He was sick all week, not eating, not drinking, sleeping a whole lot more and being generally depressed... a very big change. I took him to the vet, they did a bunch of tests, I paid a bunch of money and his white blood cells were half of what they should be...hence the FIV status which was confirmed the next day. But he seems to be recovering from whatever bug he has right now. It's been a process trying to get him to drink...using a syringe and shooting a little water into his mouth did eventually make him want to drink on his own. I've had giant cups in every room in hopes of reminding him. He is finally drinking on his own, and eating, though he's not entirely himself yet. I am just hoping...
There's no way to tell where he managed to pick up the disease... probably from the mangly looking stray that was hanging around a while back... or one of the many others running up and down the street...as it is usually contracted through contact with another infected cat. Saliva to blood. And Twitchy's a fighter. But we'll never know the actual story. I do feel rather guilty, because maybe if I had kept him indoors this might not have happened. At the same time though, I can't beat myself up...and anyways would that have been fair to him? He's a hunter, a killer, the tomcat of the neighbourhood... he runs the show around here. It's just not his nature. He knows it, I know it. And cats should have the joy of going outdoors. Unfortunately for him, he might have to be spending alot more time indoors anyways to keep him from getting sick and spreading this to other cats.
I've been doing a bit of research on FIV... in hopes of finding something that's going to help him. I don't know how long he has, but he might just have a few (or more) good years left.
Some facts on FIV
- Cats can still live a long time with FIV if they're receiving proper care & monitoring throughout their lives though it's eventually fatal
- Casual contact of cats living in the same household does not spread the virus.
- The virus cannot live outside of the cat
- An infected cat may not show any symptoms at all, or his health may either deteriorate progressively, or show a pattern of recurring illness followed by long periods of good health
- Eventually, signs of immunodeficiency begin to develop and the cat's ability to protect itself against infection is compromised. The same bacteria, viruses, fungi that are found in cats' everyday environment can cause severe illness in cats with weakened immune systems. These secondary infections are responsible for most of the clinical signs of FIV and the major cause of death
- Humans cannot catch this from cats! The HIV virus does not affect cats and the FIV virus does not affect humans.
- It sounds alot like human aids, doesn't it.