WARNING: some photos of the infection are very graphic.
Jasper is my beloved 8 month old kitty who I rescued from the Cat Adoption Foundation and has been like my little baby since the day I adopted him. A healthy cat with all his vaccinations and checks but unfortunately two weeks ago on the 13th of October, he came down with a severe virus which was later diagnosed as Feline Panloukapenia [click here for info on Feline Panloukapenia] which is a deadly plague that has only just started reappearing after 40+ years of no cases in Australia. The virus is severely contagious, attacks quickly and completely wipes cats out.
The chance for survival was going to be one in a million and despite his immune system and white blood cells being completely stripped, a miracle happened and he managed to pull through. It took 5 days in Emergency with 24hour care, barrier nursing, IV drip and antibiotics, pain killers, several blood tests and one very experienced and incredible Veteranary Specialist named Dr. Tim Lawrie to get him through. His temperature had been at a severe 41 degrees and the constant vomiting, diarrhoea and virus had completely ruined his stomach but after visiting him for hours on end every day, hand feeding him, nursing him and cuddling him in my arms, Jasper recovered enough to come home to continue oral medications and treatment in a sterilised and quarentined room. At this point the total Vet bill had come to $7000...
So because they do not see this virus anymore, everything has been just touch and go seeing how Jasper recovered day by day. And despite eating, drinking and his temperature restabilising, Jaspers immune system was still super low and the diarrhoea unfortunately continued. We were constantly following him around with wipes and tissues and trying to clean him as much as we could however, within only 3 days, the poo started viciously eating away at his skin and infecting the entire area of his bum and the surrounding areas. His white blood cell count was also still low so his body could not fight the chronic infection that suddenly came about. His skin started melting away and his flesh started opening with puss coming out. I couldn’t actually believe it...
Rushing back to Emergency and calling Dr. Tim on the way there, they got him under sedation immediately and started assessing the wounds, took a biopsy, cleaned off as much of the poo and mess as they could and cut away the rotten flesh which had spread down his bum and into his abdomen. They had literally never seen anything like it, and how it all happened so quickly... they stitched a medical sponge bandage to cover the wounds and called me back in to discuss what further treatment he would need to recover and the expense of that. The vet said he had hope for Jasper as he is still so alert, happy, purring constantly and demanding smooches (and all his vitals being good)... and with being this far in, I just could not give up hope on him and so now with the continued treatment he is undergoing, the bill is sitting at $20,000 to which my dear parents have had to cover on their credit card at this stage until I can pay it back.
This virus is DEADLY and there needs to be more awareness of it. All cats need to be vaccinated from it regularly and if any of these symptoms start, they need to be seen to immediately at Emergency as it attacks quickly and aggressively (vomiting, diarrhoea, not wanting to eat, a temperature, lethargic, droopy eyes)... A lot of vets have not seen this virus as it hasn’t been around for so many years so they don’t really know what to look for or how to treat it so please take your cat to a specialist. Jasper is so lucky to have survived the virus and now we just need to fix the secondary problems that have arose due to his weakened immune system. He is such a fighter and even Dr. Tim said he has never seen a cat quite like Jasper and has a lot of love for him.
I love my baby so so much and just want him to pull through. He is having his wound bandages changed daily under sedation and hopefully tomorrow will undergo surgery by one of the best skin + wound specialists in Australia, Dr. Fui Yap where she will try to save his skin and eventually do a skin graph on the wounds once they have gotten rid of the infection. The specialists have said they are making good progress so we have hope that he will pull through and make a full recovery. The virus only remains for a few days so it is no longer in Jaspers system and can not affect him ever again or be passed on to other cats however, it is now a matter of getting him better from this infection.
I would never have thought to reach out publicly like this and would never usually ask for help, however, this extra massive cost has come with a stack of pressure and stress and my dear friend Eleanor Freeman suggested this idea to me and immediately started creating this page for me (thank you so much). Even if it is as small as $5, I have created this page in the hope to help even if it is just a little bit, and to create awareness of this horrible virus. There is no cure, no drug to treat it, and no exact diagnosis, but with the right education and information, we can identify and help get rid of this virus once and for all. I love Jasper more than I could ever explain and if I have to pay back the entire amount + interest myself, I will, but I just want him better and back home enjoying his young life.
Any and all donations will go straight off the medical bill and I can post updates and answer any questions you may have. Thank you so much in advance for any help we receive at all and if you can't make a donation today, please share this page on your social media if it's not too much trouble. It would be so appreciated and I will be forever grateful.
Jasper is sending many kisses and cuddles your way,
Thanks guys, Chloe xx
- Theresa Schwarz
- Therese Willis
- Ebony Nelson
- Sabeen Nanji
- Bridgette White