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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 30402
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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, my cat has been unwell 1 week and last Wednesday

Customer Question

Hi, my cat has been unwell for over 1 week and last Wednesday through a blood test it was confirmed to have FeLV, the vet has been giving Baytril injections and still no improvement regarding eating. At present she is eating and drinking very little. Today a more thorough blood test was taken and confirmed anaemia. The cat is approx 2 yrs old should I consider a blood transfusion & if so who within UK would you suggest or should I ask my local vet to send blood for further tests to confirm stage of anaemia and it red blood cells are still being produced
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
In the great majority of FeLV cases, the anemia is nonregenerative - Molly wouldn't be able to replace her red blood cells and so a transfusion is ill-advised because while the newly transfused red blood cells will temporarily help Molly, once they die she'll revert to her previously anemic state. Regeneration status is determined by performing an absolute reticulocyte count which may have already been done by an outside laboratory when anemia was documented. If not, a call to that lab in indicated; the reticulocyte count can be performed on the previously submitted blood.

Do you know her hematocrit (HCT, PCV)? I would be pleased to review any test results you could upload to our conversation.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Tomorrow I can obtain this information & email results if you can supply an email address, is there any form of treatment or medicine that can be administered to help anaemia
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Yes, I prescribe epoetin alpha (erythropoietin) which is a hematopoietic growth factor that stimulates erythropoiesis (red blood cell production). This is considered when the hematocrit falls below 25%.

You could scan test results into your computer and give me the link or you can photograph the page(s) and upload the images by using the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (not if you're using the chrome browser) or by using an external app such as imgur.com or dropbox.com. You can also email the results to***@******.*** and support will forward them to me. That can take 24 hours, however.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

I hope to hear from you soon.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Here are reports received from blood tests taken from cat Molly as requested.

Please reply with advice on any drug which could possibly be given bearing in mind my country of origin is United Kingdom so maybe not so easy to get.

Attachment: 2015-01-09_180929_molly,_mr_hamilton_information.pdf

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. I see a shockingly severe regenerative anemia, Colin. A blood transfusion is essential but you must understand that it will only be palliative. These cats are lost in the great majority of the time and so I can't in good faith encourage your pursuing Molly's therapy.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
You are saying on your last reply based on the document I sent you that Molly has regenerative anemia but on an earlier message before I sent the report that in most cases cats have nonregenerative anemia and advised NOT to have a blood transfusion due to this. How does it change things if she has regenerative anemia ????
Also I said on my last message which I don't know if you received that tomorrow the Local vet's are going to start a course of steroid injections, what is your thoughts regarding this ?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Oh my goodness. That should have said NONregenerative anemia. Mea culpa. Steroids of some value but a transfusion is necessary at her level of anemia.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok thank you, ***** ***** this to them !
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
You're quite welcome. I will now shoot my spell-checker.