didn't live past a year but its werid that sudden would show up like this. in all the research i did i never came across anything with side effects like that for leukemia. leukemia attacks the white blood cell count making it hard to fight off infections or the body just shuts down. i think you are facing another issue all together. i think the leukemia is just adding to the factors. i think you should have a full blood panel done on him. i'm not sure its all just leukemia.

September 7th, 2009, 06:24 PM
I chose to not have any of my cats vaccinated for FLV. I'd read, and he vet had told me that if they were, then any FLV test given to them might come back as a false positive.

Not saying this is your case, but have you gotten a 2nd opinion to make sure?

Good luck with your boy.

September 7th, 2009, 06:33 PM
I second Growler's advice and get a full blood panel done including testing for hyperthyroidism.

What food are you currently feeding? Jasper will sratch at his eyes until they are bleeding from food allergies (corn or wheat), so when you mentioned the itching I thought of allergies.

Do you treat your kitties for fleas? If so, what are you using?

Do you keep a collar on your kitty?

September 7th, 2009, 06:34 PM
Geep was never previously vaccinated for feline leukimia. He has been living symptom free for 5.5 years. The only previous indication of an immune compromised system was a UTI when he was about 6 months old. In other words, no previous indication of illness.
***We feed with Nutro and the scratching has all but disappeared. No flea treatment. No collar.

September 11th, 2009, 07:02 PM
We are back from the vet with urinalysis and Full Blood Panel. Here is the deal:
1. Geep does have a UTI.
2. He is severely anemic. (RBC .69)
3. Results of T4 will be back tomorrow.

It is what it is. :sad: We knew things were going to get bad and here we are. We will simply make the best of the time we have left.

September 11th, 2009, 07:03 PM
Awwh, I'm so sorry to hear that. Will be thinking of Geep!

Sheri H
September 11th, 2009, 07:09 PM
I'm so sorry to hear that Geep is ill. Thank you for giving stray Geep a home where he is loved.

September 11th, 2009, 10:51 PM
Has your vet mentioned a treatment plan for dealing with the anaemia? Such as Iron and possibly vitamin supplements, medications?

Something you can do to make Geep comfortable is a warm fleecy blanket to sleep on and under to keep him warm. Also minimizing the effort he needs to put out in getting on/off couches & beds by adding ramps or steps.

Here is some info for you on Anaemia

:goodvibes: :grouphug:

September 12th, 2009, 07:39 AM
He got an antibiotic shot for the UTI and we are working on the anemia with prednisone. A blood transfusion would be the next step but it isn't in the budget and would only be a temporary fix.
The vet is actually shocked at Geep's temperment and activity level. Given his RBC he should be on the verge of death. He is in reasonably good spirits. He still purrs when pet and talks and responds. He isn't in pain. He doesn't even really seem much different then his baseline as of late.

September 12th, 2009, 01:22 PM
You've already spent a lot of $$$ and as you say you "cannot afford to keep going to the vet" and blood transfusion "isn't in the budget". Most FeLv cats do not have a long life, so the best thing you can do is make him as comfortable and happy as possible for as long as he's still enjoying life and not in pain. Thanks for trying to get him better. Lots of hugs and kisses and treats for Geeps. :goodvibes:

September 15th, 2009, 07:05 AM
I am so sorry to hear about your Geeps. :grouphug: