My vet routinely prescribes Cyproheptadine┬ů.just ┬╝ of a pill induces
appetite very quickly!  I can attest to that! Natalie


[] On Behalf Of KG BarnCats
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2012 9:48 AM
Subject: Re: [Felvtalk] sick FLV+ kitty, worried owner


I'm surprised no one has mentioned an appetite stimulant such as
cyproheptadine or mirtazipine.  These are awesome tools to help keep a cat
eating the top quality foods it needs to rebuild its body.  Also don't be
afraid of an early feeding tube --if-- the cat's prognosis on the other side
of the illness is good.  Even with a FELV cat, some illnesses are not a sign
that the cat is nearing the end.  But adding slow starvation on top of
illness is a path to disaster.  And a feeding tube can be put in (just takes
a few minutes... relatively minor surgery... anesthetia is very short) for
$125 at helping hands clinic in Richmond, if u are anywhere near... awesome
inexpensive clinic profiled on Good Morning America, etc.

Good luck,


On Sunday, April 22, 2012, Sharyl <> wrote:
> Anna, you've already gotten some good advice.  Anemia will make her feel
rotten.  Treating that with nutrived could help her feel better.  Or try
Pet-Tinic but also give her some folic acid.  I've given anemic kitties
NutriVed, folic acid, Super B complex and B-12.  Be sure to follow up any
med with a syringe of food or water.
> Make sure she is eating enough food to maintain her body wt.  That may
mean assist feeding.  There is a great yahoo group to help.
> You can try some gently warmed meat baby food (no onions or garlic).  It
is easy to syringe feed.   
> You can check to see if she is dehydrated by checking her gums.  If they
are slick she is OK.  If they are tacky she is dehydrated.  That will also
make her feel lousy.  You can give sub q fluids at home.  I buy the fluids
by the case from my local pharmacy.  The IX sets and Terumo ultra thin wall
needles are available on line.  Here are some links that will help
> Sophia Gets Her Subcutaneous (Sub Q) Fluids
> Go here for info on sub q fluid supplies
> Hiding doesn't man this is the end.  Just that Sylvia isn't feeling well.
Do try to get some food into here.
> Sharyl
> From: Anna Waltman <>
> To:
> Sent: Saturday, April 21, 2012 1:25 PM
> Subject: [Felvtalk] sick FLV+ kitty, worried owner
> 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). 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
> 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
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