Feline Infectious Anemia ( FIA )
Feline Infectious Anemia

Li-Li the Orange Woman

Li-Li had what is known as FIA or Feline Infectious Anemia, a disease that is not uncommon for cats to acquire.
    FIA affects a cat's red blood cells. What it is is a parasite that lives in those blood cells and causes the cat's liver to break down those cells at a more rapid rate than it normally would.  While that is happening, the bone marrow continues to replace the red blood cells but only at its normal rate, so the cat becomes anemic.
     Sometimes you cannot even tell if your kitty is sick at all. Even vets have a hard time telling if the cat is sick on a simple, routine exam. Cats with the early stages of this disease APPEAR TO BE NORMAL, HEALTHY CATS.


   If you find that your cat is infected with FIA but appears to be healthy, the treatment is simple, effective, and inexpensive. Your cat will be prescribed an antibiotic that you will need to feed him or her a few times a day.

    But how do you tell if your cat may be unhealthy? Here are some signs:

     1) The cat seems more tired than usual and doesn't really want to play.

     2) The cat seeks very warm places to snuggle up in and will not budge from them for anything. ( Cats with FIA feel that they are cold all of the time from loss of weight ).

     3) The cat hides.   Cats do like to hide but you should pay close attention to them. Do  they hide from the light? Do they seldom come out for food? These could be signs of an illness.

     4)  Your cat cannot keep food down; vomits soon after eating. This is usually a sign of worms, but you should take your pet in for an exam any way.  I learned this the hard way.

     5) The cat neglects grooming itself.  Cats are very clean creatures, almost to the   point of vanity. If your pet doesn't groom herself, there may be a problem.

     6) The cat will not eat and/or will not drink.

      If your cat is in the later stages of this disease she may be too weak to move, may vomit each and every time he eats, may avoid the company of other cats, may hide in unusual places...
     In the later stages of this disease, treatment becomes harder and the cat must get worse before it gets better, so to speak. She may be prescribed antibiotics. Sometimes your pet will need IV antibiotics.. Even on occasion this condition may require a complete blood transfusion.
    FIA is a very frustrating disease because it is so treatable.

1/20/99     Li-Li is HOME!!!!!!!!!

After being rushed to the vet's office on the night of January 16, due to seizures and an incredibly low blood count, my precious fur-child has come home. She has lost about 2 pounds but is in great spirits, all things considered.
Li-Li had to undergo 4 days of IV antibiotics under heavy sedation. The reason for the sedation, explained the vet, was that the drug used to treat this disease is very irritating to a cat's flesh. One drop anywhere will cause the affected area to swell to the size of a small grapefruit. ( Something to remember if your cat faces the same treatment ).
It is wholly my intention to spoil my orangey-cat silly and to " fatten her up ". :-)

My sincerest thanks to those of you who read the unrevised version of this article and prayed for her. Thank you so very much!!!

     And if any of you can find more information on FIA, please send it to me and I will re-do this page with more information.



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