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Feline Leukemia...once negative now positive

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I can't believe this is happening. A feral had kittens in our shed and my son took two of them. We made a critical mistake and didn't have them tested for feline leukemia...just vaccinated. Within the first year one of them came down with leukemia and had to be put to sleep. At that time, the other one was tested and he was negative. Now three years later he's sick and we just found out he's tested positive. He's been an inside cat...away from other cats.

Here's where things get even more complicated. Almost two weeks ago, my son found a kitten. She's about four months old. He immediately took her to the vet and she tested negative for feline leukemia. He wasn't about to let her near his cat until that was done. That's all he had done because he put up signs trying to find her owner and was going to have her vaccinated if no owner claimed her. Now she's been exposed to feline luekemia.

Today I brought her to my house and I've got her isolated and away from my cats. I read that the incubation period is two to four weeks, so I'll have her tested in about a month.

Meanwhile, the vet told my son that his cat could go either way since she originally tested negative and has been vaccinated. Have any of you ever heard this? Right now he won't eat and I personally don't think it's looking very good, but I'm hoping I'm wrong. Has anyone here ever had a cat test negative and then three years later positive? How did they do?

I'm just heartbroken for my my son, his cat, and now this kitten who might end up coming down with feline leukemia too.
post #2 of 8
Did you bring it to the vet anytime within those three years? He could've picked it up in the vet. I hope all goes well.

post #3 of 8
Unfortunately, the test for Felv is not a 100 % accurate. False positives and False negatives do occur. In your case, sounds like it was a false negative, when in fact the cat had Felv. This cat was probably in early stages of infection, so his test was negative, while he in fact had it.
"What is a "leukemia test"?

The "leukemia test" is used to determine if a cat harbors the virus. Any of three different tests may be used to detect one particular virus protein in the cat. Some tests detect earlier stages of infection, whereas others are used to detect later (i.e., irreversible) stages of infection.

1. The blood ELISA test is performed on a blood sample and detects the FeLV at any stage of infection. This test turns positive within a few days of infection and, in some cases, may later turn negative if the cats immune system eliminates the infection.

2. The IFA test turns positive only after the FeLV infection has progressed to a late stage of infection. Once positive, the IFA test usually means that the cat has a permanent infection. A cat who tests IFA positive is only rarely able to successfully eliminate the virus.

3. The tears/saliva ELISA test is performed on a sample of tears or saliva. It turns positive only in a late stage of infection; therefore, it may yield a false negative result in cats who are in the early stage of FeLV infection. It also has been associated with some false positive results due to inherent errors in the way the test is performed. Because of these problems, the tears and saliva tests are not used routinely."
post #4 of 8
Oh...how very scary & sad. I will be praying that everything will be OK.
post #5 of 8
I've always been told that the first FELV test should be followed up by a second test 3 to 6 months later to confirm the negative or positive status.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, we were never told about a follow up test. Since his litter mate was lost due to feline leukemia he probably should have been re-tested. I know that now. We were all elated when he tested negative and assumed that was accurate.

I know his initial test was with blood and his second test the other day was with blood. We're also awaiting results of another feline leukemia test that takes 48 hours, but at this point he's not doing well. He won't eat and drinks very little. I've been going over there during the day while my son is at work and trying to get him to eat.
post #7 of 8
Last yr when I had Tommie, he tested negative but 2 months later he tested postive after becoming ill. I had them run the test twice to make sure. They were surprised about the test results as he must have had a false negative also,
Hope everything works out ok
post #8 of 8
This is a very difficult time for you. You & your kitty are in my thoughts & prayers.
Originally Posted by DayDreamnWorld
We're also awaiting results of another feline leukemia test that takes 48 hours
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