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I would like more info on FeLuk, please!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I would really appreciate it if anyone could give me some more info on Feline Leukemia. You can refer to this thread if you are wondering why.
I read the sticky, but I am sort of looking for some more direct responses, or your opinion.

The way the HS is set up, there are two cat rooms, the cat room & the cat sink room. The third cat room is for quarantine only. When a new cat comes in(untested for FeLuk only) they are put in quarantine. Well, one cat wasn't. The cat sink room had several cages in it. One cat was loose(Sweet Pea). I do not know the condition of Mr. Positive(cat that tested positive for FeLuk). I do know that Snipper(pronounced Sniper) & Oreo are(& were) on antibiotics for a cold. None of the cats were vaccinated for FeLuk(as far as I know, the HS doesn't vaccinate for it). Snipper & Oreo were in what was supposed to be a puppy kennel(narrow bars). All other cats were in dog crates(wider spacing between bars). How easily would Mr. Positive have transmitted FeLuk to the cats in crates? in the puppy kennel? Sweet Pea(who was loose)?

I am really looking for some reassurance that my babies weren't infected, but any information you can share would be greatly appreciated. I have no experience with FeLuk.

Should I have Twitch, Lily, & Lola vaccinated for FeLuk? I think Lily got the combo shot, but I know Twitch & Lola didn't get FeLuk vaccination.

If a cat is vaccinated for FeLuk, can it live with a FeLuk positive cat? I was kind of confused on that point. I did Google feline leukemia, but some of the sites got me confused.
post #2 of 5
I wouldn't vaccinate Tiger Lily, b/c she's under a year if I remember. She absolutely CANNOT be exposed because she runs a huge risk of getting FeLV. If you want, you can get Merial's vaccine for Twitch. Make sure they use the Vet Jet to administer it if you decide to. However, many (but not all!) cats over a year old are naturally immune and generally, only about 30% of exposed adult cats will become persistently infected with FeLV. Unfortunately there's no way of knowing if she's in the 30% or the 70%. I had Leo vaccinated when Lola was sick, because I knew I couldn't separate them.

Unfortunatly, it's easier to pass FeLV than either FIV or FIP, but there's no reason to believe it's as easy to get as a cold virus or something. They should always use separate bowls and litterboxes and should avoid touching mouths, noses and other touching that would cause body fluids to be exchanged.

All in all, they need to be tested, and not just once. You should have them tested twice over 2 months, and have them run a test called an IFA, not simply the Elisa combo test. I'm more concerned about Lily than Twitch. Many adults can fend it off themselves. If they have been exposed, even if they don't become persistently infected, I would still give them an immune booster for the time being. OPtions include CoEnzymeQ10, Royal Bee Jelly and Colloidal Silver.

A good site is They can help you a lot on their mailing list.
post #3 of 5
FeLV is often debated on how it runs its course. Initial vaccinations are given 30 days apart and take another 30 days to provide some level of immunity to the cat. Cats that are vaccinated can still contract the disease, but the rate drops to about 10% for those cats.

FeLV is not casually transmitted. It is transmitted most readily thru bites and scratches (but not always), but also thru casual exposure over a longer period of time (months). A brief exposure to an environment where a FeLV positive cat resides in doesn't really put a cat at risk, vaccinated or not.

The Elisa (sometimes called a stick test) only tests for exposure to the virus, not for the actual disease. The IFA test looks for the virus in their blood stream and a FeLV cat should not be considered positive until confirmed with the IFA test.

Once exposed to FeLV, a cat may or may not test positive with Elisa. If they do test positive, it means that they had enough of exposure that they are trying to fight off the disease. It takes anywhere from about 30-60 (timeframe is debated amongst researchers) to fight it off and in the mean time, they may continue to test positive with the Elisa test. If they fight it off successfully (more often than not they do this), they will become negative on Elisa. If they do not fight it off, they will become positive with IFA. So if you run the IFA, you want to wait at least 60 days after exposure.

It doesn't sound like your babies had enough contact to be worried about it.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
The only contact Twitch & Lily will have with the possibly infected cats is through me. My two fosters & Lola go to the HS with me, but they are NEVER in the room that the quarantined cats(the ones that had contact with Mr. Positive) are in. No other animals are allowed in that room. It makes things difficult, but no one is willing to take any chances. One concern is the fact that Twitch has proven to have a weaker immune system....Lola could have a weaker immune system, too. She had a nasty sinus infection when we brought her in.

I have no idea what test the HS will be running on the exposed cats. Being in the boondocks, most vets do things, to put it nicely, "the old fashioned way". I will have to find out what test they plan on using. I want to know the condition of Mr. Positive, too.

I am thinking about Kai, Gabriel, Pandora, & Zorro, mostly. They are all 10 months old(almost 11 months now). Do they have a higher chance of being infected because they are younger, or are they old enough to have the lesser risk of an adult? I think that Sweet Pea & Mr. Positive were using the same food/water/litter since they were both loose together. That isn't helping poor SP.

Is 30 days long enough to wait before testing these cats for FeLV? I have no idea why the HS picked that amount of time. And our old vet always said it was a waste of money to vaccinate for FeLV. He has never seen a case of it here.....moron. Glad I dumped him for a real vet.
post #5 of 5
You definitely don't want the old vaccine. It's raised too much concern and isn't effective. If you DO go ahead and vaccinate, make sure it's the new Merial vaccine that's only been used for about a year.

FeLV+ cats can live long-ish lives if they are well taken care of. Once they start showing symptoms, there's almost nothing you can do.
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