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FIV-ear infections, behavior

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
My adorable Freddie just tested positive for FIV last month. He is now just 6 months - was passed to him from his mother (who lives elsewhere, we saved him from the shelter). He now has a pretty full-blown ear infection, which I have read is fairly uncommon for cats to get......a possible symptom of his FIV....the immunity so low in his little body that the infection has surfaced. He is on antibiotics and drops. My questions is two-fold:
1) has anyone had a young cat w/FIV and infectious symptoms such as this???
2) AND/OR --- do FIV-positive junior cats exhibit personality or depressive changes in their behavior? He was a normal kitten just a month ago and was full of life, spark, and appetite!, and now he is fighting this infection and "quiet" around the house.
My vet seems to agree this change in personality is symptomatic of FIV positive in a junior cat, but any dialogue or experiences, please please please write and share. I love him so much. Thank you. Elizabeth
post #2 of 3
Hi Elizabeth, my cat, Ferdy is an ex-stray with FIV. He's not young, the vet thinks he is about 8 years old. However he does suffer from almost constant ear infections. They have got worse over the 18 months or so we've had him, so he is now on constant antibiotics, eardrops and steroids (he also has hair loss problems).

He has recently started sneezing quite hard - we're just in the process of getting this checked out with the vet.

I would say that his immune system is definitely affected by the FIV and as a result it's more difficult for him to fight infection.

Ferdy's moods change frequently. He is sometimes full of energy, but again, sometimes he's quite lethargic. This is partly I suspect due to the infection and partly due to the medication. It could also be that the steroids, that are making him put on weight, mean that he's not as agile as in the past.

The one thing I would say - I've spent more money on this cat than on either of my other 2. However, I would gladly fill up all my credit cards on keeping him as healthy and happy as I can. I know his time is finite, and I cherish him being around all the more for it.

Good luck with Freddie. I hope he manages to fight his infection and continue to have a long and healthy life.
post #3 of 3
Sick cats act a lot like other animals (including us human animals ) when sick. Usually a dry nose and lethargy are tell-tale signs of illness, as most "wild" creatures try to mask their illness the best they can for fear of appearing "weak" and preyed upon. House cats do let their guard down more... for example, they don't go hiding when sick, they usually just loaf around more than usual and don't get snappy at us knowing we're trying to help/love them despite their being vulnerable. It's really pretty remarkable how mucgh trust you can develop with your pet when you think about how"wild" their true nature is.

I'm sorry to hear about the illness, but you'd be surprised at the tenacity of the felines. I had a Maine Coon that had an enlarged heart, and had some funky breathing as an indirect result. Was given steroids for the breathing and a year to live on the heart. That was in 1996. Last I checked, with his new owner, he was off the steroids and alive/healthy in late 2002. Remarkable I think. I saw him and he's a sight for sore eyes (big, fuzzy, and perky cat!). Add to this his allergic reaction to the Feline leukemia vaccine shot he received in late 1996, and he's truly a one-in-a-million cat. With enough love your cat could be too.
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