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Thread: FIV...anyone have experience?
01-31-2013, 02:23 AM #1
FIV...anyone have experience?
As some of you know I recently adopted a Siamese/Himalayan mix who has been renamed Sake. Shortly after bringing her home she developed cold like symptoms. I took her into the vet for a routine exam and to get her symptoms addressed. Vet did a full work up and discovered that she is FIV positive. She also had an upper respiratory, fleas, tapeworm, and roundworms....thank you local humane society for tending to animals. She has responded very well to treatment and looks much much better in only a week. I know many of you also own cats, so I am wondering if any of you have experience with FIV+ animals. I have done a ton of research and discovered that the diagnosis in a lot of reference does not seem to be a big issue at all. I do know that dental problems are common, thus we are doing dental treats, adding cleaning drops to her water and using some teeth cleaning swabs a few times per week. Her diet is Blue Buffalo Wilderness...and she does get some "human" food. Any other FIV owners out there? How has your pets health been, and have they had any other issues?20G High-Tech Planted|50G High-Tech Planted|50G Goldfish Tank|56G Column Low-Tech Planted
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02-06-2013, 09:51 PM #2
Sorry you've had a rather bad experience with adoption, but I hope you know it isn't always like this! I've worked in humane societies and with animals for over seven years and it still bums me out when people have a bad adoption experience. There is no excuse for a cat to be sent home with worms, as that's fairly easy to treat. URIs can be extremely difficult to predict and control in a shelter environment and sadly sometimes cats are sent home with them, it sucks but I guess you have to see it to understand it? Lastly, a lot of shelters have difficulty testing every cat for FIV as it's very expensive and well... most shelters receive lots and lots of cats -daily-. A box of FIV combo tests costs about $500+ and I want to say only contains something like 25 tests, so they tend to be reserved for the most likely to carry the virus (intact males). FIV is very similar to HIV in humans. Most cats will live quite some time before having any serious complications from the virus, however a lot of cats will start developing issues as they get older (6-8 years). Dental issues are one of the most common secondary issues with this illness as the disease progresses and can lead to serious issues if left untreated. Dental treats (depending on the brand) can certainly help, however discussing routine dental care with your veterinarian wouldn't be a bad idea. Blue Buffalo Wilderness is a decent food and should provide fine nutrition for your cat. Sadly, there isn't too much more to do for FIV than you're already doing, pretty much just do your best to keep them healthy, stress-free and most importantly, indoors. My advice honestly would be to look into the supplement L-Lysine. Oh also, I've been using this neat dental powder made by Wysong called DentaTreat and it has made a decent impact on my chihuahua's teeth when used with the rest of her dental regiment. Lastly, I would absolutely call the humane society you got her from, as they should know they adopted out an FIV+ cat in case she had kittens during her stay.
This is a good site for medical information
Last edited by skittlebrau; 02-06-2013 at 09:55 PM. Reason: Link added :)
02-06-2013, 11:23 PM #3
Completely agree with the above post. I have had indoor cats for 30 years and have a friend with an FIV cat. They can live normal lives with proper medical care. Not every FIV positive cat develops kitty AIDS - many never do. FIV is transmitted via bites and most people are not willing to take a chance with an FIV positive cat. You could even adopt another FIV cat as a friend - they are very hard to adopt out and many shelters euthanize them outright.
Big thumbs-up to you for stepping up to the plate and dealing with an unexpected situation in a loving and intelligent manner.
02-07-2013, 05:05 PM #4
^Cats love to have buddies! On the plus side, lots of shelters are beginning to place FIV + cats :)
02-07-2013, 10:56 PM #5Junior Member Guppy
- Join Date
- Nov 2012
I have a very healthy FIV positive cat. She is probably 10 years olds now and, other than annual check up visits, she has had no health problems. We also have 3 other cats who remain FIV free.
02-08-2013, 04:05 AM #6
Thank you for the replies
Sake has made a good recovery; took her into the vet yesterday where she has gained 1/2 lb in 2 weeks, cleared all parasites, and her URI is completely gone. Not bad for a round of antibiotics, worming, revolution, and a decent diet. We had her re-tested as well...2 snap tests confirming FIV+ so that is enough for me. I did contact the shelter and found out that I was misinformed on her coming to the shelter as a pet...she was actually a stray. Further confirming the positive results.
We are actually going to be adopting a 2nd FIV+ cat around the same age as Sake...this one is a calico who we are debating on naming Geisha. I was never really upset over not being informed of her FIV status, the shelter she came from is a very high kill facility and on limited funds....I was however irritated over the parasite load and URI.
I will look into the dental powder you mentioned. The dental treats we give her now are sadly just Greenies...the dental swabs are Petkin. We discontinued the water additive as she was not drinking enough with it being added.
We have read a great deal of literature on FIV in hopes of being able to deal with issues as they arrive. We plan to have her seen by a vet every 6 months for a physical. She is groomed daily and her mouth is inspected the 3-4 times per week we use the dental swabs. I am glad to see others have known of FIV+ cats reaching an old age, that is what most concerned me initially.20G High-Tech Planted|50G High-Tech Planted|50G Goldfish Tank|56G Column Low-Tech Planted
4x75Gs coming soon
02-08-2013, 05:55 AM #7
I recently read an article about cats and drinking water. Apparently there is some study that points to the cat feeling that water near the food may be contaminated/unclean for drinking and that moving the water dish to a secondary location increases the amount of water they drink, because they see it as more potable.
Not sure if its true, or just we pay attention that they are drinking more since we have started testing out this theory at our house.
On the scale of "utter crap" to "totally true" meter of possible it falls in the "well it doesn't cost anything more to try it out" so... we are trying it out.
02-10-2013, 11:20 PM #8
Sounds like Sake went to the perfect home :) Glad you'll be adding another addition and giving another FIV + cat a chance. Greenies aren't terrible, not sure how much they do for teeth, but every cat I've given them to certainly enjoys them. Cats instinctively don't like standing water, hence why many pet cats flock towards dripping sinks, etc. Changing their water daily and also moving the water dish around can help (as stated already) or you can just invest in one of those nifty pet fountains if you have the spare cash. They sell L-Lysine treats in a lot of stores now, I'd just check and see how much lysine is actually in them and consult your vet for the best dose. They also make it in a nifty gel.
02-11-2013, 03:58 PM #9
02-11-2013, 06:03 PM #10
Two stray adopted us 7 years ago. One had horrible dental issues and multiple health issues all of which have been resolved. Except, he's since had all of his teeth either extracted or they fell out. He's been toothless for at least 3 years. Sly (aka Gummer) still eats hard and soft food and manages to bring us a stray field mouse or two when he's out hunting LOL
Mentioning this because if your new kitty should end up losing it's teeth, it should still get along just fine.
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