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Dr. Taus
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
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Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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Hello,Ive just read Blues story. My boy, Butch has just

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I've just read Blue's story. My boy, Butch has just been diagnosed FLV+ and has spreading Fibrosarcoma. He had extensive surgery to remove his lumps back in April. They never mentioned the "C" word, but told me removing the lumps was the best thing to do. His lumps have now returned. Histology on one large lump indicates clearly that it is Fibrosarcoma. They're talking about using antivirals to treat the tumours. I believe being FLV+ rules out Chemo/radiation - had I not ruled it out as cruel given Butch is currently not suffering at all. Could you please tell me if you have of this antiviral treatment, and would it have side effects that could decrease the quality of the life he has left? I'm consulting a holistic vet next week in the hope they may have some suggestions for keeping him comfortable and happy.
Thank you,


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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Camille,

No, I haven't found the answer yet. I'd appreciate it if one of your experts could respond. I really just want to know if there could be bad side effects from the antiviral treatment. I'm not harbouring any false hope about his condition. I understand Butch has a terminal disease and won't be cured by any efforts. My only interest is in keeping him happy as long as possible and not reducing his quality of life by measures meant to extend it.

Thank you,



Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX continue to look for a professional to assist you. Since the professionals log in at different times, it is very difficult to predict when one will come on with your particular area of expertise. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance while you wait.



Hi there,

I'm so sorry to hear about Butch's condition!

While many tumors are related to being FIV+, fibrosarcoma is not one of them. Fibrosarcoma may be related to vaccination if it occurs at a site where Butch was vaccinated before, or it may be spontaneous and due to genetic mutations. When it is associated with vaccine, it's not the virus in the vaccine that is the problem, it's the adjuvant (or carrier) that it is mixed in. Antivirals have been tried in cats with these tumors and have not had any positive effect.

While being FIV+ means that we have to be more careful in administering radiation therapy, it's not a contraindication. Radiation can now be very carefully targeted to only affect the tumor and not expose the rest of the patient to the radiation. Cats tolerate this very well and do not have many of the side effects that humans experience.

While the most important prognostic factor in fibrosarcoma is how it was initially treated, and it's very hard to cure a spreading tumor like you are describing, proper oncology treatment drastically changes how long cats live and with a good quality of life. Cats who are treated with surgery plus radiation or chemotherapy live, on average, about a year, while those who don't receive these treatments average 2-3 months, with similar quality of life.

I'd really suggest you ask for a referral to a veterinary oncologist at this point. They do nothing but situations like yours, and they are very good about considering your wishes for your cat-- do you want to enjoy him as a comfortable cat as long as possible? Or do you want the tumor gone, no holds barred, looking for a cure? An oncologist is going to have the best options and most up to date information for you.

I hope this is helpful. If so, please rate me positively, and don't hesitate to let me know how I can help further.
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 505
Experience: Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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