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Punky has tested FIV positive

mikischo
June 29th, 2010, 07:49 AM
I took Punky for a thorough checkup yesterday which included a senior panel and tests for common viruses. The senior panel apparently came back with very good results and no areas of concern (I will be picking up a copy of it for my own records). However, the virus test came back positive for FIV.

Some of you may know that Punky has been around my neighbourhood for several years and, although owned by a neighbour, has spent a great deal of his time outdoors. I took over as his caregiver several months ago.

I have two other kitties sharing the household (one of them also had belonged to the same neighbour as Punky and thus shared the same household with him for several years (she is estimated to be about 6). The other one belonged to an acquaintance who could no longer keep her due to regulations on pet ownership in her apartment (her contact with him has been minimal - they pretty much ignore each other 99 percent of the time).

Punky is non-aggressive and there is no danger of fighting between these kitties. There is no question in my mind that Punky will be staying with me along with the two other kitties.

I have PM'd Dr. Lee for some advice on whether further testing to confirm the diagnosis would be of any value [it is extremely unlikely that Punky has ever been vaccinated against FIV (cats who have been vaccinated are likely to give a false positive result on any test for the virus for the rest of their lives)]. I'm not sure if there is any chance of a cat testing false positive for this disease under any other conditions.

I am taking the other two to be tested tomorrow (I am hopeful that the results will be negative). I know that if they test negative I will be in for a huge argument with my vet on vaccinations for these guys (she will be very insistent that they be vaccinated) something that, from what I have read, I do not agree with for two reasons: 1. It is likely that the FIV vaccine offers little or no protection for the strain of the virus that is common in my area. 2. The FIV vaccine contains adjuvants that are known to cause serious vaccine associated sarcomas (VAS).

Here is a comprehensive article on vaccines from Dr. Lee's website, which I also noticed when started the thread is also posted as a sticky on this forum:

http://www.acerlux.com/petscaarticles/vaccinecancers.html

It is only a little over a year since I lost Mickey to CRF and heart complications.:( I had hoped that I wouldn't be encountering any serious challenges for some time to come.

From my understanding, if certain precautions are taken, the risk of spread is minimal in a multi cat household, particularly when all the cats get along and there are no dangers of fights. I know that cats with FIV can live for a long time with the disease before having serious issues (in Punky's case we have no way of knowing how long he has already had it). I know that, due to a compromised immune system, I will need to be extra vigilant that Punky gets immediate medical attention if there are any signs of illness or infection. I will be looking at ways I can possibly boost his defences against illnesses and infections. Of course I know that a high quality diet is important for any cat but in Punky's case it is going to be particularly important. I will be looking into other supplements, etc. that might help compensate for a compromised immune system. I have not yet had a chance to do much research on the subject but I'm sure there are things such as probiotics and other things that could be helpful.

Right now, one step at a time, the first step being to determine the status of the other two kitties. Please keep your fingers crossed for a good outcome.

ancientgirl
June 29th, 2010, 08:23 AM
I have PM'd Dr. Lee for some advice on whether further testing to confirm the diagnosis would be of any value [it is extremely unlikely that Punky has ever been vaccinated against FIV (cats who have been vaccinated are likely to give a false positive result on any test for the virus for the rest of their lives)]. I'm not sure if there is any chance of a cat testing false positive for this disease under any other conditions.



I've never had any of the gang vaccinated for that very reason. With the exception of Czari, they have always been indoors, and Czari has tested negative.

I think it's a beautiful thing that you are taking Punky into your care. I've read articles of cats who have FIV living with cats who are not infected with no problems. I think as long as you are careful of no scuffles between them, which it already sounds unlikely since they don't pay much attention to each other.

:grouphug:

hazelrunpack
June 29th, 2010, 09:43 AM
I'm sorry you got some bad news about Punky, mikischo! :grouphug:

:goodvibes: for good results on your other two! And for a long and happy life for Punky!

sugarcatmom
June 29th, 2010, 10:03 AM
Mikischo, I'm sorry to hear about Punky's FIV results, but you've got a great attitude about it. You're right, it isn't a death sentence, and cats can live many happy healthy years despite harbouring the virus. For sure, keeping Punky's immune system strong will be key. A supplement you may want to look into is Transfer Factor (http://www.4tfwa.com/Details.cfm?ProdID=46&category=20). It's derived from colostrum, the substance in mother's first milk that passes her immunity onto her offspring. Use either the human Classic formula or the Trifactor one, not the feline version.

More info:
http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/tf.htm
http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/tf/s/pets.htm

And a link to a Yahoo group for people dealing specificially with FIV kitties:
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/FIVCats/

crh_violin
June 29th, 2010, 10:50 AM
I'm sorry to hear about your kitty's positive results. I know what you are going through since my Jack has just been diagnosed this past month. I have 3 other boys who tested negative and we are all doing just great. My vet put Jack on Interferon and he is going much better. Keep up the great attitude and love him even more! :lovestruck: Keep us posted!

mikischo
June 30th, 2010, 10:09 AM
Thank you ag and hrp, for your concern and support.

Punky has so far had only had one test done for FIV. If a cat is asymptomatic it is usually recommended that a second test be done although my vet didn't suggest it. I will be having him tested again with the Elisa test in 8 to 12 weeks and, if it still comes back positive, I will then have a Western blot test done. Punky was so traumatized by the car ride and the vet visit that it has taken until today for him to start to get back to being more like his old self. To get retested will mean another traumatic trip for him and I would rather wait a bit before subjecting him to that. Since I am almost 100 percent certain that he has never received a FIV vaccine, I will assume for the moment that he most likely does have the disease.

Thank you SCM for your support and suggestions about Transfer Factor. I started reading some of the information and it definitely is something I will look into further. For now I have started him on a daily supplement of a probiotic. Right now I only have human formula Natural Factors Acidophilus & Bifidus on hand (might not be the first choice for kitties but likely okay for starters). I don't know if you need a probiotic if you use something like Transfer Factor.:confused: I also am giving him Omega fatty acids (a veterinarian formula that I had for Mickey).

crh, thank you so much for your support.:grouphug: I am so glad to hear that Jack is doing so much better. :goodvibes: for long and happy lifes for both our special boys.:lovestruck:

Winston
June 30th, 2010, 11:11 AM
Mikshicko I dont know much about FIV but I just wanted to send you a great big :grouphug:....

growler~GateKeeper
July 1st, 2010, 02:04 AM
Sorry to hear about the FIV :grouphug: How did the tests go for Twinky & Sassy :fingerscr

Right now I only have human formula Natural Factors Acidophilus & Bifidus on hand (might not be the first choice for kitties but likely okay for starters). I don't know if you need a probiotic if you use something like Transfer Factor.:confused:


The Natural Factors A & B is fine, their Ultimate Multi Probiotic (http://naturalfactors.com/ca/en/products/683/ultimate-multi-probiotic) has higher counts & broader strains of probiotics.

Yes they can be used at the same time, probiotics & transfer factors work on different areas. Duffy was taking Standard Process supplements whick work on the same principle as transfer factors at the same time as the NF Ultimate Multi Probiotics.

:goodvibes:

hazelrunpack
July 1st, 2010, 12:45 PM
Did you get any results back on the other kitties yet, mikischo? :fingerscr

mikischo
July 1st, 2010, 02:00 PM
Mikshicko I dont know much about FIV but I just wanted to send you a great big :grouphug:....

Thank you so much, Winston.:) I really appreciate your support.

mikischo
July 1st, 2010, 03:23 PM
Growler and HRP, the results on the other two kitties came back negative.:clap:

Growler, thanks so much for the information. I will be looking further into ways I can help strengthen Punky's immune system when I get back from my trip and I am sure I will have many more thoughts and questions. I am also planning to actively look for a vet that I feel might be more suitable.

I am going away on holidays for a week starting tomorrow and likely will not be coming on here much, if at all, during that time. I really wish I wasn't going.:( We are visiting my BF's relatives in Saskatchewan. I'm sure there are a few others on here who can identify with feeling you'd rather stay at home with your furkids as opposed to going away on vacation. I have talked my way out of making this annual trek for the last couple of years and I am out of excuses (at least ones that can be understood by the general populace).:laughing: My son will be looking in on them while we are gone and even spending some time with them. He doesn't live that far away but I am still going to be thinking about them a lot.

chico2
July 1st, 2010, 03:58 PM
Mikischo,I am glad the other kitties tasted negative,I am sure little Punky will do fine under your care and live many happy years.:cat:

As for vacations,this will be the second year we cannot go to Myrtle Beach,which we have been doing every october for about 16yrs.
My son usually stays here with the cats,but Rocky will not eat right or take his meds,with someone other than me,so we have to stay home and hubby agrees,although he really wants to go.

hazelrunpack
July 1st, 2010, 08:35 PM
That's great news about the other kitties, mikischo! :highfive:

I hear ya about staying home. I finally got my wish when we expanded to 6 dogs--the invitations sort of dried up about then because everyone knew we'd be bringing the Pack.... :o :laughing: We don't get out much, but we'd rather stay home, anyway, so it's not much of a loss. :D

growler~GateKeeper
July 2nd, 2010, 02:46 AM
Growler and HRP, the results on the other two kitties came back negative.:clap:

Excellent :highfive: