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FeLV Testing

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Sat. AM I had to take Buddy to the vet.
He has not looked or behaved right for a little over a week now. Slowly I started noticing strange things. He just wasn't his usual self. He belly began to swell, he was dehydrated, diarrhea, loss of appetite. The vet did the usual tests and included an xray.

I was told he has fluid on his stomach and that when they tested the fluid it came back immediately as positive for FeLV. This is my first and hopefully my last experience with this virus...

The vet said he is day to day and I should consider euthanasia. I asked how long he had and was told any day. This is extremely sudden.
The vet asked if I wanted to take him home. Of course I took him home. I wanted to spend the last couple of days we have together. Monday I have to take him up there to do the humane thing...
I do have another cat and she seems fine. I plan to get her tested as the both go outside. I learning more about this virus each day. I am trying to educate myself on this cancer but it is hard to grasp. This is one of the hardest things I have ever had to go thru. I really came to love this cat quickly. He has been treated like a king in our home.

Buddy's story explains more of this then I cared to admit....
He showed up at my door in Feb. of this year just after some serious thunderstorms. I tried to see if he would come inside so I could find out where he belonged. He had no collar or chip. After posting his description, pictures, and my contact info. no one called. I began to think he was dumped.

Buddy is way too well adjusted and made himself at home quickly. I decided he was going to stay. He was bloated when I found him (worms). I took him to the vet and got a battery of shots including the de-wormer. I had to take him back after a couple of days later because he was droopy. The vet gave him a corticosteroid. After that he was fine. The vet never suggested or performed the FeLV / FIV test. I am not sure why she never suggested it.
Even if I had known I still would have kept him because he is such an amazing cat friend.

He has to be one of the greatest animals that has ever blessed us with their presence. I am truly grateful for having so many wonderful moments with him in the short time we have had together.

My guess is that he was dumped. The previous owner most likely had him tested, found out and rather then deal with it just dumpted him....
After his diagnosis today I believe this to even more likely.

Does anyone know if the FeLV / FIV test is standard with vets? Or know why that would not be one of the first things a vet would do when someone has / finds a stray?
post #2 of 16
The FeLV/FIV test is ALWAYS one of the first things that we highly recommend the owner have performed whenever they bring a new cat into the household.

It is FeLV though, not FIP? The symptoms also sounded a lot like that.
post #3 of 16
I'm sorry you and Buddy are going through this. Poor guy. I'm happy you took him home though, and have some time to say goodbye.
post #4 of 16
The Felv test will test for the virus but can give a false positive result,which means that even though the cat does not have the virus the test will say it does.
Which is why it is very unwise to make a decision to euthanize on the basis of one test.
The test should be carried out again after 12 weeks and if the test shows positive then the cat has FeLV and will be permanently infected.

Another reason to retest is some cats that test positive may be in the process of developing their own immunity to the virus and when re-tested after 12 weeks will become negative.
post #5 of 16
I would definately have the cat tested specifically for FeLV/FIV, it does sound like maybe your vet meant FIP though... usually with FeLV, and I am no expert, but cats live otherwise healthy but shortened lives. FeLV is no reason to euthanize either. He would need a home with no other cats or with cats with FeLV, but you shouldn't euthanize him for FeLV.

Definately have another FeLV test done if there haven't been any done already, maybe even go to a new vet for it.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Les0304 View Post
The FeLV/FIV test is ALWAYS one of the first things that we highly recommend the owner have performed whenever they bring a new cat into the household.

It is FeLV though, not FIP? The symptoms also sounded a lot like that.

I was thinking exactly the same thing. Especially with the belly full of fluid. I hope someday they come up with a reliable and easy way to test for FIP. I'm just learning how little is known about this awful disease and how little can be done.
post #7 of 16
FeLV is tested via blood, not fluid from teh stomach. FIP is tested via fluid if there is a build up, and it does sound a lot more like FIP than FeLV. But as FF pointed out, cats can have false positives to snap tests for FeLV as it is an antibody test, and they can have antibodies but not end up positive as they can shake it off. And any vet willing to euthanaise FeLV+ without giving them a chance to see if this is just a minor thing wouldn't get my business. Although if it is FIP, I agree with them.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
I am not sure which it is 100%. The vet simply said it was lukemia. He has noticable tumor on his stomach. He has lost quite a bit of weight. His stomach remains but I an feel his hips, backbone, and shoulders. He has lost quite a bit of weight. The vet shaved a small spot on this stomach which I assume is where they took the fluid from for testing. I will get clarification from her on Monday before moving forward. Maybe it is FIP.

J~
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
After reading quite a bit on FIP I think its what he has. It all fits. Timeline, symptoms, etc. His body is literally breaking down yet the stomach where the fluid is does not appear to be dissapating. Doesn't look good either way but I will have the vet confirm. There was so much going thru my head yesterday AM not much sank in.
J~
post #10 of 16
I'm sorry you are going through this. Not enough is known about either FIP or FeLV...sadly. I will be keeping you & Buddy in my prayers....
post #11 of 16
I am so sorry Buddy and you are going through this,My thoughts and prayers are with you and Buddy

I hope there is good news from your vet tomorrow
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by booktigger View Post
FeLV is tested via blood, not fluid from teh stomach. FIP is tested via fluid if there is a build up, and it does sound a lot more like FIP than FeLV. But as FF pointed out, cats can have false positives to snap tests for FeLV as it is an antibody test, and they can have antibodies but not end up positive as they can shake it off. And any vet willing to euthanaise FeLV+ without giving them a chance to see if this is just a minor thing wouldn't get my business. Although if it is FIP, I agree with them.
avctually Felv is an antigen test, FIV is an antibody.....

but I agree with the others that this sounds an awful lot like FIP, not FeLV, although an FeLV positive does have a greater chance of developing FIP

I'm so sorry you and Buddy are going through this I have no idea why your vet did not recommend tests for either FeLV or FIV, especially with a stray those are 2 tests that should be done immediately and EXTRA ESPECIALLY if there is another cat in the household. Sometimes vets really amaze me with their ignorance!
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
On Monday Buddy left us.
I has been the most difficult animal departure I have ever dealt with.

After some research and conversations with friends, family, and vet we moved forward.

The vet said it was lymphoma brought on by FeLV. He most likely had it before he found us. The lymphoma had attacked his digestive system rather quickly. A tumor (fairly large) formed. He had alot of fluid in is belly. His body had basically began to eat itself. No muscle tone, visible hips and shoulders in a matter of days. He did not have any energy, ate very little, labored breathing, wheezing...etc. etc. etc. I could go on but its painful as I am sure many are aware.

If he simply had FeLV I would have kept him around as long as possible. God was calling the shots on this one.

In hindsight I could have had him tested as soon as he found us but I would have kept him anyway. There seems to be some different opinions on the FeLV Testing and Vaccination. I plan to test and vaccinate my other cat even if she only goes out for short time spans and typically does not leave the yard. My decision to fight this virus will always remain vigilant.

Cheers to Buddy! He was a truly amazing, loving, beautiful, wonderful, cat friend.
I will miss him but never ever forget him. He had such an impact on my life and made me appreciate my other pet friends that much more.

Thank you all for being so understanding and informative. This site is a wealth of information and has become not only a favorite but a regular stop.

Thanks again,

J~
post #14 of 16
RIP Buddy, you had a wonderful home, if only for a short while

FeLV positives are also more likely to develop cancer, the very first leukemia positive cat I had, the one who started me down the road I'm on, died of cancer i ferverently hope your other kitty tests negative and since you do allow her outside, it is a good idea to vaccinate, but keep in mind the vaccine is only about 85% effective.... also, spead the word! all strays MUST be tested before integrating into a household, I hope Buddy will leave this as his legacy
post #15 of 16
I'm so sorry you lost your Buddy. Warm thoughts and healing prayers are being sent your way. RIP sweet Buddy.
post #16 of 16
I am so very sorry to hear this, RIP little one. And as Katie points out, the vaccine isn't fully effective and a lot of cats come into contact with FeLV but fight it and gain a natural immunity to it, which might be the case with your other cat.
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