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Feline Leukemia

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi! One of my lil fosters "Flop" was set to be going to a his new home today. His new mommy also has a kitten that was thought to have Manx Syndrome but yesterday the kitten got very sick and had to be rushed to the vet and they diagnosed him with Feline Leukemia. Now we canceled our plans for him to go to her home today. But she still wants Flop who will Appox turn 8 weeks next anyways I am just not comfortable with the thought that he may be in danger. What are your thoughts?

Mandie
post #2 of 14
There is a lot of information out on the internet about FeLV, but I like Cornell Universities information site the best.

http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/brochures/felv.html
Quote:
How is FeLV spread?
Cats persistently infected with FeLV serve as sources of infection. Virus is shed in very high quantities in saliva and nasal secretions, but also in urine, feces, and milk from infected cats. Cat-to-cat transfer of virus may occur from a bite wound, during mutual grooming, and (though rarely) through the shared use of litter boxes and feeding dishes. Transmission can also take place from an infected mother cat to her kittens, either before they are born or while they are nursing. FeLV doesn't survive long outside a cat's body—probably less than a few hours under normal household conditions.
Did they use the IFA test on the Manx kitten? If all they used was the Elisa test, then they cannot be sure that he has it. You never mentioned whether or not they euthanized their kitten.

If they euthanized the kitten, then Flop will be fine in the new home, as the virus cannot live outside of a host for very long.

If they did not euthanize the kitten, they should run the IFA test to verify that it has FeLV. Even a fully vaccinated adult cat can contract the disease, and a kitten needs 2 rounds of shots before they even begin to build immunity to it. I would not risk that.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have no Idea what tests were used. I just received a call and was updated on what the vet had said. She is really upset and wants Flop but she understands if I dont want to expose Flop to her kitten.

Her kitten was not PTS but she is under the impression that in a couple weeks they will have the "sickness" under control and she will be able to take Flop since he will be vaccinated.

I will call her and give her this information and tell her about the IFA test. Just so her baby can get everything he needs.

She was going to be a the PERFECT home, she has wanted a sibling for her kitten

As it stands Flop will remain here, I have several other ppl interested I have to screen. Flops healthyness is whats important right now.

Mandie
post #4 of 14
If her kitten is truly FeLV positive, she should contact shelters in her area and ask if they have any kittens that are also positive. While they may not live a long life, a FeLV positive kitten will most likely be euthanized. She would give another a chance at a happy life with her. She should NOT bring a FeLV negative kitten or cat into that household. Even vaccinated, she will risk their lives. Vaccinations are NOT 100% effective. I lost a fully vaccinated 3 year old to the disease when I brought in kittens that were supposed to have been tested but were not.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
just a quick question ... why vaccinate if it doesnt prevent FeLV? or is it just a chance thing?
post #6 of 14
the vax is about 80-85% effective and with cats that are at risk for exposure, like indoor/outdoor cats, or cats in a home that fosters, some protection is better than nothing, but I would not recommend a positive and a negative cat being homed together even if the neg cat has the vax. I care for feline leukemia positive cats exclusively and there is a great need for homes for them.

Also, and this is not the best news, but *usually* when a FeLV cat gets sick, as in other than your regular cold or something like that, they do not recover. I've tried and tried and I have never succeeded. Did they eleaborate on just what kind of "sick" this other kitten was?
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
they said he was having troubles controling his bowels and then he stopped eating and drinking. their may have been more I will send her an email.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by naturesgift View Post
they said he was having troubles controling his bowels and then he stopped eating and drinking. their may have been more I will send her an email.
not eating and drinking is usually the beginning of the end unfortunately many many vibes for the baby
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
SO maybe I should keep Flop awhile and see? I can just imagine she is going to be crushed! And I wouldnt want to rob her of 2 babies.
post #10 of 14
I think that would be a great idea since Flop is only 8 weeks, a couple more weeks couldn't hurt
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Update she emailed me and said

"he was IFA tested. However my vet said that he may just be a carrier of the Leukemia, possibly passed on to him by his mother. he does have Giardia, which he's had since he was given to us I guess. I had no idea...the woman who gave him to me said he was vet checked and healthy...and I guess that wasnt true. he's been having constipation issues all day..he's really not doing too well. Im hoping he pulls through though. A 3 month old kitten doesnt deserve to die. =(
I'll keep you updated on the situation"


Mandie
post #12 of 14
Poor baby

If the little one does pull through, I agree with the suggestion to recommend that its family adopt another FeLV-positive cat instead of one that tests clean. It's a disease that can be managed, so she'd be able to give another kitten a good quality of life, but it'd be a shame to pass it on.

Part of the point of vaccines is that when a certain amount of a population is immune (#immune = #vaccinated - %fail rate for vaccine), it becomes very difficult for the disease to be passed on at all because if someone does get sick they're surrounded by immune people. This was done with smallpox so effectively that we no longer need to be vaccinated because it doesn't exist in the wild any more (there are still samples in labs so I suppose people that work with those samples get vaccinated), and most formerly routine childhood illnesses have been vaccinated almost out of existence, to the point where many people question whether it's necessary to get their children vaccinated. However, it's not likely that we'll ever manage to do this to tetanus, because it doesn't require a human host--it can live quite well in just regular dirt, so your tetanus booster every 10 years is your only protection from lockjaw.

Unfortunately, with cats, the feral, stray, and owned-but-nonvetted populations are still a large enough part of the overall cat population that you can't count on group immunity to protect your cat. Until TNR programs and pet owner responsibility change this, your cat is either 100% indoor, vaccinated (assuming it takes and doesn't wear off--that's why we do boosters), or at risk.
post #13 of 14
This is a bit more info on FeLV and age of cat, I wouldnt put such a young kitten in that situation.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A CAT IS EXPOSED TO INFECTION?

This depends on the age of the cat. Resistance to infection increases with age.
Most new-born kittens will receive maternal antibodies to FeLV, which protect them if they are exposed to the virus. However, if they have not, (because their mother has not encountered it) and they are exposed to it, they will be permanently infected. In kittens between six weeks and four months (whose maternal immunity has waned), 85% exposed to the virus will be permanently infected .
Of kittens over four months or adult cats, only 15% become permanently infected. The other 85% will produce antibodies to the virus and recover from the infection. These cats will have a life-long immunity to FeLV, which can be assessed by the Virus Neutralising Antibody (or VN) test. (This test is only carried out at the Feline Virus Unit at the University of Glasgow, and the vet will send a blood sample to them.). However, many vets do not appear to have heard of this test, so you may need to ask for it specifically.
It will be obvious from this, that the most susceptible age-group to infection with FeLV is the six weeks to four month-old kitten. Of those which become permanently infected, 80-85% will die within 2-5 years. Kittens infected before birth will also die within this time-scale. The long-term outlook is not good for kittens infected at this age.

The rest of the article is very interesting actually

http://www.catchat.org/leukaemia.html
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by booktigger View Post
Of kittens over four months or adult cats, only 15% become permanently infected. The other 85% will produce antibodies to the virus and recover from the infection. These cats will have a life-long immunity to FeLV, which can be assessed by the Virus Neutralising Antibody (or VN) test. (This test is only carried out at the Feline Virus Unit at the University of Glasgow, and the vet will send a blood sample to them.). However, many vets do not appear to have heard of this test, so you may need to ask for it specifically.
I did not know that...I wonder how the cost of the test compares to the cost of the vaccine, because that would be a good way to avoid unneeded vaccinations. (I know vaccines are pretty safe, but they still have a risk, and no benefit, if the cat is already immune.)
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