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Help! FLV+ diagnose in my multi-cat household

post #1 of 4
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Last week I had my 10 month old kitten (Hendrix) diagnosed positive for FLV. He was accutely ill, most likely infected from birth, and no hopes of recovery. We had to put him down.

Now we are testing the other 12 cats in the household. Tonight, the litter mate of the 10 month old (Morrison), who is very small for his age and on again/off again sickly, diagnosed positive. Hendrix's companion friend, Pinky (3 years old) was negative, but Pinky's litter mate Ruby tested positive. The kittens (12 weeks old) are negative, and we are bringing the rest of the cats in this week for tests. We've isolated Morrison and Ruby in a spare bedroom until everyone else is tested (mostly worried about the kittens, who are not thru their vaccination routine).

I've been surfing the net for information on FLV. I'm assuming that Morrison (kitten) has also had FLV from birth and is a persistent carrier. Since Pinky was negative and Ruby positive, and both older, I'm assuming that he picked it up from Hendrix/Morrison post birth (coincidentally, these 4 cats share the same mother). There is some information concerning adult cats catching the virus, testing positive, then building up an immunity (35% on average go thru this). What I haven't found information on is whether or not the virus will still be in his system if he builds an immunity to it. I am willing to isolate him for 3 months and retest to see if he's clean before I make a decision, but will try to find him another home if he could be a permanent carrier. Ruby is and always has been very healthy and has a lot of years left in him. He is also my lover boy in the household.

Of course if more cats test positively, my whole dilemna will change, but would like more information on the potential of being a persistent carrier if he builds the immunity.

Thanks for any and all help, comments, and opinions on this!!!!!!!
post #2 of 4
Wow I hope you keep us posted. I wish I had an answer for you. I'm sure someone here will give you the info you need.
post #3 of 4
post #4 of 4
You know, I've read that cats can build up immunity to FLV and stay clear of the virus for the remainder of their lives. The animal shelter from which I adopted my kittens routinely tests kittens/cats for FLV/FIV. Their Momcat, Dolly, tested negative, as did the kittens, but I shudder to think what they do when the kittens/cats that are brought in test positive. The vaccinations aren't foolproof, either, so there are no guarantees. That being said, I sure wouldn't write off any kitten/cat that tests positive or may have been exposed to a life-threatening disease. Healing and miracles do happen. Best of luck to you and your cats. Please let us know what happens.
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