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Feline Leukemia

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Will someone PLEASE tell me how Edgar could have contracted this disease? Edgar is a Persian, about 10 years old, that I rescued from a high-kill shelter in October, 2004. He kept being returned to the shelter for one reason or another and I took him home and promised him he would never have to go back there again. I had him tested for FeLV, which was negative, before I introduced him to my other cats at home. My only mistake was that I did not have him vaccinated (even though I thought I did). At least I can't find any record that I did--and I always have my cats vaccinated. I have about nine other cats at home with him--ALL have been tested and vaccinated for FeLV (I double-checked all their records today). The vet says that one of my other cats must have given it to him, but I can't see how. Edgar has had absolutely NO contact with any of my outside cats who have also been tested and vaccinated. I hate to even say this, but could he have contracted it somehow from the vet's office? (I had to have him shaved last summer.) I feel so bad for Edgar because I promised him a good life and now it seems he has very little time left, perhaps days. This also seemed to have come out of the blue--does leukemia strike this fast? Anyone have any ideas? I know I'm losing Edgar--I'm so afraid for all my other cats now.
post #2 of 8
FeLeuk is rarely an immediate death sentence and often cats live long, happy, healthy lives with little or no sign of having it until just before passing. There's no way of knowing how he contacted it. Often a test will come up false positive, as well. What is he presenting with in the way of symptoms? FeLeuk is NOT easily transferable from cat to cat so do not panic on that score.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
The vet (who I usually trust) insisted that the snap tests are 98% accurate. Edgar has a (?)red blood cell count of only 9 (maybe not red?). He also isn't eating, but he drinks as much, it seems, as he can get (he slept in the kitchen sink last night and is at "grandma's" now sleeping in her bathroom sink). He doesn't look well, either. I thought the vet was going to tell me he was diabetic--not this. The only other thing he said was at first he thought Edgar was "uremic?" I'm not sure what that is, but he said after he got the blood count back that it was leukemia. I'm just really confused!
post #4 of 8
I'm so sorry to hear of the diagnosis for Edgar. What were his symptoms prior to diagnosis? Has the vet suggested any treatment? Although Feline Leukemia is not curable some cats do live a long time after diagnosis. Here's a good article about the disease.

"Uremic" or uremia relates to kidney failure. It is the symptoms that appear when the kidneys can no longer remove wastes from the body and those wastes build up in the blood stream. Did the vet also do a urinalysis on Edgar?

Hugs and positive thoughts to both of you.
post #5 of 8
Well a 10 year old cat with FeLV is a great thing! It is not a death sentence but he is still going at least!

Anyways, only thing I can think of is this...
if a cat comes into contact with a positive cat and picks up FeLV, it takes awhile for it to show up in the test. I have heard anything from 1 month to 6 months, someone on here will probably know better. But this could have happened. He could have contracted it but was tested before he actually became positive if that makes sense. Like he caught it and was carrying it but it didn't affect him right away. So when you tested him it was negative, but he actually had it, it just didn't have enough time to develop into full blown, positive FeLV.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
That's scary thinking he had a negative test in 2005, but had the disease. Fortunately, I guess and hope, all my other cats had negative tests and were vaccinated. Edgar just seemed to get sick all of a sudden. He's always been a friendly, "nosy" cat, so when I didn't see him much the other day (or step on him!), I went looking for him. He wasn't hiding, just out of the way of everybody else. He didn't want to be held, which is unusual for him, and just seems to want to drink water. I don't think he had a urinalysis--I don't think the vet thinks he has much longer to live. The vet did the FeLV, FIV, Chem Panel tests. And he gave me some amoxy and a type of Pet-tinic to give him. I've tried to give Edgar some a/d, but he didn't touch it. I just thought I was doing everything right by getting everyone tested...now I'm not so sure. I see by some of the articles that I probably should have had another test after 90 days, but that was never recommended! I guess all I can do now is see how he feels and make him as comfortable as I can and take it day-by-day.
post #7 of 8
I'm so sorry about Edgar But in answer to one of your questions, yes, Leukemia does strike very, very quickly, and your kitty seems to be exhibiting many classic symptoms: lethargy, anemia, not eating.

I agree with Jen in that sometimes an exposed cat can not give a positive test result, false negatives are much more commom that false positives, it is highly likely that Edgar picked up the virus from one of his stays in the shelter or even when he was in another home.

Just remember though, you have Edgar 2 very happy years, and that he would not have had if not for you. I take in leukemia cats exclusively and that is the comfort I take, I give them a good life when no one lese would. I am sending mega mega vibes that the vaccine held up for your other babies and everyone is negative

If you have any other questions please feel free to PM me
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Sadly, Edgar was let out of his pain last night. He was much braver than I was. I will miss him terribly. I can only hope for the best for my other cats that lived with him--all but one (that I'm not sure about) had been vaccinated, but apparently testing and vaccinating don't mean that it can't happen anyway. Please hope for the best for my girl Salem that I'm taking in tomorrow to have tested.
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