I have never dealt with this problem before, but she is getting good food and 
vet care.  Will she let you hold her?  Even when my guys are sick/especially 
so, they like to be held close, petted and talked to softly.  It seems to 
comfort them, make them feel secure.  I do think this helps in healing.  Can 
you find some "treats" to coax her into eating more?  I have found that 
mackeral (it stinks more) does the trick.  I break the fish into very small 
pieces and mix with a good amount of hot water (makes it smell even more) and 
hold them in my lap while they eat.  
I understand how you feel about her, my first pride and I went thru a lot 
together and they gave me a lot of comfort when I needed it.  You want to be 
able to do the same for them.  I think she will let you know when she is ready 
to go and you will also.

---- Anna Waltman <anna.walt...@gmail.com> wrote: 
> Dear all,
> I've been a member of this list since 2009, when Sylvia, the older of my
> two (strictly indoor-only) cats, was first diagnosed with FLV (she'd tested
> negative twice as a kitten, then at just over a year old came up positive
> on both the snap and IFA tests). We have a great vet, and she's been a
> happy, healthy, fat, and sassy calico cat for most of her life. I haven't
> been very active on this list in the last year or so because Sylvia has
> been so healthy, apart from a case of gingivitis that our vet and I were
> monitoring carefully. She's about four years old now, and was originally a
> stray kitten in an urban area. I adopted her from an ASPCA in New Jersey.
> The vet thinks she got the virus from her mama and it was dormant in her
> system until the stress of moving from NJ to MA caused it to turn active.
> Unfortunately, her run of good health seems to be over. Toward the end of
> March, she started having diarrhea and seemed lethargic, so I took her to
> the vet, who said she didn't have a fever, but gave her a shot of systemic
> antibiotics and some subcutaneous fluids anyway. Her energy levels rose and
> the diarrhea resolved itself. However, Sylvia's energy levels took a
> nosedive again this past week, and she's been totally lethargic. She
> started hiding in my roommate's closet and spent an entire night in there
> on Wednesday. She's been refusing to play with my other cat, Beatrice, and
> hissed last time Beatrice tried to convince her to play chase (not normal
> at all-- these two have always been good buddies and playmates).
> Yesterday, we went back to the vet. This time, she did have a high fever
> (105) and the vet did blood work, which showed anemia and a high white
> blood cell count. The vet said all signs point to infection and suggested
> antibiotics and fluids, but she also wanted to do x-rays to check for
> tumors...then she also said that even if a tumor showed itself, there would
> be no treatment options and we'd have to discuss euthanasia. I opted
> against the x-rays as I'm on a limited budget and couldn't really see the
> point if the tests wouldn't lead to treatment. We decided to do another
> round of the injected systemic antibiotics and sub-Q fluids, and the vet
> also gave me an oral antibiotic to dose Sylvia with once a day. I'm going
> to purchase a thermometer so I can monitor her temperature daily, as well.
> I'm under strict instructions to bring her back in if her temp rises or
> stays where it is. We go back on Wednesday for another round of blood work,
> to see if the anemia and white blood cell count are improving or getting
> worse.
> I'm a mess. I'm so worried; I broke down crying in the vet's office
> yesterday before the vet even came in to see Sylvia. And poor Sylvia has
> been hiding under my bed since we got home yesterday. She's not interested
> in cuddles or attention (which is not even a little normal for her-- most
> of the time, she'd spend her whole evening curled up on my lap if given the
> chance). She'll come out to eat (she's still interested in treats) and get
> a drink of water, and then she goes right back under the bed to sleep. I
> realize that this is instinct...when animals are very sick they have to
> hide to protect themselves from predators...but she's never been so adamant
> about being out of sight before this week.
> Have any of you dealt with this in a FLV+ cat before? Any advice for how to
> cope? Is there some other remedy I should be giving her (Lysine, pet-tinic,
> etc) in addition to the antibiotics while she's sick to bolster her immune
> system? She eats high-quality food to begin with (Wellness CORE and
> occasionally Wellness wet food). Also...how do I know when her quality of
> life has deteriorated to the point that euthanasia is something to
> consider? She's not herself now, that's for sure, but she doesn't seem to
> be in pain, either. When she's been in pain in the past because of her
> mouth/gums, she's been quite vocal about it. I just don't want her to
> suffer needlessly.
> This has been breaking my heart. Sylvia is my first cat as an adult (I'm 25
> and in grad school); she's outlived two serious relationships, the whole of
> my Master's degree work, and a major move. I'm more attached to her than
> I've ever been to an animal. When she was diagnosed with FLV I was
> devastated and wracked with guilt, since I'd recently adopted a kitten into
> our household thinking Sylvia was totally healthy. (Luckily, the kitten,
> Beatrice, has remained negative-- she gets retested and vaccinated
> annually-- and has grown into an active and healthy indoor cat.)
> Those of you with more experience owning FLV+ cats: any help or advice you
> can offer would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance!
> All the best,
> Anna, Sylvia, and Beatrice
> -- 
> Anna E. Waltman
> PhD student & Teaching Associate
> Department of English and American Literature
> University of Massachusetts, Amherst
> <awalt...@english.umass.edu>

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