Hi everyone,

My name is Renee and I am an Aussie who has recently married a US citizen and 
relocated to Iowa. I have had cats my entire life and the only time I cried 
leaving Oz was saying goodbye to my "little brother" cat Milo who is 14 years 
old and lives with my parents. So obviously one of the first things I did when 
arriving here in the US was adopt 2 kittens from the local animal shelter, 
Cliff (at the time approx 8 weeks) and his cage mate at the shelter, Sasha 
(approx 10 weeks).

Both seemed to be in good health when we took them home from the shelter, 
however there had been a kitty cold going around and Cliff started to show 
symptoms a few days after arriving home - violent sneezes, coughing, flying 
snot etc. He had one especially bad night where the poor little thing could 
barely breath and was only happy when he was being held in my arms. I stayed up 
all night with him afraid that he wouldn't make it through the 
night............the next morning (it was a Sunday) I took him to an emergency 
vet clinic at the local vet med school and he was diagnosed as having an upper 
respiratory infection and also feline herpes virus. He spent the night at the 
vet's on a drip to help re-hydrate him and came home the next day on a course 
of antibiotics (Clavamox) and it took him a few weeks to finally kick off all 
the sneezing and coughing. (Meanwhile his "sister" Sasha just suffered from a 
few sneezes and that was all.........possibly she fought it off since she was a 
little bit older then Cliff).

A few weeks later I took both kitties back to the vet to get their 2nd lot of 
shots and to get tested for FELV and FIV and Cliffy's ELISA test came back as 
positive for FELV :-(  Sasha however was thankfully negative..............the 
vet and vet students were soooo lovely and so upset as well considering they 
had basically fallen in love with these 2 extremely social kittens over the 
past hour. There was no way we were going to do anything other than give Cliff 
the best life possible so for the next month we kept the kittens in separate 
living areas (very difficult in a small 2 bedroom apartment!) and had Sasha 
retested for FELV and she was still negative so we the vet's started her on her 
FELV vaccinations...........it was sooooooo sad keeping them apart for so long, 
they are truly BFF's and missed each other alot, they would sit on either side 
of our bedroom door and sniff and cry for each other :-(

We haven't started Cliffy on any special med's as we really can't afford it 
right now but to help keep his immune system boosted he gets Vetri-Science 
Lysine tablets twice daily, as well as PetGuard Yeast & Garlic Powder mixed 
into his breakfast each morning. To keep his mouth healthy he gets a CET dental 
treat each day and I also try to clean his teeth at least once a week. (Sasha 
gets all this as well, I figure I may as well keep her as healthy as possible 
as well). He seemed to be absolutely thriving......every vet visit he is 
putting on weight (he is currently 6 months and about 5.5 pounds), he is so 
playful and loving, LOVES his food so much he tends to get annoying always 
screaming for food!

A few weeks ago we took the kitties in to get 
spayed/neutered.......unfortunately we had to put it off for a week as the 
vet's could hear a slight infection in Cliff's lungs and given his health 
history wanted to have it cleared up before putting him through surgery. During 
this time he also developed several viral plaques on his upper and lower lips 
apparently due to his herpes virus, so he was sent home on Clavamox again. He 
did begin to develop diarrhea so the vet suggest lowering his dose from 1ml 
twice daily to 0.5 ml, which did seem to help a little.

We took the kitties back in a week later to get fixed and Cliff recovered 
brilliantly.......didn't seem to have any problems at all! However in the last 
few days he has been suffering from extremly watery stool and last night I 
watched him do his business twice and both times it had a significant amount of 
red blood in it :-( Is this something that is directly related to his FELV 
status or something else like parasited? He is acting normally in every other 
way, is never off his food and I have been adding water to his food to make 
sure his water intake is ok due to the water loss from the diarrhea. 

The only reason I am reluctant to take him straight in to the vet is that the 
last time we brought him home from the vet he was so stressed out and scared he 
wet himself while in his pet taxi and was generally just freaking out, it was 
so sad :-( I don't want to upset my little man or stress him out but then I 
don't want to leave this too long and risk his health either...........is this 
something I should be really concerned about????

Thanks for listening!
Renee, Cliff & Sasha

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