Feline Leukemia - what does the end look like?

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Dave:
I fear our kitty boy Spencer is on the downhill slide: The anemia is making him cold so all he wants to do is sleep on top of the monitor.
He doesn't want to eat and is loosing weight.
He's been getting kind of spastic and clumsy – suddenly launching himself up on top of things.
He's started to use the Jacuzzi as a littler box.
But most alarmingly, he knows he's sick and he just isn't "in his eyes." You know what I mean.
We'll talk to the vet today about options, but are torn with what to do next. He isn't in any pain, but he isn't happy or comfortable either. I swore I'd stick with him to the end, I just don't know what that looks like. Will he just go to sleep? Or will he have to suffer through his body failing on him?
Any help is appreciated,
Dave
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Karen:
[nq:1]I fear our kitty boy Spencer is on the downhill slide: The anemia is making him cold so all he ... go to sleep? Or will he have to suffer through his body failing on him? Any help is appreciated, Dave[/nq]
I don't think he will just go to sleep. It sounds like he is pretty anemic. Is your doctor attempting to treat symptomatically? Mostly, it will be a slow decline or a secondary infection due to the lowered immune system or cancer. However, if he is facing anemia, I would at least try treating that to see if it improves his quality of life. QOL is the big factor here. Purrs and hugs for you in this tough time.
Karen
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Cheryl:
[nq:1]I fear our kitty boy Spencer is on the downhill slide:[/nq]
Dave, my heart goes out to you. I can't tell you how many times I thought I saw Shadow declining from FeLV but I guess I just didn't know what to look for. He probably picks up on my worry, too, so I try not to show it. His first winter he had some noisy breathing and I thought that was it, he was succumbing to it. But I got a humidifier and he improved, and hasn't sounded that way since. But I know what you are going through. Emotion: sad
[nq:1]The anemia is making him cold so all he wants to do is sleep on top of the monitor. He ... know what I mean. We'll talk to the vet today about options, but are torn with what to do next.[/nq]
I hope you find some answers. I have opted to treat Shadow symptomatically and try to prevent anything that might bring on illness - the best diet I can give him that he'll eat and trying to minimize stress. Stress can wreak havoc, especially since the immune system is compromised. With Shadow, he also has IBD and stress is a factor with that too. I had to put more litter boxes spread out around the house so he could make it to one (the IBD), but that might help with Spenser using the Jacuzzi.
[nq:1]He isn't in any pain, but he isn't happy or comfortable either.[/nq]
I think this is your answer, though not eating is something that you'd want to look at. Does he hide? Not playing anymore, or as much? This isn't something I'm worried much about because mine has never really liked to play, though he actually has been playing with toys again in the last year or so. Sleeping alot, well mostcats do. Emotion: wink Maybe the vet can think of something, a drug or something to help with the anemia? I think you have said he's already had a transfusion, though I hear it could take more than one.
I swore I'd stick with him to the end, I just don't know what
[nq:1]that looks like. Will he just go to sleep? Or will he have to suffer through his body failing on him?[/nq]
I think he will let you know and he might be doing that now. I'd wait to speak with the vet, and unless you have a really good one, they might try to tell you it is time because what he has is fatal. But if symptoms are controlled, I hear many can live a few years before they become ill. That is what I'm counting on.
Best to you and Spenser.
Cheryl
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Sherry:
[nq:2]The anemia is making him cold so all he wants ... He's started to use the Jacuzzi as a littler box.[/nq]
Sorry to piggyback, I don't have the original post. I am so sorry, Dave. FeLV is a horrible disease. When Luke was in the end stages, he first get what seemed to be URI's, one after another. Then his appetite went; well, actually he acted like he wanted to eat, but wouldn't. The vet said it was due to bloating in his stomach. Then he started to hide, which is a sure sign the cat is extremely ill. That's when we decided his quality of life was not worth the struggle he was obviously in. Again, you have my deepest sympathy. It's tough.
Sherry
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Dave:
Thanks all, I appreciate the kind words and advice.

Because his body was destroying his own red blood cells, Spencer is being treated for the anemia with steriods and has had 2 tranfusions. He's also getting Interferon to help with the leukemia. The last transfusion only raised his red cell volume 2 points,so that's really not an option again.

He still won't eat. He started hiding last night and acts like he's seeign things. Tonight he peed on the cartpet in the middle of the living room. That's just not him, and I fear the end is near.
We talked to the vet and he agreed that he probably will not go quietly. We'll be making an appointment this week to have him put to sleep.

It's tough beyond words.
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MacCandace:
>
I'm very sorry about Spencer, Dave. I know how difficult it is to make the decision and then to decide just when. It is definitely a clue when they begin hiding. That was my major clue when my late cat, Emily, had lymphoma. Can you put a heating pad on for him so he has somewhere warm to lie?

Candace
(take the litter out before replying by e-mail)
See my cats:
http://photos.yahoo.com/maccandace
"One does not meet oneself until one catches the reflection from an eye other than human." (Loren Eisely)
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Cheryl:
"Dave" (Email Removed) dumped this in @corp.supernews.com on 06 Mar 2004:
[nq:1]It's tough beyond words.[/nq]
I'm so sorry to hear this Dave. You're giving him the kindest gift.

Cheryl
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