Question About Final Stages Of Fiv

writingislove

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Asking on behalf of a friend today.

A month ago she took her cat to the vet for his annual checkup. Everything checked out fine, cat was completely healthy. Over the past month, her cat's eating has decreased and he's lost two pounds. She took him to the vet earlier this week and they have concluded he has FIV. They have told her it is best to put him down to keep him from suffering.

Until this diagnosis, her cat has seemed healthy and without issues. The first night she brought him home from the vet, he was weak and not himself. However, last night he showed significant improvement--ate, ran around, jumped up on the furniture, basically almost his "old" self.

This friend has been Googling FIV and is struggling with making the decision to put him down right now. Since it's such a new diagnosis, she's wondering how you tell when a cat with FIV is truly in its FINAL stage and that it's time to put them down. Has anyone been through this that can shed any light or offer an opinion/share an experience? She said what she's reading about the final stages of FIV don't seem to reflect her cat's current state, but her vet has indicated the cat should be put down very soon. With a cat with FIV, how do you know when it's in the "final" stage and is truly suffering with no end?
 

cheeser

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Thanks be to God, we haven't yet had to cross that bridge with our cat with FIV.

What I can tell you is that Buddy was in extremely bad shape when we took him in, and vets at three different clinics suggested that he be put down right then and there.

That was five years ago.

Yes, Buddy has had some ups and downs. But he's had lots and lots of really good days, and it breaks my heart to think he wouldn't have lived to enjoy any of them had we heeded the vets' advice.

FIV is not an automatic death sentence. Unfortunately, some vets aren't as knowledgeable about FIV as you might think, and don't realize that many FIV kitties can enjoy a pretty long and pretty decent quality of life. You just have to be as proactive as you can, figure out which meds and/or supplements work best for your kitty, and find a vet who is more knowledgeable about FIV, and willing with work with you to try to keep your cat as healthy as possible.
 

mrsgreenjeens

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I don't think it's normal to go from being heathy one month to be at death's door the next from FIV. It's a gradual decent from what I understand, although I've never had a cat with it. Here's an article about it: Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

I would say if her cat seems to be getting better, then why not wait and see how he does? With a weakened immune system (from FIV) it may have been some other issue that made him feel bad, and it's possible he's kicked that and starting to feel better now.

As to how to know when it's "the end", really, your friend knows her cat best, and she should be able to tell when her little buddy has had enough :hugs:. I've had chronically ill cats before, and told them I would let them go when they told me they were ready. They always let me know when that time came :sniffle: (And I kept my word to them)

:vibes::vibes::vibes:for your friend and her little furry friend.
 
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cheeser

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I would say if her cat seems to be getting better, then why not wait and see how he does? With a weakened immune system (from FIV) it may have been some other issue that made him feel bad, and it's possible he's kicked that and starting to feel better now.
:yeah:

I can't tell you how many times Buddy appeared to be sinking fast, and we feared the worst. But we've seen him suddenly turn a corner and bounce back so many times, we often joke that we should have named him Lazarus. :wink:
 

orange&white

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Cat with FIV can live well into their teens, same as non-FIV cats. Your friend will "know" when it's time to let him go. Sounds like the little cat still has some time left. :alright:
 

orange&white

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Cat with FIV can live well into their teens, same as non-FIV cats. Your friend will "know" when it's time to let him go. Sounds like the little cat still has some time left. :alright:
 

fiorya

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I haven't had any personal experience with FIV. But I would like to point out that Marmalade from the social media duo Cole & Marmalade is FIV+. He is mostly healthy, as you can see in CAM's youtube videos. He did have cancer at one time, and they believed it might have stemmed from the FIV. But he is now cancer-free and looks to be quite the healthy, active kitty. So I think it probably varies by cat, but FIV isn't always an immediate death sentence.
 
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