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Leukemia in cats

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I had to put my four year old Ocicat to sleep this morning as she had feline leukemia and aids. I am so down right now that I do not know whether I am coming or going as is my other cat Jill who can not figure out where Hannah went to. I keep wondering if there was something that I should have done before this to notice that she was sick. It just seemed to come on her so fast. Up until Saturday she looked and acted fine but then by Saturday night I could see that she was in distress and having breathing problems. After taking her to the vet who did an Xray and found out that her chest cavity was full of fluid plus a large mass there I knew that for her sake that there was only one choice and that was to put her to sleep. I just do not know how to handle this at this time in my life when it seems that everything possible has been going wrong. Sandy D
post #2 of 12
Sandy, Sometimes we think we can't handle the problems life gives us. It seems as if we are so burdened that we just can't take any more. You will cry and worry, but eventually the pain will be dulled. Hannah was very dear to you, and you will never forget how special she was. She was a special gift to you, and you to her. You will find that time will help, but I know you'll never forget her.

Try to give Jill extra love, and as soon as you feel up to it, have her tested. Feline leukemia can lie dormant, so it's possible she is a carrier. If that is the case, she should not be around any other cats. I don't like to bring this up now, as you are heartbroken, but I know you would not want to infect any other cats.

For the general information of other members who might not know, cats who will be going outside should be vaccinated against feline leukemia. It is contagious. It's possible, if Hannah was an indoor cat, that she was infected before you got her. You have done what was most merciful for her, and I'm sure she would thank you. Someday you'll see her again. God bless you.

Here's a link that may be of interest: http://web.vet.cornell.edu/public/fhc/felv.html
post #3 of 12
I am so sorry for your loss. It's always hardest when a loss comes unexpectedly, and especially when everything else is going wrong too. I don't have any advice for you, but I can tell you that cats are very good at hiding illness and pain. My thoughts are with you at this sad time, and I hope the other difficulties you are faced with will get better too.
post #4 of 12
Dear Sandy
I know you are going through a horrible time right now...It's a hard decision to make, especially when it's so unexpected...but you know it's for the only decision you could make out of love for your cat and that's something you should be proud of; that you love your cat so much that you are willing to let go of her. You are a wonderful person for making that decision for her. And please don't worry yourself with the idea that maybe you should have noticed something earlier...I am possitive you couldn't have...that's the thing with cats...they can go downhill so fast before you notice anything and all they need then is a loving caring owner who will help release them from their pain. I am going to have to have my cat put to sleep in a few days because the vet found a big inoperable tumor in him ...and yes...I know exactly what you are going through right now...I dread the moment that it will be done and I only hope that I can be as strong as you have been. I will keep you in my thoughts...and think of the fact that our cats can be playing together not long from now...I wish you the best of luck with your other cat, I will pray that she's allright. All my best and love to you Sandy, and please write and talk whenever you feel like it...it does help...I only got to this forum after hearing my sad news yesterday and already I think the people are wonderful. It's just good to know that there are so many nice people that understand. I hope something good will cross your path soon!

post #5 of 12
I am so sorry for your loss! I just lost my dear Leo to leukemia. It has been 2 months, but it seems like just yesterday. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Please get the others tested. I was lucky that it did not spread, and the rest are vaccinated now. Once again, I am sorry for your loss.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
I want to thank all of you that wrote in to the forum in regards to my losing my Hannah. She was always an indoor cat as is my Jill. Both had been tested in the past and were shown to be negative. They have not been exposed to any other cats at all. The vet tells me that sometimes you get a false negative which I did not know and my prior vet never mentioned this at all. Yes I will miss her always but I know that time will help and after Jill is retested a couple of times and if negative then I will most likely give a home to another cat but until then I will not chance passing on that horrible thing to any other cat.
I wanted to just thank everyone here again for the thoughts and to let you know that it has helped me get through a very rough time for me as there have been family members who said "It's only a cat". Well to me it is not but a family member the same as my children are. Thanks once more Sandy
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am not sure is this will work as it is my first time trying to put a picture in here but wanted all of you to see Hannah if possible Sandy D
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Can someone explain to me how to do a picture on here as I thought that I had it figured out but guess not Sandy D
post #9 of 12
Sandy, I see the picture of your beautiful Hannah. Families just don't understand sometimes. Of course she's been a member of the family, but don't bother trying to explain that to someone who's not an animal lover. They don't think that way.
post #10 of 12
Sorry that Hannah and you had to go through all that She was a beautiful cat.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yes I thought that she was beautiful both inside and outside and will be a long time before I am over getting upset over her early death,
Now I also found out that my other cat Jill is also leukemia postive but it was not a surprise being that the two of them were always together. What bothers me the most is how either one got it as they had not been with other cats at all, I have had Jill since 1997 and she had tested negative in 2001 and then got Hannah who was tested as negative in 2001 also so it is a big puzzle to me unless Hannah had been exposed to it shortly before being tested and it was too early to show up. Guess it is one of those things that I will never know and always worry about. I had thought of getting another companion for Jill but unless I can find another leukemia postive cat I can not do that as I would never expose a cat to it knowingly. Thanks for all the concern Sandy
post #12 of 12
Sandy - I just read your story of Hanna and Jill. I am so very sorry.

I too live in NYS (upstate to be exact) and I know for a fact that many no kill shelters are teeming with Leukemia postive cats that need a great and loving home. Why don't you give them a look see?

I am not sure where exactly you are but in you are close by enough to Glens Falls, the SPCA of Upstate NY has some gorgeous Leukemia positive kitties waiting for a home.
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