Hi! I posted yesterday about Ben's diagnosis. I've blogged this a lot on the 
daily kitten website, you can follow the thread if you want the whole story; 
but I'm just going to cut & paste the questions I asked there. For the purpose 
of clarity, Ben is his proper name, but we just call him Stumpie, or Stump for 
short. Sky is a female cat in my house (much older than him) who adopted him as 
her own baby. Hope that covers any uncertainties?
I'm sorry, but this is going to be a really long post. Please bear with me?
I've calmed down a lot since my last post - had some time out to digest this. 
The reason why I freaked out is that I lost my soul-cat (Jack, my avatar) in 
June to leukemia. He was diagnosed on the Wednesday, and we put him to sleep on 
the Thursday because he was just too sick (organ failure etc).
Stump's scenario looks a bit different. We caught the toxo-thing really early, 
and he's responding well to the treatment. Last night I was worried because he 
was so pale and lethargic, he definitely has a lot more energy today, but he's 
still awfully pale. But he's eating well, and drinking, up and running/playing 
- Jack couldn't do any of those things when we got his diagnosis. So I do have 
some hope for the child. Very tentatively, I'm soo scared of getting my heart 
broken all over again. My vet didnt really give me any info when he gave me the 
diagnosis, he gave Stump's medicine to me and said we should continue his 
treatment at home. Dont know if this is because he wants us to have time to say 
goodbye, or to minimize stressfull experiences on Stump. Point is, I now have a 
refrigerator full of meds to give the child. My issue now is, I have soooo many 
questions to ask, and I'm sure my vet is going to feel I'm wasting his time. 
Dont get me wrong, the
 man is a diagnostic guru with animals, and he loves animals, but he's 
definitely not a people-person, he's not going to get where I'm coming from on 
an emotional level. So I'm going to post my ideas/thoughts and questions, and 
hopefully some experienced TDK'ers can enlighten me?
1) Stump has no immunity of his own, due to the FIV, but also because he was a 
bottle baby, so he never got colostrum. Would it be worth it to supplement his 
diet with either some commercially produced colostrum, or to try to source some 
from someone who has a goat that is currently producing colostrum? I've heard 
from a lot of people that goat's milk is a better milk replacement than any 
commercial product can hope to be, we just dont have goats in the cities. If it 
would help, I would buy my own bloody goat at this point . . .
2) There are a few herbal remedies available here in SA that claim to help 
support compromised immune responses (as you may know the human aids epidemic 
in SA is a catastrophe), called eco-immune, developed specifically for animals. 
Would this contribute to helping Stump? I'm not a big believer in herbal 
remedies, but if it will help, I'll definitely give it a try.
3) The vet said I should keep Stump on the royal canin recovery diet because 
it's very high in fat, protein and calory values. Is this a good idea where 
kidney failure is a very real possibility?
4) Should I keep Stump isolated from my other cats? They've all had their 
shots, but when Jack died I was shocked to find that the FeLV on the label of 
the vaccine isn't actually the same FeLV that cats usually get (I was really 
P*SS*D off about that), any way, vet said there are specific vaccines for 
immunising agains FeLV, but I dont know if it's the same for FIV? If all my 
other cats were to get that shot, could they be allowed to socialise with each 
other again? I'm keeping Stump isolated for now.
5) The indoor-thing. All the tags I've read say to keep FIV+ kitties inside; 
Stump loves playing outside and climbing trees, we have an enclosed courtyard. 
If we cleaned it out with bleach and introduced a lot of potted plants and 
trees and things, could Stump play 'outside' that way? It is entirely possible 
to keep the other cats out of that area?
6) Stump & Sky - they love each other dearly. Sky was always a cold and distant 
b*&%$, but when Stump came along she took him on as her own baby. He tried 
(unsuccessfully) to nurse from her, but she let him, and she grooms him all the 
time, for all intensive purposes they are a mommy-baby pair. Sky is freaking 
out completely because we wont let her in to see her baby. She's been sitting 
in front of his door, crying and scratching at all night. Sky lived at an 
integrated shelter for two years before we adopted her. Integrated = no cages, 
all the cats were free to roam and come and go as they pleased. Sky was the one 
who introduced the snuffles super-strain into our household. Would she possibly 
have been exposed to, and developed her own immune response to, FIV?
So many of the things I've read so far say a diagnosis of FIV doesnt 
necessarily mean a death sentence. I'm really hoping that if we can get Stump 
over the toxoplasmosis we will be able to manage his care correctly and give 
him some quality time. I just want to have the right info to put together a 
decent treatment/management plan. The vet said Stump tested + for FIV, and 
PROBABLY has FeLV - he's still a bit young to be showing the right amount of 
antibodies. Is it too much to hope for that he might not have FeLV? I'll 
definitely get some confirmatory blood tests done, I just dont want to stress 
Stump out any more right now . . .I've run out of things to say for now, but 
I'm sure I'll have more tomorrow :( 
The link for the TDK thread: http://www.dailykitten.com/chat/topic/23304/page/2

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