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please pray for my LEO! He has critical anemia!! - Page 4

post #91 of 128
Thread Starter 
glad to hear Tuxedo is still his perky self, and hopefully they will figure out what is going on, and it's won't be anything serious!

I took Leo to my vet today. The bump was just clear fluid and nothing to worry about.

he also recieved the report for the faculty about Leo. He has myeloid leukemia.

Basically the cancer attacked hes red blood cells. The only positive thing is that his white blood cell count is normal, which I was told means his immune system is fine. And that the cancer has not attacked other cells yet. So if the pill works he can live comfortably until the cancer starts to destroy his red blood cells again. (could be months to years)

Next week Leo will have a blood work up, and that will tell us if the pill is helping. Now it is too soon to tell. Because this is so rare to happen in a cat Leo's age, they do not know what to predict. They are saying that right now it could still be the blood transfusion that is making him better, but if his count is the same or higher next week, then it will be worth continuing treatment. If by some lucky chance the number of cancer cells has also significantly decreased they may be able to reduce the dosage to one pill every second day.

I really hope it is the pill that has let him improve so much! He was able to go up the stairs today! I have been enjoying each moment I get to spend with my Leo. What ever happens I am glad we got this time together. It is wonderful to see him alert, curious, playful and purring, and still eating and drinking....

We have only let him out with the other cats when we are there to supervise, because he doesn't have strength enough yet to palyfight with Roxy like they used to, She really wants to play with him...she has been grooming this fluffy toy since Leo isn't there (she never did this before)'s gonna be tough on Roxy to be without her buddy....

Please continue all your positive thoughts that Leo will continue to fight this, and live longer than anyone expects....

He is sleeping is his cubby beside me right now....he is such good boy, he brings so much happiness to ours and Roxy's lives!
post #92 of 128
Of course your strong beautiful Leo remains in my prayers! It's wonderful that his WBC count remains normal! I look forward to hearing more reports of his progress. That's so sweet about Roxy grooming the the little fluffy toy.
post #93 of 128
My thoughts are with you and Leo and I am hoping SO HARD that his next tests come back positive!!!!
post #94 of 128
Roxy AND Leo are in my prayers!!!!!! That she's grooming his fluffy toy is just too sweet.

Anita, after Tuxedo's blood transfusion, his blood cell count dropped but then stabilized. It wasn't until week two of medication that we began to see the PCV improve. Obviously Tuxedo's on different meds with a different condition. And I am sending up prayer after prayer that these meds are working for Leo!!! But all I'm saying is that this is the first week of meds - if the number falls, I'm not sure I wouldn't give it another week. Of course, this is a decision for you and your vet to make, but given how much better he's feeling, SOMETHING is going on to improve his health whether you can see it in the numbers yet or not!!!!!

post #95 of 128
Thread Starter 
LDG thanks and I totally agree with you. Leo is doing so much better. He climbed his tree last night! I figured as long as his blood doesn't show he is getting worse, I will continue....we can see he is happy...

ALso I must share this with you LDG! I gave Leo GSE because he was sneezing, and he stopped completely in 3 days, I was surprised especially since the chemo drugs lowers his immune system.....

So I was surfing the net to see if there was any new info on GSE since I last looked into it...and I came across another product that may be helpful to my Leo and your Tuxedo!

It's called transfer factor, or transfer factor plus (the human formula is better than the feline formula from what I read)

It is suppose to boost there immune system from autoimmune diseases (what Tuxedo may have and Immunodeficiency diseases like cancer what Leo has.
Form what I read a condition like Tuxedo should take transfer factor and Leo should take transfer factor plus, but there is no harm to give both...

please check it out and see what you think! I am thinking of trying it for my Leo along with his meds! I am currently trying to get some in montreal canada, but haven't found anyone who carries it...If I don't find anyone tommorrow I will order online.

here is some info from one site, check it out....

Dr. Steven Slagle, DVM - A cat with Leukemia, an oral tumor, and posterior paralysis due to a spinal tumor was very ill and emaciated. One month after starting her on Transfer Factor Plus at 1 capsule per day, there was some regression of the oral tumor, restored appetite with some weight gain, and increased sociability. Five months later, this cat continues to improve - she regained her normal weight, her oral tumor has regressed 80%, and she has regained the use of her hind legs and tail.

this is a dog with anemia, but could work on your Tuxedo!

Dog's recover from Auto Immune Haemolytic Anaemia (AIHA)
My dog Arnie had been given up on by the vet. He had acute anaemia, a disease characterized by increased destruction of red blood cells (erythrocytes) by the dog's own immune system, and quite honestly we were making arrangements for his funeral. After one week on Transfer Factor we noticed a dramatic improvement. Three months later, after finishing the entire course, Arnie is doing so well that he no longer needs Transfer Factor . He now has so much energy on his new diet (James welbeloved) that we have to restrict his intake or we could be pulling him off the ceiling. He is putting on weight steadily as is his partner Heidi, She has been on Transfer Factor also and it has cured her scaly flaky skin condition on her back. Dave Burrows in Eastbourne, United Kingdom

The difference between Transfer Factor (basic) and Transfer Factor Plus:

Immune system disorders fall into two broad categories:

Immunodeficiency - when the immune system does not recognize invaders as being undesirable and therefore does not mobilize to destroy them.

Autoimmunity (self-destruction) - when the immune system fails to recognize 'self' as friendly and mounts an attack on itself."

Explaining Autoimmune Disease by David Isenberg, PhD and John Morrow, PhD
Duane Townsend, MD - "Transfer Factor helps to modulate the immune system." (autoimmunity - over-active immune system)

Baruch Rosen MD - "Transfer Factor Plus, a preparation which enhances and stimulates the body's own immune system to fight against all pathogens, viral or otherwise." (Immunodeficiency - underactive immune system)

If this could help our precious Leo and Tuxedo, I had to share what I found out with you. GSE has worked for me on cat colds in the past better than any antibiotics the vet gave me, so I am really thinking of trying this to help improve my Leo's quality of life....some humans with cancer have had good results witht transfer factor, maybe my Leo will too!

Please let me know what you think...and if anyone else knows anything more about this please let me know!!!
post #96 of 128
My thoughts and prayers are with you and Leo. He is such a beautiful cat and I know you hate to see him going through this. Bless you for doing all you can for him and letting him know just how much you love him.
post #97 of 128
Anita, we've been putting GSE in the cats' water since... before Winter? None of them got sick this Winter (save Flowerbelle, but she's had such a compromised immune system, with her problems with herpes and respiratory problems from lungworm and EGC....)

Tuxedo did get runny eyes for a day or two after we'd started immune system suppression, but I just added another "squirtful" of GSE to the water fountain for a few days, and it cleared up, so I agree with the benefits of GSE!

I'm going to take a look at this site and chat with our vet about it. I can't thank you enough for sharing your search results!!!!

Also - I did some more searching on the PCV levels. Found in most articles about feline anemia that 25% is usually considered the "line" between anemic and not - but the red blood cell count should be at 5.5%, and Tuxedo's got as high as 5.3%, but has recently fallen to 4.2%, and his white blood cell count is still very low and fell again, thus the continued treatment. We're having a big "pow-wow" with the feline internist specialist - our vet is concerned that we may need to use different immune suppression treatment. Gary and I are worried about Cornell articles on the use of Epogen in cats - once those values start to fall, if it's due to a resistance they've developed to the Human Erythropoietin (Epogen) drug, they often develop a resistence to Erythropoietin in general - including their own that they ARE producing, and the anemia can become worse than it was! We sure have our fingers crossed....

How's Leo doing? Did you get the results yet? Still sending prayers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #98 of 128
OK. My first reaction to the Transfer Factor & related section of that website? I'm always very skeptical about "miracle" cures. I do believe wholistic approaches to healing are beneficial to those who use them and can (and should) supplement "proven" medical treatment.

I don't doubt that there's something to Transfer Factor - but if it worked consistently, I'd expect it would have been snapped up by some pharmaceutical company and widely distributed (and I do know how the industry works). For something to cure problems from ringworm to cancer is difficult to believe. However - I'm going to consult with the vet. If it can't hurt, then I see no harm in trying, because I don't doubt that the testimonials are real. I just hope Tuxedo and Leo can fall into that "it helped!" category!!!!!!!!
post #99 of 128
Oh my goodness, I just now read this thread. You, your husband, and Leo are all in my thoughts and prayers. In the few minutes I had before I put my kitty Tank down, I wondered what in the world I was going to do without him, and how his sister/bestfriend/playmate was going to get by. I can definetly understand what you have been thinking/fearing/hoping. I think it's so awesome that you truly value every single day you get to spend with him. Isn't it crazy how we can become so close to an animal? Good luck with everything, and please keep us posted!
Laurie, I wish you luck and good thoughts/vibes for your furface, also. Hopefully whatever is really going on is manageable!
Take care, all of you!
post #100 of 128
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your kind words and understanding what I have been going through! Leo is improving everyday! Today he chased Piper up the stairs full speed! I was shocked and so happy for him! He is still has a pale nose and pads though, but they did look a little pinker today, so maybe the pills are kicking in, and soon his count will climb, since he is doing much better, the vet said to give it a few more days to let the pills really make a difference before we test him again....

LDG, I know what you mean about being skeptical, and I agree....I have since tried to find out all the info on transfer factor.

What I learned, is it has only been out for 1 yr, there has been a study confirming it boosts the natural killer cells.

Also that it is not a cure, but just a boost to the immune system, which for some people can help achieve a cure. Basically it is usually in addition to the meds to treat a condition....I have read some post on message boards from people who said it took away thier allergies!

awe Leo is so cute, he is in his bunny postion under my computer chair! I am looking at his cute belly right now. He is such an amazing cat, still not giving me any problems to eat or drink, he is not giving up, so I am not going to either......

sorry back to transfer factor...I realize this may just be another stupid pill that does nothing, but it has been known colustrum boost the immune, so even if there is a slight chance it can help Leo I will try it, I ordered it and should get it in 7-10 days....Leo's condition is acute, and the hydrea pill he is on can let him live longer without syptoms, but not a cure, unless his own body decides to beats it (unlikely). So for me, I don't feel as if I have anything to loose by trying it! Also for Tuxedo, transfer factor is suppose to wake up the white blood cells too!

About Tuxedo, he is in my thoughts, I really hope than can figure out a way to get his values up to normal, before he starts rejecting the epogen (I had read about this too!)

Bossinova, so sorry to hear about Tank, and thanks you for your is crazy how attached we can get to an animal, but the bond is there, will always be there, and each day it grows stronger! Each cat is unique just like each person is unique!

Today was a good day for me and Leo, I really hope there are many more to come!
post #101 of 128
I'm so glad Leo is improving with each day!! May there be many, many more improvements to come!
post #102 of 128
Awwwww 4 days away from the site and like Sasha more good news

Keep going little boy!
post #103 of 128
Originally Posted by cookie
Thank you all for your kind words and understanding what I have been going through! Leo is improving everyday! Today he chased Piper up the stairs full speed! I was shocked and so happy for him! He is still has a pale nose and pads though, but they did look a little pinker today, so maybe the pills are kicking in, and soon his count will climb, since he is doing much better, the vet said to give it a few more days to let the pills really make a difference before we test him again....

Today was a good day for me and Leo, I really hope there are many more to come!

Oh Anita, I get so happy when I read posts like this!

Here's where we stand on Tuxedo. Our vet consulted with the Specialist about Tuxie's recent numbers. The specialist wants us to take him off of Epogen, and continue with just the iron supplements and prednisone (for immune suppression). If his numbers continue to deteriorate, we're moving to an anti-cancer agent. I have SO got my fingers crossed!

BUT - we consulted with a pharmacist who's also a nutrionist and holistic advisor (cool combo, no? ) Although he deals with mostly people on the nutrition/holistic advising front, the pharmacy is a compounder (which means they not only make up not commercially available prescription medication, but they can customize prescription medication for proper dosages for animals) that deals with all the vets in the area, and he's very familiar with animal illness and medications. He's going to research animal nutrition to figure out the importance of the different vitamins/minerals. The focus of most cat food is based on protein content. We've given him the diet of our cats (Royal Canin and Hills Science Diet sensitive stomach formula combo), and he's going to look into developing a supplement just for Tuxedo that should help provide the building blocks that help produce red blood cells (B6, B12, folic acid....). I'm sending him the links for Transfer Factor, and between him and the vet, we'll see what they have to say (although I'm having trouble tracking down something that the vet woud actually consider research and thus from which he would be able to draw any actual conclusions). My biggest concern is using something that actually does affect Tuxedo's overactive immune system problem at the same time as using a prescription medication to suppress it.

GO LEO GO!!!!!!!!! And... c'mon Tuxie... We need BOTH of you to be OK!
post #104 of 128
Thread Starter 
oh LDG I really hope they can find something to get Tuxedo's numbers up!
And if they do get something to help produce red blood cells, you got to ship me some for LEO! I have always fed Leo Medical- preventative form the vet, which I have been told is one of the bests avaible here in canada, and the one to continue feeding for illness....

Is Tuxedo still feeling fine and still pink? Silly thought, but what a coincidence they are both bi-color cats! Leo is a grey Tuxedo!

Do you need links for the study that was released on transfer factor? I should be able to get the page I read some of the impressive stuff from...I would really love to know a medical proffesional's opinion about it!

I am praying and hoping for Leo and Tuxedo! We can't lose these precious fur babies! It is comforting knowing I am not alone fighting this, and that you LDG are also doing all you can to help your baby! Please keep me posted as often as you can, you are in my thoughts!
post #105 of 128
cookie , I want you to know that even if I don't post in here a lot I do check in here to see how your baby is doing . I am still praying for your baby , just so you know . to you and hang in there
post #106 of 128
Anita - how's Leo doing? Tuxedo is still acting great. His nose and paws are pink - not nearly as bright pink as Flowerbelle's and Sheldon's, but there is definitely color. He leapt straight up to the top of the cat tree today (six feet), so he MUST be feeling good!!!!

And we haven't heard from the pharmacist yet, but he was conducting research and WILL BE making a supplement. We'll have an extra batch made. PLEASE PM me or e-mail me your address.

Also, if you have the link (transfer factor) to research as opposed to testimonials, that would be really, really helpful.
post #107 of 128
Thread Starter 
Thanks Hedi, I appreciate your support!

LDG glad to hear Tuxedo is still doing great! Leo is doing good too! He has some days that are better than others, but has had some great days where he jumped and caught a fly! He is playing more, and eating more, so those are good signs. BUt he still is not pink, which has me worried. We are going for the test on thursday at 5 pm, and I am really nervous about the results. I know he is getting better but I suspect he is still anemic due to the lack of pink...but he is not legarthic anymore, so I think the cancer pill must be doing something! Leo is also our highest jumping cat, but since he got sick he hasn't done this except for the fly....

Here is one link about the research on transfer factor. I going to try to find some other links I saw too....


Also LDG, one site featuring a cat of the month, had a cat with the same problem Tuxedo had, low read and white blood cell count, no explanation (auto-immune) and they are giving that cat the same pilll Leo is on, even if that cat doesn't have cancer, and the cat has been doing well ever since and it's been two years and the cat still takes the pill everyday. I am trying to find the web page, to give you the link, but I have been to so many I haven't been able to relocate it yet!

I really hope we get good news for Leo! I really hope the pills are working, and he will continue to get better! Seeing Leo starting to enjoy life again has been so rewarding for us!
post #108 of 128
Thanks for those links.

Re: Cat with same problem as Tuxedo on same pill as Leo. Anti-cancer agents are used for immune suppression, and our vet told us this would likely be the next step if the Epogen didn't work. Which it did while we were using it - but he appeared to be becoming resistant to it.

We had Tuxedo's blood tested today. We won't have full results until tomorrow, but the PCV fell to 23.5 He's been off Epogen for a week. Reticulocyte count should indicate whether the problem is in the production of the red blood cells (which Epogen had been boosting) - or whether the problem is the over-active immune system "eating up" the cells. Gary almost passed out when Doc told us the number - we were so, so, so hoping that off the Epogen he'd do OK. But it dropped from 28 last week.

After he has the full results of today's blood work-up, Doc's calling the specialist. He's not sure, but he's pretty sure the next step is the anti-cancer treatment, Leukeran (chlorambucil) - and he says there's been excellent results in other cases. In humans it's generally used to treat Leukemia. One of the side effects is the suppression of bone marrow function - so though I'm doing the research now and can't ask until tomorrow, I guess the issue is to suppress whatever immune problem is attacking the bone marrow function. Kind of like a double-negative? I don't know. I just found a great article on Feline Anemia from the World Small Animal Veterinary conference - it does mention chlorambucil (Leukaren) is a great immunosuppressive agent and has few side effects in cats. Got my fingers crossed.

I've been searching for Hydroxyurea and anemia (Hydroxyurea is Hydrea 125), but can't find anything. Did find out that it is used to treat sickle cell anemia (with good success) in humans!

Sending up prayers for Leo!!!! It's so hard not to count on those numbers - but their behavior says so much. Do you get your results right away or should I be thinking of you Friday, not Thursday? (I'm not going to be around Thurs afternoon or Friday).
post #109 of 128
Thread Starter 
thanx for the update and info LDG! I really hope the new treatment help Tuxedo!

I should get some results on thursday night, but the full results on friday, after my vet sends them to the faculty that treated Leo (they are the only ones who can deal with special cases like Leo) so think of me both days if you can!

Your Tuxedo is on my mind as well, please let me know what happens next...
I can so understand how hard it is to hear the results...I am dreading this myself and I am very scared...

I also found this drug to help them produce red blood cells and think it might be a form of epogen, but it's called


it supposedly helps them keep producing when the cancer drugs unfortunately reduce bone marrow production...I am concerned about this fact, that the chemo pill stops the bone marrow from functioning like normal, how will Leo's body produce enough red blood cells to get his count back up? I am going to ask my vet on thursday to clarify....and if this drug can help my Leo...

Leo was more sleepy today and had me worried, but is a little better tonight...right now he and Roxy are on my bed, and I am going to join them! It is so hard to feel like I can't help Leo enough, when he shows me how full of life he still is. Leo is even closer to me now, and this past two weeks have been so special, I can feel his trust, when he purrs as I hold him, when I come Life will never be the same without him......I really don't know how to handle all this just breaks my heart such a sweet animal has to go through this, and I feel so I pray to G-d not to take him from me yet, to please give us more time together, he is not ready to let go, and ofcourse neither am I! Most of all I just want to see him acitve and happy and know he is enjoying his life as much as possible...
post #110 of 128
Yes - Epogen is the name of the human drug. Erythropoietin is the chemical in the body (that is part of the process of red cell creation stimulation). Cornell has run clinical trials in 2001 and 2003 in both cats and dogs with an erythropoietin-based drug that was created from canine and feline erythropoietin as opposed to human erythropoietin. The thinking, obviously, is that there's something in the human eruthropoietin that the animals develop a resistance too. Unfortunately it sometimes then causes them to attack the erythropoieten they are manufacturing themselves, which is why the anemia can become worse if a cat or dog develops resistance to Epogen treatments. I wrote to Cornell, and found that academia moves at VERY different speeds than corporations! They should be publishing the results of the feline erythropoieten study sometime later this year or early 2005, and the trials were closed back in 2003. (Usually takes corporations just six to nine months to compile the results of clinical trials, though the process of getting published in a peer-review journal definitely add some time. But the process doesn't take 2 years!)

My guess is Epogen wouldn't be indicated if the anemia isn't the result of a lack of erythropoietan production.

We got the reticulocyte count. It's "OK - a little below normal." So Tuxedo started Leukeran. And the idea is that it will suppress his immune system in order to prevent it from attacking the red blood cells he is producing. Got my fingers crossed.

And Anita, I know just how you feel. Gary and I feel so blessed that Tuxedo seems to be feeling actually really good. We're just so scared that that could end at any moment. It's really a difficult thing to live with. You really have to take it one day at a time, though that is just impossible sometimes.

Did I already include this link? It's from the World Small Animal Vet Association conference (2001). It's really helpful in discussing what Anemia is, and what can cause it in cats - although it doesn't go into any detail as regards cancer, tumors, though it does discuss the use of Epogen in renal failure cases. Here's the link:

Anita, I'll be thinking of you tomorrow AND Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #111 of 128
Thread Starter 
thanks LDG for all the clears some things up!!

Hope Tuxedo continues to feel great!

My Leo is still doing about the same...

I am really nervous about tommorrow's test's....

here are some pics I took a few days ago....Leo acutally looks better now than these pics..

post #112 of 128
Wow what a looker he is! I think he will do well with the tests and please keep us posted. Love the box shot, Marky Mark has some competition!
post #113 of 128
What a stunning boy he is! Both of you are in my thoughts and prayers....Please keep us posted! I'm sending out some Good News Vibes!
post #114 of 128
Leo is so handsome. Good Luck Anita with the tests.
post #115 of 128
Awwwww what a sweetie

Put lots of kisses on his furry tum for me
post #116 of 128
Leo is such a darling baby! Please let us know as soon as possible how the tests go! I just know he'll do great!
post #117 of 128
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I got the first results from the vet.

Unfortunately his count went down a little bit, it was 18% it is now 16%

but the vet said the blood didn't look bad, but the cytology will tell us. Basically what we are looking for is a decrease in the abnormal (cancer) cells to indicate the pill is working. We will only know this tommorrow. The goal is that if it is reducing the cancer, he should stay on the pill. Basically I was told there is no way to know what to expect or what will happen, since this condition is very rare there are not enough cases for information.

It is luck right now. One Positive thing is Leo gained a half a pound! He is 10lbs 10 ounces.
My vet said as long as Leo continues to eat, and play we should let him enjoy life as much as we can.

I hope the cancer has reduced. The transfer factor plus came in the mail today. I will start giving it to him tommorrow, if it is more bad news. It's the only treatment left I can try to help my Leo, since I know it can't harm him, I have nothing to lose and hopefully he will benefit from the immune boost, along with the chemo pill.

Today he was good, he played, he purred, he is a happy furbaby, and that matters a great deal to me. Not knowing what is going to happen freaks me out, but just seeing his cute face, makes me cherish the time we do get to spend together.

I am still praying for a miracle, that the transfer factor give him the boost he needs to fight this! I know the chances are very slim to none, but it's not over till it's over right!

Thanks for all the sweet comments about my Leo! He says thanks for your support, and to keep cheering him on!

As soon as I know more tommorrow I will post....
post #118 of 128
Oh Anita, I'm dying to know! I didn't think I was going to get the chance to visit TCS today, but I did, and the results aren't here, and I just want you to know that no matter what they are, whatever you are doing for Leo is obviously helping!!!! He looks GREAT in those pics, BTW, so unless it's just that he's put on a little more weight, I really can't imagine how he'd look better!

Thinking about you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


post #119 of 128
Thread Starter 
Thanks Laurie you are really sweet!

sorry for the delay!

My vet didn't call me on friday which got me really scared, but then he called me this morning!

There has been a decrease in the abnormal cells!!!!!!!! (what we were hoping for!)

He also said there are other positive (good) changes in his blood!!!!!! (didn't expect this!)

and he thinks it is worth continuing the treatment! He will confirm everything with the faculty next week, before he gives me the details! (they have more sensative equipment so he wants them to check before he gives me numbers!)
and he will get back to me in a few days!

I am really glad about this, it means for now my Leo is improving! I have started giving him the transfer factor plus anyway, maybe it will speed up the progress he is making!

I truly believe everyone postive thoughts have really helped! I am so greatful.... (espcially when my own mother has not even asked me once how Leo is doing! , but my father has.. ) my friend Debbie, is really the only one who I have here that understands...

hugs to you to Laurie, and to Tuxedo too! How is he doing? Any news?
post #120 of 128

I am so glad for you and Leo! What a little he is! Thanks for keeping us all posted...We really appreciate the time you take! Let us know how the transfer factor applies to his recovery. You are all still in my thoughts! Take care and give him a little bit of love for me!
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