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Richard P Duncan

Richard Duncan


25 Jul 2022

A few words from the Fundraiser

Saving Josh


This poor boy cannot get a break.


Josh had displayed no symptoms before he went for neuter surgery 04/06/2022 when a blood test revealed that he had Feline Leukemia (FeLV+) and the vet recommended euthanasia. I declined that option. The average life expectancy after FeLV+ diagnosis is 2.5 years. Josh is 11 months old at this writing. He is still eating, moving around, and purring; he is not vomiting and has no diarrhea, so if there is a chance of breaking his fever and stopping the fluid accumulation, why euthanize right now? There is no cure for FeLV and only a few costly experimental drugs “may” be beneficial for FeLV+ cats. I elected to start Josh on a 90-day treatment plan with one such drug twice a day for 90 days.


I also enrolled Josh in the Austin Pets Alive (APA) FeLV adoption program which has had good success with finding homes for FeLV+ cats so they can roam free or even share a home with another FeLV+ companion cat instead of spending their often shorter lives confined to a kennel because they need to be isolated from non FeLV+ cats. APA also provides all necessary medical care at no cost to the adopter. That would be a HUGE benefit. Josh was number 24 on their waitlist.


While undergoing his treatment for FeLV and waiting for a spot to open with APA, Josh developed a fever of unknown origin on 7/04/2022 which remained unresolved through the weekend, and on Monday 07/11/2022 he was taken to the vet where his temperature had risen to 105.4. A full blood panel was done but no obvious causes of the temperature were evident.


Monday night I sent his bloodwork to a group of cat owners experienced with FeLV in their own cats and asked for their review. Sadly, they told me his bloodwork indicated a high probability of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) which is considered 100% fatal for cats. They recommended that I request the vet to do a sonogram to determine if fluid was accumulating in this abdomen or chest which is a confirming symptom of the disease.


On Tuesday 07/12/2022 I took him back to the vet again and his temperature had risen to 106.4. A sonogram confirmed that fluid was accumulating in his abdomen which had caused his weight to rise from 9.1 pounds to 9.9 pounds in about a week. He was diagnosed with FIP. The average life expectancy after a FIP diagnosis is only about five weeks or less. The vet recommended euthanasia. Once again I declined.


The same day, Austin Pets Alive notified us that Josh's spot in the FeLV adoption program had become available, but after informing them of his FIP diagnosis, his acceptance was deferred.


This poor cat cannot get a break.


Only in the last couple of years hve some new treatments with anti-viral drugs, one which is called GS-441524, shown success saving cats diagnosed with FIP. The treatment lasts for 84 days and requires injections and/or pills costing about $37 per dose ($74 day) for the 84-day treatment plan.


Without this costly drug, Josh is likely to pass unpleasantly within weeks, but with it, he has a chance to be cured of FIP in 84 days AND the drug "may" also have some benefits against the FeLV virus.


In for a penny, in for a pound.


Wednesday, 07/13/2022 I ordered GS-441524 for Josh, but my order did not arrive as scheduled and Josh was still burning up with a fever and declining daily, so Friday evening when the drug had not arrived, I rushed Josh to Dallas to get his 1st treatment and pick up the drugs to continue his treatment. According to reports, improvement in Josh’s condition may be evident within a week. I sure hope so, since many cats do not live past five weeks with FIP.


This remarkable boy deserves a chance to live at least one of his nine cat lives for more than five weeks and I hope that with my help, your prayers, and generous donations we can make that possible for him.


Each shot is about $37 and he requires 2 shots per day for a week and then one shot a day (double the dose, so $74 per shot) for the remainder of his 84 days. Your help is needed and will be greatly appreciated.


Can you help him by buying a shot for Josh?

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raised out of €5,000

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