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FeLv help

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I posted this in a forum where I post regularly so if anything doesn't make sense, ask and I can probably clear it up.


I have a cat, Patty, that I found and have been caring for. I have been fighting to get her esinophillic ulcers cleared up, or at least stop bleeding, but I was having no luck so I decided to go aheahd with a steroid shot. While at the vet I had her tested for feline leukemia and FIV and she tested positive for Feline Leukemia. The office was very busy and it was near closing so I did not have a chance to ask all of the questions that I would have liked to.

Have any of you had a cat with FeLv? All the vet told me really was that, depending on when it was contracted, she could live 1 to 3 more years. She felt her lymph nodes and thinks that they are infected as well so she said treatment would be more or less useless. What she did not tell me was what to expect, what will her symptoms be? Is there anything I can to to ease or delay those symptoms? How long before the sympotoms show up, because she seems fine now? I read about some treatment drugs but cannot find any statistics on them, are they worth it and what do they cost? How long can the virus survive on me, and can I spread it to cats that I come in cantact with (she will not and has not been in contact with any obviously)? I have been researching but I would like to hear first hand what works and what does not if any of you have any experience with this disease. I want to do what I can to make this easier on her. I kind of expected her to have this or FIV since she was stray and it is fairly rampant here but I still want to help her.

Any insight would be VERY appreciated.

Thanks
Sally
post #2 of 15
Hi Sally! First thank you for ttaking Patty in and trying to get her healthy again. I take in leukemia cats exclusively and have been for 7 years now Leukemia is a very very strange disease, it really follows no rhyme or reason. I've had cats live for over 5 years and I've also lost ones before their first birthday.

The illness manifests itself in many forms, but usually when it is "time" the cat will withdraw and becomve very lethargic and not eat. The not eating to me has always been the final sign, so if Patty is still eating, I strongly believe there is hope for her. Get her on an anti-biotic ASAP, not amoxicyllin as I've found that drug not strong enough, get the strongest your vet can prescribe. The "treatment" drug you are probably thinking of is Interferon, a drug used to treat human AIDS patients, I have used it with no luck, but it really is not that expensive, I think it was around $50 for a month's supply., and I have read stories where the drug helped tremendously.

Also feed Patty whatever she wants to eat in as much as she wants too, she going to need all the strength she can get.

The leukemia virus does not survive very long outside of the body, but I still recommend washing your hands before coming into contact with another cat.

If you have any other questions please don't hesitate to PM me. I'm sending you many many get well vibes for Patty

Here is a link that gives a lot of useful info on leukemia & FIV
http://www.aafponline.org/resources/...Guidelines.pdf
post #3 of 15
You didn't say how long you've been caring for Patty so I don't know if this is relevant. When a cat is exposed to the FeLV virus, they can either reject it immediately, or take it in and their bodies spend some time trying to fight it off. During that period, the standard Elisa test that a vet will give in their office can show positive, even though the cat really doesn't have the full blown disease. This period will last about 30-60 days. The only test that definitively tests for the disease is called an IFA test. Most vets don't have the labs to run the test and a vial of blood is drawn and sent to a lab. I suggest that you wait 30 days and have the Elisa test rerun, and if positive, ask for an IFA test. I can tell you that a lot of vets don't run them and I had to ask my last vet about it.

Yes, I've had cats with FeLV and their ability to survive depends a lot on how old they were when they contracted it. A kitten that acquires it from their mother has a very low chance of survival past 18 months. An adult cat that contracts it can live many years.

FeLV is not casually spread. The chance that other cats can contract the disease also depends on their health, their age, and if they have been vaccinated against it. A healthy adult cat that has been vaccinated has about a 10% chance of acquiring it, but only after prolonged contact with an infected cat. The odds go up to about 25% for an unvaccinated cat with prolonged contact. By contact I mean sharing food/water bowls, litter boxes, mutual grooming, etc. Cat fights or breeding can spred it almost instantly.

I'm sorry, I can't help you on treatments, as the cats that I've had with the disease were either born with it and passed young, or were older and sick in the first place. I haven't been through any long term treatments.

Thanks for helping Patty!
post #4 of 15
the previous posts bring up some good points. but i ahev something different to add. out domestic from a drain near some hawker stalls was diagnosed with FeLV. my sister literally got ready to start mourning! through research on the internet and my other sister (studying vet sci), we decided to try extremely high doses of ester c. jenna was on 3000mg/day. it was very expensive and the first few days were difficult coz she kept spitting the tablet out.

six weeks later, upon retesting, she was negative. there is alot of literature on vit c and the immune system. check it out. let me know and i'll try to dig up some links for you.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
The not eating to me has always been the final sign, so if Patty is still eating, I strongly believe there is hope for her. Get her on an anti-biotic ASAP, not amoxicyllin as I've found that drug not strong enough, get the strongest your vet can prescribe.
Thanks, She eats a lot but she only touches dry food she wants nothing to do with wet food, that might just be personal preference though. She is on Clavamox, which I am assuming is Amoxicilin but at the time of the vet visit I was flat broke (ahh college life ) so they gave me the one that was best for my buget. Next time I will ask for something stronger. Since the visit (one week ago) she has been much less playful and I am not sure if that is the antibiotic, the steroid shot, or stress ( the process of giving antibiotic to her is very stressful ) but I have been trying to let her be as relaxed as possible.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
You didn't say how long you've been caring for Patty so I don't know if this is relevant.
I have had her for about 2 months and the people at McDonalds had been feeding her for about a month before that (along with many more timid strays) She was obviously someones pet prior to that because she is declawed. I looked for an owner but with no luck obviously.

Thank yall for the responses so far, they have been very helpful.
post #6 of 15
Clavamox is actually amox plus something else, can't remember what, but I've used that in the past with relative success. How kinds of wet food have you tried? Around here we sometimes call Fancy Feast kitty crack so maybe you could like to try some of that? still sending lots of vibes that Patty is ok (I'm guessing that's Patty like hamburger patty?? )
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
Clavamox is actually amox plus something else, can't remember what, but I've used that in the past with relative success. How kinds of wet food have you tried? Around here we sometimes call Fancy Feast kitty crack so maybe you could like to try some of that? still sending lots of vibes that Patty is ok (I'm guessing that's Patty like hamburger patty?? )
I tried Fancy feast gormet something and she nibbled at it but went to the dry eventually. Yep Hamburger Patty is her whole name. They called her Hamburgers there at McDonalds but I could not tell people that was her name with a straight face lol.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Acctually I think the Clavamox was perscribed more for the indulent ulcers than for the FeLv. They look pretty nasty, that is where she is suffering most at the moment.
post #9 of 15
it will help clear up any infection she has, or at least try to, a FeLV cat's immune system is so weak that the infection can take over even with anti-biotics, that's why I like to get the strongest I can. Poor baby I found this on those ulcers, is the vet prescribing eye drops like it says in this article?
http://www.cairnrescue.com/docs/Indo...rnealUlcer.htm
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
This is in her mouth, I think that is generally where it occurs in cats. It covers her entire top lip and about half of the roof of her moth and parts of her bottom lip. They look pretty bad and bleed alot.
post #11 of 15
oh gosh, that's even worse! and she still prefers the dry food?? sometimes I don't think I'll ever understand kitties. But along those lines, FeLV postiive cats do have a tendency towards mouth disease/problems.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
oh gosh, that's even worse! and she still prefers the dry food?? sometimes I don't think I'll ever understand kitties. But along those lines, FeLV postiive cats do have a tendency towards mouth disease/problems.
Thats what the vet told me. I don't understand the dry food thing either, thats why I keep trying to get her to eat wet food. I think I might try some homemade food soon.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by sally429 View Post
Thats what the vet told me. I don't understand the dry food thing either, thats why I keep trying to get her to eat wet food. I think I might try some homemade food soon.
most kitties will go bonkers for plain boiled chicken too, and even try some chicken or turket flavored baby food, make sure you get one with no garlic or onion, I had to assist feed a cat for a couple weeks and that's what I used
post #14 of 15
My first question is, how old is you kitty? and the second is, did Your vet aspirate the lymph node to make sure it was an infection and not lymphoma?

Sadly, many FeLV postive cats get lymphoma. (Mostly cats under the age of 2 and who where more then likely born with it or infected at a VERY young age) Its hard to tell the differance between that and an infection because both cause the lymph nodes to swell. If your kitty is a young one, I would have the vet take a fine needle aspirate, if your kitty is older, I would think its more then likely an infection.

I have never personally owned a cat With FeLV, but I can tell you, that if you have more kitties in your house, you need to be careful. FeLV is refered to as the "friendly cat disease" because it is spread through saliva. So grooming one other can be dangerous.

Here are some links that may be helpful....
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Con...S=0&C=0&A=1482
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Con...S=0&C=0&A=1446
http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/brochures/felv.html

Sending vibes for you and your baby
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty14788 View Post
My first question is, how old is you kitty? and the second is, did Your vet aspirate the lymph node to make sure it was an infection and not lymphoma?
I found her a few months ago so I cannot be positive about her age, the vet guessed she is between 2 and 4 but it is hard to tell since her mouth is all messed up because of the ulcers. She did not aspirate the lymph node because I was there on a buget. All I came in for was vaccines and treatrment for her lip so I had not bugeted for anything else. The vet did put her on antibiotics to help with her ulcers, which were infected. So it could be an infection, but the antibiotics should help with that I figure. She mentioned that it could be lymphoma. If next time I take her in, they are still bad then I will see what to do then, if it is lymphoma though, I really don't know what I could do about it.
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