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Thread: My poor little Maisie: FIV positive

  1. #1
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    Default My poor little Maisie: FIV positive



    Maisie, a little tortie cat, came to me a year ago when Jaspar and I found her cowering in a doorway while out on a walk. She had just been hit by a car and her head was swollen and horrible-looking. My then-new leather jacket still shows the signs of her unhappiness at being picked up and carried to my house to be driven quickly to my vets -- but at least the leather got it, and not me.

    Yesterday I noticed (just back from 2 weeks away) that she looked very very thin. Then later today I saw that she had vomited twice, and also was in dstress with what looked like cystitis (which she has had before).

    I took her straight to the vet and we found upon weighing her that she'd lost *1/4th* her weight over the past 2 months when she was last in for a booster shot. He suggested testing her for feline HIV, which I was sure had been done as I test all my new rescue cat arrivals for this. But she had not been tested. And tested positive. :cry: Which explains the weight loss, the bad teeth and gums, the recurrent cystitis.

    I left her in to be put on a drip and given something to settle her stomach while I consider what to do next. I also wanted to talk first to the wonderful Jan, a Scottish woman who runs Ireland's Kitten Adoption -- http://www.kittenadoption.ie/ (from which I got my black cat Ambrose). And also talk to the vet on tomorrow, Susan, who is one of my favourites and who loves cats in particular.

    Having talked to Jan already, I now feel I have some options and know better what to do. I'll go ahead and have her blood tests done if she is looking OK tomorrow and see what needs treating. FIV is like HIV; the sufferer gets recurrent infections that need to be treated. Jan says she can take Maisie in if needed if I move in the coming months, as she already has three FIV cats (they do not spread the condition except through mating or via blood so there's little chance any of my lot would get this from her).

    Maisie might have a short time, or a few years. I feel so much better knowing she has a place to go if needed and needn't be given her wings quite yet. And when she goes, she can go with dignity.
    icon_cat
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  2. #2
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    Karlin - Sorry to hear about Maisie. At least you have a good resource. That is how we knew our cat, KT, was sick. All of a sudden we realized she looked thinner. Sure enough, turned out she had lymphoma. Sweet little gal hung in there for 18 months after being given a possible 6 week survival. She was comfortable through the whole thing. Once the lymphoma had gotten into her chest cavity we knew it was time to let her go.

    Good luck with Maisie.
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

  3. #3
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    Karlin,

    I, too, am sorry to hear about Maisie. Our animals bring so much joy to our lives, but sorrow also. Fortunately, the joy outweighs the sorrow by a long shot.
    rosalie

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    I'm so sorry to hear about Maisie. My very special rescue, Elmo was diagnosed FIV positive at 8 yrs of age, it was very difficult to let him go, he was the sweetest cat I'd ever known. :cry:

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    So sorry to hear about Maisie, Karlin, poor little mite.

    I know many rescues have no choice but to PTS FIV positive cats and kittens - there are too many healthy ones who need homes. If you hadn't have kept Maisie, she would have probably been PTS, instead she has had one happy year with you, and will hopefully keep well for some time to come.

    Also it must be very reassuring that Jan will take her if necessary - I guess it would be too traumatic to move her, and she probably wouldn't cope with the shots and the travelling.

    Sending positive, healing thoughts and prayers for Maisie, that she will have many happy, healthy days yet.
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

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    Maisie got her wings.



    Quietly, purring as always, curled in my lap this afternoon. Thanks to Tanis at Botanic Vets who gave Maisie this peaceful passing and let me hold her while she left, and sit with her for as long as I wanted, before and after.

    As humans the great gift we can give these small friends is to let them depart in gentleness, with dignity, rather than require them to endure in pain.


    On A Cat Aging

    He blinks upon the hearth-rug
    And yawns in deep content,
    Accepting all the comforts
    That Providence has sent.

    Louder he purrs and louder,
    In one glad hymn of praise
    For all the night's adventures,
    For quiet, restful days.

    Life will go on forever,
    With all that cat can wish;
    Warmth, and the glad procession
    Of fish and milk and fish.

    Only the thought disturbs him -
    He's noticed once or twice,
    That times are somehow breeding
    A nimbler race of mice.

    ~ Sir Alexander Gray ~
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Default Poor little Maisie, she's FIV positive

    Oh, Karlin,
    I am crying as I read your last post. It's so hard to let them go. But please remember that she had such a good year with your animal family....one I am sure she wouldn't have had if you hadn't picked her up that day.
    My thoughts are with you and your multi-species "crew".
    SLE

  8. #8
    MaggieM Guest

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    Karlin,

    I too, am crying as I read through the posts. I somehow missed this one earlier. I'm so sorry to hear about Massie. I remember the day you brought her home and in to your life and love.

    Thank you for giving her a wonderful year of happiness and love.

    Maggie

  9. #9
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    She was a sweet and funny cat and I always thought her face looked like a little barn owl. She always purred and head-butted, even when her head was in terrible shape. Tanis, who saw her the day I brought her in after the accident, said to me then that she was incredibly resilient and strong, that most dogs would have given in to the pain she was in and just died. Thus I knew that this time, she would hide her pain and I needed to keep this in mind.

    She was so thin, the muscles in her hind legs had deteriorated, and she didn't respond to treatment overnight. She would have needed all her teeth pulled. Tanis seconded what Susan, my other favourite vet, had said: if she were their cat, they would let her go. She would have trouble regaining much less maintaining her weight. Her muscles were not good. She might recover but would fall ill again before long. Even so she stood in her cage when I got to the vet and butted my hand and purred. She curled right into my lap and was happy.

    FIV cats can live a long and healthy life and generally are fine with other cats when neutered (so they don't fight or try to mate and potentially pass the virus) but sometimes they get hit by a combination of things that weakens them too much. This seemed to happen swiftly to Maisie, who only a few weeks ago looked slightly underweight but otherwise fine. In retrospect, she had grown very quiet and lethargic.

    It was much harder than I thought to say goodbye. My vets are right across from the botanic gardens so I had a long walk and thought about her. It's a profound honour to hold a loved animal as it passes on and it happens surprisingly fast. I don't know if it will make it any easier the next time but I was so glad I made the decision to be there with her and I never doubted it was the right decision at the right time. Thanks for the kind comments.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  10. #10
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    Oh, karlin. I'm so sorry!!! :cry: What a terrible and sudden discovery! And what a difficult decision you had to make. It sounds like you did the best thing for Maisie...

    My thoughts are with you and your gang. Rory sends puppy kisses for all!

    =rory's mom

    p.s. I would definitely get your other cats tested. They're not entirely sure how it's transmitted. Likely through bodily fluids, like HIV, but I don't believe they're entirely confident on that.
    Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
    --Roger Caras

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