Fiv cat; supplements, Interferon Alpha, other clinical trials?

movinintime

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Hi All! Spoke to UC Davis Vet school today re our Fiv pos. cat (they 1st discovered Fiv in a cat yrs ago). They advised me getting my old vet that 1st treated/diagnosed him to call UC Davis & get a vet to vet consult on his present FiV from UC Davis's vets in Cali now. :(

So Interferon Alpha is a drug that can be administered by a vet but finding one isn't easy. In his present condition it's ill-advised to fly him that far immuno-comprimised. Anyone ever treat an FiV pos. cat w/ ANY ideas? Supplements I've been told are; Spirulina, Lactoferrin & S. Boulardii for GI health.

TY for any ideas anyone has. ;) I SOO want to help his Immune System. I know also Lysine Powder can help but I've been using VetriScience's Lysine chews but may switch to direct food-additive powder.
 
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Maurey

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So Interferon Alpha is a drug that can be administered by a vet but finding one isn't easy.
This is mostly because of liability -- there are very limited studies of Interferon Alpha in FIV+ cats, for determining effcacy, safety, dosage, side effects, etc. I don't believe it's approved for use in cats outside of studies at the moment. Additionally, according to this study from 2019, it's been found to be much less effective in FIV+ cats than in FeLV+ cats, sadly.

TY for any ideas anyone has. ;) I SOO want to help his Immune System. I know also Lysine Powder can help but I've been using VetriScience's Lysine chews but may switch to direct food-additive powder.
Lysine powder sadly hasn't proven to be effective in immune deficiency conditions. In fact, the idea that it's helpful in the treatment and prevention of feline herpesvirus (which is what it's typically given for) isn't particularly unanimous, either , with the most recent scientific review of available research finding it not at all effective.

What are his current symptoms? What antivirals, if any, is he currently prescribed? Here is a decent place to start reading up on things -- it's very well-researched, imo.
Is there any reason you don't feel comfortable asking your current vet these questions? While all of us are happy to help, I'm sure most of us won't know better than your vet, especially if they will be corresponding with the UC Davis vets.
 
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mrsgreenjeens

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And I'm wondering why you would need to fly your furbaby anywhere if your own Vet is working with UC Davis? Can't any Vet administer the Interferon alpha?
 
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movinintime

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My vet actually isn't involved/interested in even trying anything as called the office yest, & was dismissed as if all hopeless. It seems the old vet reviewed this new vet here across the country & old vet just said the new vet has spoken & not much else need be done. Also, adding; it would be way $$$ to even attempt any trials?? AS if nonchalantly dismissing it -- as condemned!! So, I will call a vet oncologist I had I-131 radiation done on our girl cat yrs ago, & see if she'lll call UC Davis. She is far more knowledgeable in immunology thus a better person to even ask.

AS far as Interferon, I am the ONE asking for it, but no one seems able nor again, even wants to deal w/ it also. As I see it, & not trying to be snide, but as long as it is easy/simple & vets can take your EASY $$$ then they help. If no money in their pocket to be had, goodbye or bum's rush. This is now 3 vets in less than 12 months giving this vibe to not only my feral but my girl older cat too. Hmmm...
 

kittenmittens84

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A lot of vets may not be comfortable prescribing and managing an experimental treatment for a cat if they’ve never done it before, since the research on it is not robust yet.
I think you should join some FIV groups online and ask for recommendations for vets who do interferon treatments. In a big enough group there’s most likely someone who lives close-ish to you who might have a recommendation.
 

Jcatbird

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I know the whole story of you and all the long efforts to save this kitty as a feral in an extremely difficult situation. So much love, time and effort to save a life! Then the exhausting move and flight. I know this vet is fairly new to you and may not be a good match. Are there any “Feline only” vets near? At the very least I would want a vet to suggest something. Anything that could possibly help. Can you post any test results here? Nutritional immune boosting might do something to help but others here don’t know the background of the story. Low WBC, low RBC. I know that treating the symptoms won’t be a cure but can be a comfort. A comfort can lead to better days and improvements to a degree.
Is kitty eating well, potty habits okay, drinking normally, etc..
di and bob di and bob Any suggestions?
catsknowme catsknowme
kittychick kittychick
LTS3 LTS3
Any nutritional support for FIV?
I do know the latest thoughts on Lysine. I cannot positively say but I still give it to my FIV and Felv per my vets suggestions. The powder is easier for me to get into the kitties. My Felv cat is now 14. It isn’t always smooth sailing. Diet is often a problem. The FIV kitty as well. You might want to read here.Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
And more to your question, this update addresses interferon and other antivirals as well as treating secondary infections which can be very important. Also nutritional supplements. https://ecommons.cornell.edu/bitstream/handle/1813/34882/FPS_5th_1993_Barr_felv-fiv.pdf?sequence=3&isAllowed=y
Although your vet may feel that tests show difficulties we are not aware of, there are still things that can be tried. If you feel the vet is not a good match for you, try another vet. Not all vets specialize in treating felines. Some treat more canines or other animals and this may be reflected in treatments offered.
Keep working through your vet connections but explore these links, make other contacts and, as previously mentioned, you might join an FIV specific group to link to others that may have connections near you. I already know that you will never give up. My hopes are that you find a course of action quickly.
 

di and bob

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I would suggest researching the site HomeoAnimal.com, they have many homeopathic remedies and cancer meds with reviews that may help. In doing my own research for my immunosuppressed leukemia cats, I found that DMG was highly regarded to help with their immune systems. I started giving that and LifeGold for cancer (Amazon) 17 months ago, plus keeping them strictly inside now so they don't come into contact with other cats. So far, so good! I mix both with a shared packet of Hartz Delectable Lickables in the stew flavors. easy and they lick it right up. That is available in-store at Dollar General and Walmart in the treat section, and online on Amazon and Target, and most likely other pet food sites. I also keep it around since it was the ONLY thing they would eat when they were so sick 18 months ago. I wish you all the luck!
 

Maurey

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Personally, I'd discourage the use of homeopathy. Especially if specific amounts of active ingredients aren't listed (or listed in units, rather than milligrams), like in the case of HomeoAnimal -- that means there's nowhere near enough in there to have any effect -- considering they would have to provide evidence of safety and efficacy testing if they were truly sold as medication, rather than what's essentially expensive water. Which makes sense, given many of the oils they use in their products are poorly tolerated by or even toxic to cats, with some just being poisonous across the board. For example, the second ingredient in their anti-inflammatory spray is belladonna, also known as deadly nightshade, which is both highly toxic, and, according to research not approved for medicinal use in it's whole form due to toxicity concerns -- only extracts of specific compounds extracted from belladonna have permitted uses. Not to mention, the effects of Apis (which is whole bee, and the first ingredient in this spray) on the organism is very inconclusive.

There are next to no legitimate studies that prove any efficacy in homeopathy as they all have the same pitfalls in study design (not to be confused with holistic care, which *is* viable and important), and the rest either find no result, or find any perceived effect is due to the caregiver placebo effect -- meaning that the animal's caregiver perceives an improvement because they've started a new therapy they desperately wish to work.

Here are a few primary and review research articles on the caregiver placebo effect (also known as caregiver bias), with the latter two also exploring it specifically in association with homeopathy:
Caregiver Placebo Effect in Analgesic Clinical Trials for Painful Cats with Naturally-Occurring Degenerative Joint Disease
Comparison of veterinary drugs and veterinary homeopathy: part 1
Comparison of veterinary drugs and veterinary homeopathy: part 2

And here are some well-researched articles with less dry language:
RVC experts show homeopathy only appears to work because of perceptual errors
Vets: Ban the use of homeopathy in animals
A Crucial Blind Spot in Veterinary Medicine The placebo effect shows up in pets too, but these treatments are fooling owners, not their animals.
 
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catsknowme

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:alright: I am very glad that you posted this! You have received excellent suggestions. The link from Maurey Maurey and the DMG suggestion are particularly of interest to me. At the suggestion of my own vet, I use the Qunol brand of CoQ-10 and human grade L-lysine. I adjust usage according to therapeutic or maintenance dosages.
Your situation is not an easy one but all too common. Keep seeking information & help - you know your cat best! I believe that healthcare providers can suffer from Compassion Fatigue especially considering the wide range of patients/pet owners' responses to identical conditions.
For instance, 2 providers dismissed my intellectually impaired/physically disabled daughter's leg pain as a bug-bite or residual pain from bruising (there was no sign of either plus the pain was increasing). Finally, her foreign-trained doctor returned from a lengthy vacation abroad. The ultrasound technician was from the same country and when a 2nd ultrasound was inconclusive, he asked permission to talk to our doctor. Together, they acted on a hunch & we got a contrast MRI done before the week was out. My daughter had a rapidly growing sarcoma! Through a litany of mishaps (local surgeon committed suicide; blizzards closed highway; my car broke down,etc) the surgery was delayed by 1 month, 5 days. During that time, she was drinking frequent cups of chamomile tea and eating the wet, brewed leaves. We gave her high doses of Vit. C and E in preparation for surgery. After surgery, it was discovered that the sarcoma was encapsulated with calcium so her leg was not removed. Also, we took the chance without the normal protocols of chemo & radiation; we did contrast MRIs every 6 months for 5 years & she has remained cancer-free. Point of my story: experts are human working from the mental walls of their own personal situations. The old vet may be feeling a bit jaded now & defers to the replacement vet whereas 5 or 10 years ago, s/he would be calling/emailing UC Davis with much enthusiasm.
 

kittenmittens84

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Homeopathy won’t do anything for FIV because it has no active ingredients. It’s water and/or alcohol, that’s it. Looking at an herb and then drinking some water would give the same effect.
 
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movinintime

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TY for so much info!

AS of now he's up, eating well, drinking, using box & walking around but sleeping ALOT! But he seems better since his long long nails were clipped & his goopy eyes are sorta ok. His left eye is better tho & r. eye tho is again goopy. :(

I can't do much to touch him or he hisses/swats but w/ no nails its safer. But I leave him alone & I'm just trying to see if he is ok to use box/eat/drink/walk apt normally. I thus have yet to have added any supplements until I sort this all out.

TY everyone for so much help. YOU ARE ALL GREAT PPL!:)
 

AllAlongTheWay

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TY for so much info!

AS of now he's up, eating well, drinking, using box & walking around but sleeping ALOT! But he seems better since his long long nails were clipped & his goopy eyes are sorta ok. His left eye is better tho & r. eye tho is again goopy. :(

I can't do much to touch him or he hisses/swats but w/ no nails its safer. But I leave him alone & I'm just trying to see if he is ok to use box/eat/drink/walk apt normally. I thus have yet to have added any supplements until I sort this all out.

TY everyone for so much help. YOU ARE ALL GREAT PPL!:)
We also just caught a stray with FIV. Unfortunately he may also have other issues we are waiting confirmation on, but our vet is the one who said we should try Interferon. He placed the order with a compounding pharmacy and they mailed it to us. Has to be kept refrigerated. We are on day 4 and so far he's doing okay, but I'm a little worried that he is not eating very much yesterday or today. He is a wallflower most of the day and night but randomly calls out for no reason - sometimes even while asleep.

When I was finally able to catch him he had a large abscess on his neck and fleas. We've been treating him for all that and the vet gave him all his vaccines. Then a few days later he had an upper respiratory virus that we then had to treat. Then two weeks later his abscess had healed on the outside but was filling up under the skin, so back we went to get it drained. Then a few days later I came down to blood everywhere and blood coming out of his mouth - and back to the vet we ran. He has ulcers in his mouth which now they fear is calisivirus and is highly contagious, so we have been super careful keeping him away from our existing cat family. That is when the vet suggested the Interferon for him. We have now also had the test done for calisivirus but are waiting for results. Hoping it isn't positive so that we can keep him here and eventually see if he will integrate with our other non-FIV cats.
 
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movinintime

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TY to your post, I called my vet & he will look into it. Unsure they said if avail in USA. They're calling they're compounding pharms they use to check into it. I thought ONLY a vet can can handle/administer it, but was unsure it can be done & mailed to a patient direct? I thought it is like some radioactive type thing not able to be used by lay public but will await your reply. :)
 

AllAlongTheWay

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TY to your post, I called my vet & he will look into it. Unsure they said if avail in USA. They're calling they're compounding pharms they use to check into it. I thought ONLY a vet can can handle/administer it, but was unsure it can be done & mailed to a patient direct? I thought it is like some radioactive type thing not able to be used by lay public but will await your reply. :)
Hmmm... sorry, thought I replied yesterday but I don’t see my message. As far as I know it’s not radioactive. The pharmacy compounded it into a liquid that I will give for 7 days, then pause for 7 days. I think I have enough for 2 months and it was just over $40 plus shipping. Our vet used Wedgewood pharmacy. And we live in the US. Hope that helps.
 
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