Posts Tagged ‘FIV’

It’s been a pretty bad month at Lintee Bean’s house. No question.

Louie seemed a little lethargic the weekend of September 28 and 29. Saturday night, he didn’t eat much dinner – and he ate none of his breakfast this morning. Due to his diabetes and FIV+ status, I was particularly concerned, though other than some inappetance, higher blood sugar levels than typical, and being a little less active than usual, there were no symptoms I could point a finger at. He cried a bit if I picked him up. I closed him in the bathroom Sunday night to get a urine sample. He tested negative for ketones, but the urine was pretty bright yellow and there wasn’t much of it, so I gave him some sub-q fluids. Monday morning I took him to the vet’s office.

Once there, the veterinary assistant takes his temperature, but he is screaming and hissing at her. That is NOT like him. The assistant notices his back legs are wet and thinks he may have peed in the carrier.. but she starts cleaning it up and he is SCREAMING and she sees it’s blood. It doesn’t smell like urine or diarrhea… just mucus and blood. I look in the carrier and there’s just a tiny bit of blood – so we decide it must have happened as we took him out of the carrier.

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Louie (Aloysius)

Louie, aka Lucious Louie Twinkle Toes, aka Louie Primo, aka Lou-Lou, was named Aloysius by the shelter staff.  Too much of a mouthful for me, I shortened it.  Louie generally seems made of springs, as he has a propensity for bouncing around the house – and is voted most likely found on top of the refrigerator.

Louie in a Purr Pad

Louie was abandoned on the front porch at the shelter in June of 2003.  He was scared, but definitely socialized to people.  He tested FIV+ (feline immunodeficiency virus positive) and therefore was put in the room designated for FIV+ cats.  FIV+ cats can live long, full lives without complications, provided they’re not exposed to illnesses (that is, kept indoors), but there’s a certain “stigma” with the status that decreased Louie’s chances of adoption.  In September of 2003, when people noted his matted fur and unkempt appearance, he had blood tests done and was diagnosed with diabetes. 

The shelter staff started insulin injections, but his blood sugar levels remained high.  A few different insulin types were attempted, finally settling on PZI (protomine zinc insulin).  Eventually, his dose was up to nine units twice daily, but his blood sugar levels were still higher than ideal.  Yet, he went into insulin shock once when he vomited up the dry food he’d eaten and his blood sugars plummeted.

I adopted Louie in November of 2006.  I changed his diet to eliminate all dry food.  No small feat, as Louie vastly preferred dry food – when he would eat.  I don’t know if it was just his nature, or all the syringe-feedings at the shelter before insulin injection, but Louie seemed to think he could live on air and exercise.  He was a roly-poly boy without much of an appetite, it seemed.  Eventually, we found a few wet foods he liked, and after time he even decided he liked the homemade raw diet I fed the other cats.  His insulin needs dropped dramatically (to two units twice daily or less), and his blood sugar levels improved.  We followed Dr. Hodgkins’ protocol, and he lost weight, became more active, and his coat took on a soft shine that had been lacking.

Louie - ready for a blood sugar test

Louie is a real joy to have in the house.  He’s the type of cat anyone can pick up and cuddle (for as long as his short attention span will allow).  He loves to wrestle with and cuddle with my other boy cats.  He would love to play with the girl cats too, if they’d let him.  Instead, he bounds up to them and they scream at him to get away – and sometimes he “pulls their pigtails” (gives them a few playful swats) like a naughty boy before he leaves.

Louie and the tiger

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More video madness

Yes, I’m back to making silly little videos!

First up, Omaha descending the stairs. I always feel bad for him, struggling to go down while the other cats zoom by effortlessly. Omaha has an old hip injury and arthritis, and it’s very difficult for him to walk, let alone do stairs. (In fact, he’s no longer allowed to do the stairs himself as he fell a few times after this video was made.)
Omaha takes the stairs

Next, Afer “singing”. She’s quite the little opera singer.
Afer singing

Finally, Louie giving Studley a massage. We added “mood music”.
Louie gives Studley a massage (and bath)

I also recorded my friend Heather giving her cat, Rocky, his inhaled medications. Rocky has feline asthma. This is one of what I hope will be a series of educational videos for Feline Outreach at some point.
Rocky gets his inhaled meds

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