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Q: Any thoughts on treatments for a cat with FIV and cancer?

May 6, 2008 | By Cupcake | 10 answers | Expired: 2238 days ago

Any thoughts on treatments for a cat with FIV and cancer?

I have a 3 year old cat the has lukemia and has lost function of his hind legs in the beginning of March. He is not eating on his own, but still pulls himself all over still knows where his litter box and water is. He still knows when people come in the room with him, he is still fully alert. He suffered tremendously from seizures for the last couple of years while on science diet food. However since he cannot eat on his own he has not had a seizure now in more then 2 months. Maybe it is a just me but I thought that was odd. In March he had a seizure and he got stuck in a reclining chair. He walked around stiff for a couple of days then was okay for 2 days. But then he just skooted on the floor with out being able to hold weight on his hind legs. He was put on Pregnisone which seemed to help on 2 a day he was back walking normal. Then we tried to reduce the amount, and he declined again. So we put him back up and now have no change. I am looking for creative ways to help him like building him a wheelchair. He is such a fighter, and I know he does not have much of a shot with the Leukemia but I have given him 3 years from an abandoned stray of 2 weeks old bottle fed to now and want to give him as much as possible. With further testing and exrays, my vet believes he has a tumor in his spine or a tumor in his brain. He is in no pain right now, but cannot use his hind legs. The vet will not put him on Cemo theropy without knowing what type of cancer he has, and at this time I cannot afford a 1200.00 MRI. Does anyone know of any herbal or aids in keeping him comfortable. We have upgraded his Pregnisone to 3 times a day and hoping he makes a change. Please let me know any suggestions you may have. I have worked with animals all my life and have never felt so helpless. His odds are against him but he shall prevail the best he can.

Update:
Thank you so much for all the efforts to help. I have stopped feeding him Science diet, In the beginning of March and then had to bottle feed him some A/D with cat sure. He has not had another seizure in almost 3 months which is much improved from multiple times a week. He would not eat on his own recently, until Monday May 19 he just got up walked over to where I had put his new food Purina and he just started to chow down, I am amazed. So many people have told me he is suffering since he will not eat and I should put him down.. I looked at him at told him you would tell me when you are ready right? I just did not see it. Thank God I did not do that, as he seems to be turning for the better. I am still looking for any info anyone can give. Thank you for those who have tried.

Readers' Answers (10)
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Anonymous
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Anonymous

May 29, 2008

I had a Siamese that lost his back legs which is common with this breed. He also had other health issues.As I sit here with tears rolling down my face I will say to you after reading your question the BEST ADVICE my vet every gave me regarding my cat...THE GREATEST GIFT OF LOVE IS TO LET YOUR PET GO IN PEACE WITH DIGNITY AND REPECT. You know if you cat has FIV and other illness he will never get better the poor baby is only going to continue to go downhill until the medical community is able to find a cure fo this. I hope you can find peace within yourself to do the right thing with your pet. I feel your pain. Let you loved one go as my vet said as you would a family member. Pets are innocent babies they have no control over their lives, they would not want to live like that. Also a purr is also a sign of pain and or suffering I hope you know. I wish you well and I wish peace and dignity to your cat.

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JasonStabrys
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May 15, 2008

I think many of you have not read this to com,letion or realize he is not on pain meds and is not in pain, and that Gizmo is looking for help. We do not know that he has cancer, he could just have had damage to his spine. This is an article found on associatedcontent.com. One thing we just don't see very often is handicapped dogs and cats using wheelchairs. If a dog or cat loses a leg, many times the owner will opt to have their pet put down. In actuality, animals seem to have an ability to adjust to a disability much better than people do. With some support, losing a leg or even two does not have to result in euthanasia. A disabled animal can still lead a happy life. Sometimes an animal may lose a leg and have no problem getting around unassisted. For some other disabled dogs or cats, a wheelchair may be necessary to help them get around. You can make your own cat or dog wheelchair at home or purchase a commercially made wheelchair.One reason I feel so strongly about this is due to an experience I had working at a veterinary hospital. A customer brought in a dog that had been in a serious car accident. The veterinarian advised that two legs would have to be amputated. One leg in the front and one in the back would need to be amputated. Without hesitation the customer told the doctor to just put him down. The veterinarian didn't feel comfortable doing this ethically because she was convinced that the dog could still live a happy life. After much debate the customer decided the veterinarian could adopt the dog. The customers main concern was just that she would not be financially responsible for anything. So the veterinarian adopted the dog and performed the surgery necessary. He was a muscular boxer named "Roscoe" who soon became our hospital mascot. Within months he was actually bouncing around the hospital on two legs as if nothing had ever happened. He was so full of life, energy and happiness. I don't think animals are as vain as we humans are and are better able to adapt to disabilities. "Roscoe" never needed a wheelchair, but every animal is an individual and some dogs and cats will do better with a wheelchair. If a dog or cat loses one leg, they will usually adjust to the situation quickly. If an animal loses a front and back leg it is more difficult, but they can learn to walk again. What if they lose both back legs or both front legs? That is very difficult to deal with but it is not an impossible situation. There are online companies that actually make custom carts or wheelchairs specifically for this situation. You simply send them information on your dog or cat including complete measurements. You can purchase one for anywhere from just under $300 all the way up to $500.

At DogKarts.com, you can find a wide variety of dog and cat wheelchairs. The type of wheelchair your dog or cat will need is based on what type of disability that they have. A rear support sling cart is designed for energetic dogs that have plenty of strength in the front legs. It has a metal brace, wheels only in the back and a padded cushion to secure dog in. They also have wheelchair carts that are called front limb carts. These are designed for dogs that have injuries on the front legs. The front limb carts have 4 wheels and padded cushion to secure and support your dog. The quad dog wheelchair carts have the most hardware and are used for dogs that have difficulties with all legs. It offers the most support and is used mainly in cases where dogs have very weak legs. They make wheelchairs for animals anywhere from 1 pound up to 250 pounds. Wheelchairs have been made mostly for dogs and cats, but they have also been made for rats, rabbits, and many other animals. You can also make a custom dog or cat wheelchair yourself at home at Handicappedpets.com. Having a disability does not mean that your animal will not have a happy life. It may mean that they will need more assistance and perhaps even some creativity from you to make it work.

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daryl b.
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May 10, 2008

i am so sorry but please be brave and do the right thing for both of you

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DebbieKelley
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May 09, 2008

I went to bed last night thinking about this poor cat, and he was the first thing I thought of this morning. I so hope he has been set free from this suffering. I will keep praying.

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patty
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May 09, 2008

Are you putting what is best for your cat first or are you being selfish as you don't want to lose your friend. If you have any feeling for your cat you would end his misery. We all know that cats are prone to "suffering in silence". Do what's best and the humane thing to do and end his misery.

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Petpal110
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May 08, 2008

I know how difficult this must be for you but it may be time for you to consider ending your cat's life. If this is not an option in your mind, I would definitely continue the prednisone but make certain you offer your cat water as many times as possible throughout the day (so as to prevent him from moving as much as possible for the time being). Also, use cold compresses on his spine as it sounds as if it could be a problem with the nerves coming off the spine which generally involves inflammation. Also, don't let your cat lie on one side for more than 2 hours, be sure to gently roll him onto his other side because it's important for the blood flow to stay fairly even to both sides while he is healing (if it's a nerve problem and not a tumor). You may also want to gently massage the spine, and legs. Try to keep your cat from dragging itself around the house right now because total rest is important if the problem is due to nerve inflammation or disc problem. You might want to give a chondroiton supplement if the vet approves and possibly a B complex vitamin. There is a general 3 week rule with situations like this. If the pet is not much improved in that amount of time it's unlikely it will improve. Some cats do okay if they have a wheelchair but I personally would opt for euthanasia instead life in a wheelchair for a cat. Good luck and please remember that cats try very hard to hide discomfort and pain.

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DebbieKelley
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May 08, 2008

Hi - I am not trying to be mean and I believe you love animals. Really. I just keep picturing this cat who can't even eat, dragging itself to get water and go to the bathroom, and all the other ailments - and cats do hide pain well - and I'm just so distressed for this cat. I know you did such a good thing by rescuing him, and have given him a good life. Just that, when it reaches the point that you describe in your question, the cards have been dealt, and you have done all you can and he must be set free from the suffering. I am surprised at the vet. Take care and I am truly sorry for you - I know how hard it is when you love them.

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DebbieKelley
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May 08, 2008

I am not sure I'm even believing what I am reading???? Both you - and a VET - are actually letting this poor cat EXIST like this??? How can you even do this. That isn't love. I have 12 cats. Believe me, purring does not always mean happy! You need to do the right thing and let this cat go to sleep and be in peace and I mean quickly. My God, the vet should be reported! This was like reading a horror story. DO THE RIGHT THING.

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T
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T

May 06, 2008

How do you know that he is not in pain? It is so unfair of you to be selfish and allow this animal to suffer in silence. If you hear him purring it does not always mean a cat is happy, it is also a way to comfort themselves. It is wrong to up his dosage: it will cause more problems than alleviating any. If your vet continues to allow you to medicate this poor kitty, he should have the Board called on him. Do Kitty a kindness, let him go with dignity!

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Percysmom
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May 06, 2008

I'm sorry to hear how sick your kitty is. I have no information to offer but will pray that someone else can offer you some good advice that can improve on his quality of life. About two years ago I lost a kitten that was diagnosed with the wet form of FIP. It is a very aggressive form if FIP and is always fatal. I had to force feed him liquid food and it was heartbreaking. I would carry him to his litter box and he would then run right back into his bed. Ultimately, I had to make the decision to let him go as I knew he was suffering. I knew it was not fair for me to allow him to contiue to suffer just so I could keep him with me for a while longer. I hope that you will know when that time comes. No everyone will agree, but I believe that sometimes we have to love them enough to set them free. Best of luck to you and your kitty. I sincerely hope you find him the help he needs to make the time he has left a comfortable quality time.

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