It’s been a few days since my rather alarmed update about Bagha’s health. Things have calmed down a bit now. First, I suggested that Bagha blog things from his point of view at Catster, so you should head there for regular kitty updates. Second, I had a long chat with my vet on Thursday, did some more web research and signed up on three mailing–lists.
Here’s a summary of results (again, for details, see Bagha’s diary):
– Bagha will be allowed to go outside, just less than before. It slightly increases the risk that he’ll catch illnesses if he has contacts with other cats, but I’d rather he have a better quality life and be able to go and pee on the neighbourhood bushes, even if it means it might be a bit shorter. The risk for other cats is negligible: Bagha’s certainly been FIV+ for years, so other cats around probably are too — hell, he might even have caught if from one of them.
– I’m not going to raise a useless panic in the neighbourhood by alerting every cat owner around to his FIV status — for the same reason systematic FIV testing is not done anymore (if it ever was). Systematic testing creates more problems than letting things be and testing cats when there is a serious reason to suspect they might be FIV+ (as was the case with Bagha).
– Bagha is in no immediate danger. His immune system is weakened, which means he’ll catch illnesses very easily, or develop reactions to illnesses cats are normally immune to — like toxoplasmosis. His toxoplasmosis is being treated, he doesn’t seem to be suffering from it much, and there is no reason to think the treatment won’t be successful.
– My main worry right now is that his right eye has some cloudy protein stuff in it (because of the toxoplasmosis) and that it’s attached in some point to the iris, pulling it into the pupil (hard to explain, but looks weird). I’m putting atropine in that eye in the hope that dilating the pupil will detach the protein filament from the iris, but so far, no success. I’m not sure what happens if it doesn’t work by Sunday (when I have to stop the atropine). His eye condition isn’t painful and he can see (well, as well as one can see with a pupil completely dilated by atropine).
– Monday, I’m starting him on a treatment with interferon (I’ll be giving the injections) to help stabilize his immune system. Not 100% sure it will work, but we’ll see. Worth the try, even if it’s expensive.
Thanks for all the kind words, to everybody who commented or sent messages or checked in for news. It’s been a rough week for me but things are almost back to normal right now. 🙂