Tuesday, February 23, 2010

This is Sammy.  He was the first cat I ever had that was diagnosed with Feline Leukemia.  At the time, everything was dim and grim, and I was told by his vet that the kindest thing I could do was to have him euthanized.  This was back in 1989, and things have changed since.  I did not listen to that vet, but there wasn't much information back then on how to deal with Feline Leukemia- back then it was called 'Cat AIDs'.  I just provided the best home I could, the best food and medical care I could, and hoped for the best. 

Sammy lived for five years after I rescued him, and he eventually died from urinary tract failure- and infection from having (sorry it sounds gross) the end of his penis cut off because he was having problems urinating.  He actually died in his carrier while waiting for veterinary care, which I have always felt horrible about.  Obviously I never went back to that vet, either.  I will have Sammy's whole story up soon at Cat Adoption Stories, but until then, I came across another site that gives really good advice about Feline Leukemia and Health Tips.  Interestingly enough, the cat she talks about also was named Sam.  She gives some good tips on how to integrate a cat that has leukemia into your household.  I think these are good tips for people who keep their pets indoors, or who have limited numbers of pets.  I have always had a different take because my pets were rescues, and most began as feral cats who have most likely already been exposed. 

What you need to know is that having your cat diagnosed with Feline Leukemia is not a death sentence. They can live for many healthy, happy years if you keep on top of their medical concerns.