Hey Susan,

It is a tough choice.  In my experience when felv positive cats start with bone 
marrow suppression (low RBC,WBC and platelet counts) things progress downhill 
fairly rapidly.  Not always, but often.  This is only from my experience.  I 
have given the transfusions, and they are life saving - for awhile.  The first 
transfusion is kind of a free bee in that there generally isn't a tranfusion 
reaction (potentially deadly reaction with transfusions).  Subsequent 
tranfusions are more risky.  It boosts the numbers transiently, but inevitably 
you end up low again.  I have read that if you have the option and decide to 
transfuse, use the blood of a cat that has been vaccinated for felv as it can 
transfer some immune response to the virus in the recipient cat.  This may 
temporaily help. 

I am still looking for a good antiviral against felv, but as of yet they are 
only stories.  Some people suggest interferon, some imulan, some Carrisyn 
(Acemannan).  I haven't heard overwhelming support of any one of them  in 
particular, personally.  

So in the end,  you are treating the symptoms not the disease.  You will 
certainly help the situation now with a transfusion, but you will find yourself 
facing this situation again.  I do not mean to be negative I just want to tell 
you what I have experienced.  I am still investigating the virus and will let 
you know if I hear of even a whisper of success on treatment.

Alternatively,  there are some holistic drugs that are thought to help boost 
the immune system and reverse anemia.  If you are interested I can send some 
more specific information.  I personally have not found them exceptionally 
effective.  Good luck

---- Susan Tillman <still...@sedona.net> wrote: 
> Hello Folks,
> I was on the list for a while several years ago when my kitty Shane was
> first diagnosed as FeLV positive and then I dropped off due to time
> constraints (and because he was doing so well). For the past four years I
> have been treating him for ocular herpes, and then this past summer he was
> diagnosed with the additional eye disease, eosinophilic keratitis. He has
> been under the care of an eye specialist and those conditions are currently
> completely controlled by medications. He also has issues with his teeth and
> gums (he had a dental two years ago but things are pretty inflamed again). I
> have been monitoring his lab work every six months and everything had been
> looking pretty good for the most part. His neutrophil count was a little low
> about a year ago and when we checked it again last summer, it had actually
> rebounded a bit. There was no anemia at that time. However, I took him in
> for his routine lab work last week and he is now very anemic and his
> neutrophils have dropped well into the "danger zone." My vet feels that he
> will soon reach a point where he will require a transfusion in order to
> live. He looks very good--his weight is excellent, he is eating (though he
> is a little pickier than usual), and he still does mad dashes around the
> house. I am very torn about the transfusion issue. This guy really stresses
> out over vet visits and procedures. If we were transfusing in order to buy
> enough time for some super cure to kick in, I wouldn't hesitate, but under
> the circumstances, I just don't know. I'm sure many of you have been in the
> position of having to make such a decision and I guess I'd just like to hear
> from some folks who have done transfusions (or decided against them). My vet
> says the effects of the transfusion would most likely last about a month. By
> the way, he was tested for hemobartonella several years ago (negative). My
> vet is retesting for it via PCR, but thinks it is highly unlikely and that
> the anemia is simply a progression of the FeLV.
> I look forward to hearing your experiences.
> Sue T. 
> Shane - Manx mix, approximately 5-7 years old, diagnosed as FeLV+ 12-06
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