[Felvtalk] Please add Aggie to the CLS

2011-06-07 Thread Andy Domek

Hi all,

I know I haven't posted in awhile, but I wanted to offer an update to those of 
you who followed our story with our little bundle of spunk, Aggie.
We helped Aggie cross over this morning, and it was one of the hardest 
things I've had to do.  It was also the right thing to do.  Her anemia 
caused her to gasp for air since yesterday evening, and she was starting
 to involuntarily shake, could no longer walk, make it to the litter 
box, and could barely raise her head to watch the lizards running around
 our patio.  She was my little valiant fighter for 7 years, but 
ultimately FELV took her from me.  We tried everything short of a 
transfusion, and it just wasn't enough.
I firmly 
believe that LTCI bought us about a year of good quality time.  Her 
bloodwork was taking a VERY marked decline last June, and LTCI reversed it.  
Unfortunately, FELV is a tough nut to crack and there was only so much 
we could do.


It was very peaceful, she just went to sleep while we 
sang her song to her , and told her what a blessing she has been in our 
life.  If love could heal, she'd have been the healthiest cat ever.  But
 right now, she's not in any pain, no more seizures, no more force 
feeding, no more shots, and only peace.



There is a void in my home, and my heart right now.  But I am so, so 
thankful to have had her at all.  I didn't even like cats before I met 
her, and now I'm a sucker for them!  


Thank you for your advice, your collective knowledge, and more importantly, for 
the kindness you show to everyone who is dealing with this nasty disease.



Peace to all of you, and good luck on your journeys with your beloved 
fuzzbuckets.



Andy
  
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Re: [Felvtalk] LTCI

2011-06-07 Thread Andy Domek

Hi Pam,

LTCI is short for lymphocyte t-cell immune modulator.  It is supposed to 
increase the body's production of t-cells, the killer cells who fight viruses.  
It ain't cheap, but it worked for us when we needed it last summer and I 
believe it bought us some good quality time with Aggie.  We started it when her 
WBCs were in decline, and after a brief, expected dip--all levels went into the 
normal range.  I don't know if it will work for everyone, but I sure loved my 
last year with my Aggie cat that I believe LTCI gave to us.

More information is available on this site: http://tcyte.com/ 

Andy


  
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Re: [Felvtalk] LTCI

2011-06-07 Thread Andy Domek

Contact your vet and bring them the information on the site.  If you have them 
order it directly through the company as opposed to a distributor, you will 
save some money.  It was about $45 a shot through T-cyte the last time I 
ordered it.  Your vet can show you how to give the shots at home to save a 
little more money.

Good luck Pam, I'm thinking of you and your cat.

Andy


  
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Re: [Felvtalk] Time to step down from rescuing for a time being

2011-03-28 Thread Andy Domek

Terrie,

You have done so much for so many, and it is good that you are taking this 
break to be with your husband.  Know that you and your husband are in my 
thoughts and prayers for the foreseeable future.

Peace to you,

Andy


  
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[Felvtalk] LTCI answer

2011-03-24 Thread Andy Domek

Hi Sean,

Our vet just ordered LTCI directly from the company, and it was about $100 
cheaper for the ten pack then the previous outside distributor.  

 So glad it is working for you!  We've used it with our  almost 7 year old 
Aggie (FELV+ since birth) since June of last year, and had some good results in 
terms of bloodwork improvements.  She's gone downhill in the last month or so, 
as we've struggled to get her seizures under control when I stupidly, dumbly, 
like an idiot (you get the idea) reduced her anti-seizure medicine more than 
she could take, and didn't increase it up fast enough so as to create even more 
problems.  But, I'm hopeful because she's still here 7 full months after her 
first seizure, and whatever is causing them hasn't killed her yet.  I will have 
hope as long as she's still her spunky little self.  But I do believe the LTCI 
helped her a great deal when her WBCs, Neutrophils and Platelets started to 
decline.

 Anyhoo, the website for the company is:

 http://tcyte.com/ 


The contact info is there, and your vet shouldn't have too much trouble 
ordering from there.

Good luck.

Andy



  
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Re: [Felvtalk] Rosie's mass has returned

2011-03-22 Thread Andy Domek

Alice,
 
I am so sorry to hear Rosie's mass has returned.  Could this be to the decrease 
in pred?  If so, could an increase help things out again?  I am so sorry to 
hear that this is happening.  
 
Little Rosie, and Pirate Miso and Sachi are in my thoughts and prayers (and you 
too, of course!)
 
Andy  
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Re: [Felvtalk] Purrayers for our Rosie

2011-02-22 Thread Andy Domek

Oh Alice--I'm sending good thoughts for Rosie!  The neck is where we discovered 
Aggie's lump in the summer of 09, but it was Adenocarcinoma of the Salivary 
gland--not lymphoma.  Hoping it is just an infected gland or a cyst or a 
nothing at all though!
 
Stay strong Rosie!
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Re: [Felvtalk] LTCI Injections

2011-01-03 Thread Andy Domek

Hi,
 
The LTCI injection that Aggie gets are given in her hind leg area.  Not up on 
the medical lingo--but it looks just like a regular vaccination type shot.  It 
is not given intravenously, or under the skin like fluids.  Hope this helps.
 
Andy  
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[Felvtalk] Mick and Spanky

2011-01-03 Thread Andy Domek

Just a quick note of condolence to Stacy and Sherry--know that I'm thinking of 
both of you at this difficult time.  I hope time and the good memories of your 
critters bring you peace.  
 
Andy
  
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Re: [Felvtalk] LTCI injections

2011-01-03 Thread Andy Domek

Hi Shannon,
 
It isn't intravenous at all.  When I said it wasn't under the skin like like 
fluids, I just meant that it wasn't done between shoulder blades.  It is 
usually given in her hind flank.  Here is the info from the product insert:
 
Lymphocyte T-Cell Immunomodulator is administered
by subcutaneous injection of 1 ml upon diagnosis of
the presence of FIV or FeLV disease.
 
I know a great many people who give the shot themselves--and it isn't into the 
veins. 
 
Sorry I was so darn confusing!  Hopefully the second time is the charm!
 
Andy
 
 
 

  
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Re: [Felvtalk] LTCI, and FELV Fevers and Treatments

2010-12-10 Thread Andy Domek

While Aggie doesn't have symptoms outwardly at present, she has always tested 
positive on bothe Elisa test and IFA tests from the time she was 3 months old.  
We've had her tested no less than 7 or 8 time--the most recent being after her 
cancer surgery in 2009.
 
She's been on LTCI every two weeks since June, so if she's still kicking in 
March or April of 2011, we might have her retested for the heck of it.  I doubt 
she will have seroconverted, but as you will know from 910 pets and others on 
this blog--it has apparently happened with others.  Not counting on it, but 
that sure would be nice.  If that did happen, I would still consider her as a 
positive, jut that there isn't enough virus to show up on tests.  
 

  
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Re: [Felvtalk] Interferon

2010-12-10 Thread Andy Domek

Aggie has had interferon every day of her life since I've had her (for 6 and a 
half years) and has had no noticeable side effects.  But--she is still alive 
and happy, so I suppose you could consider that a side-effect.   Might also be 
chalked up to good luck, but I'm sure the Interferon hasn't hurt her. 
   
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Re: [Felvtalk] Interferon

2010-12-10 Thread Andy Domek

Hi Brenda,
 
I had zero intention of being sarcastic!  I know you are just researching what 
is best for your baby, and I know how scary this is.  I meant no disrespect to 
you, or anyone else.  In thinking back over Aggie's life, I was honestly trying 
to think of anything that might be considered a side effect, and couldn't 
think of anything, so I wrote the only thing that came to mind as a joke.  
That's the problem with the written word--it is impossible to see tone on the 
page that if spoken in a conversation wouldn't even be an issue.
 
I am truly sorry for offending you during what is obviously a very difficult 
time.
 
Andy  


  
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Re: [Felvtalk] LTCI, and FELV Fevers and Treatments

2010-12-09 Thread Andy Domek


Re: :LTCH--I've had reasonable success with LTCI.  If you do a search in the 
archives, you can read what I've written about my journey with my cat, Aggie.  
She's still kicking at 6 and a half years.  I've had her on Alpha Interferon 
every day of her life, 1 cc every morning (and after she suffered a seizure of 
unknown cause, every morning and evening).  She's also been on LTCI every two 
weeks since her WBC and neutrophils went downhill last Spring.  Her bloodwork 
has rebounded nicely, and she is currently asymptomatic, and very playful with 
a fine appetite and attitude.  I know this won't continue on forever, but for 
now--every day is a party with her.  
 
About the interferon, Aggie has been on it every day of her life from the time 
we adopted her.  She had zero symptoms of anything FELV related until she 
developed adenocarcinoma of the salivary gland (cancer) at the age of 5.  We 
had that removed in the Summer of 09, and as I mentioned above--she's still 
here.  I think the Interferon may have played a role in keeping her healthy for 
so long.  It isn't terribly expensive, at any rate. 

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[Felvtalk] LTCI reply for nephew's FELV + kitten

2010-11-29 Thread Andy Domek

Hi all,
 
This is in reply to the poster  who asked about anyone with recent successes 
with LTCI.  My 6 year old FELV + (since birth) cat, Aggie, has been on LTCI 
since June and her bloodwork has improved a great deal.  For the first time in 
her life, her WBC is firmly in the normal range.  Prior to this, low normal 
of 4.2 was the best we had, and that was not often that it was that high.  
Usually 3.8 or 4.0 when we would run tests.  It was 4.8 as of the last test a 
month or two ago (up from 2.0) two months prior.  
 
She gets a shot every two weeks.  We started her when aspects of her bloodwork 
started going steadily downhill: neutrophils, WBC, and platelets.  We were 
going to stretch it out to monthly, but she had a seizure when we went longer 
(though now I suspect it might have been the insecticide that was sprayed 
outside the house a few days before, --and she likes to sit at the screen door) 
and it is two weeks for the forseeable future.  No seizures in 3 months (knock 
on wood), weight is good, and most recent bloodwork has been the best of her 
life.  She also gets Alpha interferon daily (since birth--so for 6 and a half 
years now), and I mix a little bit of astragalus into her wet food every night 
(for the last year--since her surgery to remove an adenocarcinoma of the 
salivary gland in July of 2009).
 
While I don't think the LTCI is a cure, we did notice an improvement in 
bloodwork, and the weight she started to lose came back.  I think it is 
probably keeping her head above water.  I get weird when I talk about her 
success--I'm always afraid I'm going to jinx her or something.  Stupid, I know.
 
I'm sorry I don't post more--when I try to hit the reply button at the bottom 
of the archives page, it tells me it can't process my request.  But hopefully 
this answers some of your questions!
 
Happy to answer any more you may have.
 
Andy 

  
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[Felvtalk] Aggie Introduction Part 1

2010-10-11 Thread Andy Domek



This is the first of two posts--my wordy self had originally tried to post one 
long email, but I was over the limit.  So, I thought it was a good idea to 
break it up. Without further ado--here is part 1--part 2 is being posted 
momentarily.  
 
 
Hi all,
 
I've been following for awhile, but never actually joined.  So, first and 
foremost--thank you for all of your wonderful information and kindness you show 
to each other on a daily basis.  It is truly inspiring.  Prepare thyselves for 
a VERY long email  
 
Second, while I am new to the list, I am not new to FELV as I've had a 
wonderful FELV + kitty (Aggie) that my wife and I raised from a kitten since 
2004.  We found her and her siblings, less than a year after we got married, 
under the dumpster of the apartment complex where we used to live.  We got them 
cleaned up, adopted out, and then the one person who adopted two of them called 
to let us know that they were going to have one of them put down due to testing 
positive for FELV.  So, despite not being a cat person--as I've always had 
dogs and birds, we became a cat family.  So, I've been living with the disease, 
knowing full well what it could do, for over 6 years now.  She's tested 
positive throughout the years on Elisa and IFA on multiple occasions.
 
Aggie Lucky Trouble has given us so much joy since day one.   I have loved 
every minute of having her in my life—within ten minutes of her being “mine” 
she had me wrapped around her little paw and she became the matriarch of a long 
line of cats that I’m sure my family will have throughout the years. 
For the first 5 years of Aggie's life, she took daily Alpha Interferon from a 
dropper (it is still the highlight of her day--she loves the stuff!), went 
to the vet twice a year for wellness checkups and she wasn't sick a day in her 
life.  In the summer of 2009, however, I noticed a bump behind her right ear.  
Long story short, it was an adenocarcinoma of the parotid salivary gland.  Vets 
at UC Davis said it was encapsulated, and they got all the cancer they could 
see, with a very small, but clean margin.  We opted not to do radiation, as we 
didn't want to stress her little system and get the FELV into active mode.  We 
diligently checked for regrowths, had her lungs x-rayed every few months, and 
had bloodwork run a few times a year.  No return of the adenocarcinoma that we 
know of. 
 
Spring of 2010, she's active and playful as normal, but her bloodwork, and 
weight started to decline.  Everything looked good other than WBC 3.8, 
neutrophils 2000, and platelets (est 50-120)were a bit low.  On followup tests, 
the WBC and neutrophils were even a bit lower (3.6 and 1800, respectively).  
So, we went the LTCI route.  After 3 weekly shots, things had declined further 
(WBC 2.8 and Neutrophils 1200), but we had read this would happen initially as 
the stuff killed off the infected cells.
 
Went to every other week on the stuff, and things had improved (WBC 4.0, 
Neutophils 2800, and Platelets 120-Normal--not as worried about platelets as 
she is VERY difficult to get a sample from--it usually takes everyone in the 
office and she gives everybody heck).  Subsequent tests (still at every two 
weeks) and WBC had risen to 4.8, Neutrophils to 3800, and same platelets).  
 
 
 
All was good until a month or so ago, when I noticed her weight was down a bit, 
so I gave her a quarter pill of an appetite stimulant--mirazapine--and a half 
hour later she was seizing (lasted 30 seconds, but it seemed like hours).  This 
was also the time when we tried to stretch her LTCI to every three weeks.  
Rushed her to the e-vet, where she was her normal, wild self--leaping on the 
vet's keyboard and getting in the way.  Didn't run any tests, as the e-vet 
thought it would be less expensive at our regular vet's office.  Two days 
later, she had another, milder seizure--still standing, responsive to her name, 
but drooling and twitching, and contorted.  Lots of loud meows and a bit spacey 
afterword for a few minutes, but back to normal after that.  Told that the 
mirtaziprine will be in the system for at least 72 hours, so it is possible 
that it lowered the threshold for her body to have a seizure.  This would make 
sense, as her last seizure was about 68 hours after her first seizure.  She has 
had no seizures since.  
 
Our regular vet wanted to refer us out to UC Davis, but overall costs for 
diagnostic tests were going to be almost $5000, which we couldn't afford.  So, 
we did a compromise, and our regular vet did a chest x-ray to see if there was 
some sort of systemic cancer, and we ran blood to see if there was something 
there that might indicate a seizure.  The only weird thing was that her 
bloodwork looked great (for her anyway--still 4.8 WBC, and good neutrophils and 
everything else).  Nothing in the lungs either. 
 
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[Felvtalk] Aggie Introduction Part 2

2010-10-11 Thread Andy Domek



Our story continues with Aggie introduction, part 2..
 
At this point, I would have chalked the seizure up to the mirtaziprine if it 
wasn't for the fact that the day before we gave her the drug, Aggie was meowing 
very loudly and had thrown up a bit of a clear liquid.  While my wife didn't 
see it, she wasn't covered in drool and wasn't disoriented like after the two 
known seizures.  So, we really don't know what happened, but suspect it was a 
milder seizure type incident, and the mirtaziprine made everything worse.  My 
vet, nor the vet I consulted with at UC Davis, thinks the mirtaziprine was the 
major cause, though they did admit that it might be what triggered the grand 
mal, and the later, smaller seizure.  So, to be on the safe side, she has been 
on phenobarbitol for about a month now, with no further seizures (my wife is 
home with our 3 month old baby, so she would know).  The first three weeks on 
it were rough--sluggish, lots of sleeping, and incoordinated with weakness in 
her hind legs.  (Cat, not the wife, for those of you still reading!)  As of 
now, she is pretty much back to normal, with just a little residual weakness.  
Nowhere near where it was, though.
 
At present, still getting interferon every day, reloaded her with LTCI weekly 
for three weeks, and now moving back to what had become the sweet spot of every 
2 weeks (next shot is this Saturday) and hoping for the best.  When we next 
test her blood in a few weeks, we might see if we can screen for toxoplasmosis 
and cryptococcus (I know I misspelled this!) but didn’t have the cash to do it 
the first time around.  Another possibility is that she might have been exposed 
to insecticide, as we had the outside of our home sprayed for wasps a month or 
so ago.  The day of the first incident it had rained, and she was sitting for 
most of the day at the screen door looking out into the yard.  She was sitting 
over the door jam (but still behind the screen, mere inches from an area that 
had been heavily sprayed, as it was a problem area, and the recent rain could 
have easily washed some of the toxins through the screen for her to breathe or 
even lick.  
 
Could have gotten to her paws, and she could have licked them--I don't know.  
Other possibilities are of course, a brain tumor, the FELV crossing the blood 
brain barrier, lymphoma of the gut that had metastatized (probably misspelled 
this one too) into her brain but avoided the lungs and hasn’t swelled up her 
lymph nodes enough that the vet can feel, or the aforementioned poisoning, 
crypto, and toxoplasmosis.   Our other cat, who has lived with us for five 
years (and is FELV negative but vaccinated) was a cat that settled on the front 
porch of the house we had just moved into.  So, it is possible he brought it 
in, but her immune system was strong enough to deal with it for 5 years.
 
At this point, Aggie seems happy, weight is alright, appetite is good, and her 
zest for life is apparent.  She doesn't mind being around the baby at all, and 
we are trying to make every day a party for as long as we have her.  She is the 
protypical cat, in that she is alternatingly spunky, sweet, and antisocial and 
loves to chase my wife's hair clips all over the house.  She'll ignore almost 
every other toy, but not those hair bands.
 
Our FELV negative boy--Crookshanks, is the sweetest animal known to humanity.  
He loves the baby, and (supervised of course) will sit with her and 
occasionally nuzzle her feet.  He will sit on the couch above me as I hold the 
baby, and groom my head with his tongue.  He does the same to my wife, if he 
isn’t in her lap.  He would love to groom the baby too, but that is a bit much! 
  
 
So—that is one long introduction!  In all likelihood, we are on the downhill 
slope of our time together, but who knows—she is a spunky girl and we’ve been 
lucky to have her for so long.  I’ll keep you posted as we go through the rest 
of our journey together.  Even though we never met, all of you have given me so 
much hope and inspiration.  To those of you who have lost cats, my deepest 
condolences--and know that I will continue to send good thoughts and purrayers, 
as Alice likes to say, your way.  
 
Peace,
Andy
  
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