Ask the Vet About Feline Leukemia in Cats
As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.Submit Your Question
Question:I have a kitten turning 4 mos. He have a fever and bloodwork results are all normal. Hes not vomiting no diarrhea as well. Hes an indoor cat. We dont know what's causing his fever. Ive read that its one of the symptoms of felv and he might get it from his mama thru milk. Mama cat is healthy and has never been sick. Is it possible that mama cat maybe infected with felv and transmitted it to her kitten?
Answer:Yes, it is still possible. If they ran bloodwork, they almost certainly tested for FELV, so call and ask.
Question:My cat tested positive on the Elsa test but negative on the ifa test. I think that’s the one in the bone marrow. He lost 2lbs! That was almost 4 yrs ago! In 7 mnths the virus was gone! Now the WBC is very low! What happened! The neutrophils is also very low!
Answer:Feline Leukemia is an elusive virus. We get many false negatives and false positives with it, which can be very frustrating. I'm sorry you are having to go through that.
Question:My cat is constantly fighting with a stray cat in the neighborhood and he gets cut and scratched quite badly. He now has a puss filled bag of infection on his neck.
Answer:Abscesses like that will usually need prescription antibiotics from your veterinarian, so see your veterinarian if it persists or worsens. Be sure your cat is well vaccinated, against feline leukemia and Rabies especially.
Question:My cat who has FIV has what looks like a puncture hole near his genitals. It has a greenish fluid under the skin surrounding the hole. He is having trouble sitting down and is licking a lot. Could it be a warble? He is still eating and drinking. Thanks.
Answer:Probably not if he is licking it a lot - they only get those wolf worms it places they can't groom very well. That sounds like an abscess that needs antibiotics, especially because he is FIV positive. Make sure he is an indoor only cat to lessen the probably of bite wounds like that (they usually get them from fighting with another cat, but not always - we also worry about him giving FIV to other cats).
Question:Am looking after 2 stray kittens tested positive with panleukopenia. They are currently admitted and will be released in 2-3 days. I have 2 vaccinated indoor cats of my mine. Will keep these kittens isolated. How long will I need to keep isolated? As i cannot keep them forever and will need to release them back outside. They used to live below my building and were looked after by me and the bldg security. It?s raining kittens in the city i live in- so finding a foster or permanent home will be very difficult. Pls advice
Answer:Here is a really good article about panleukopenia (feline distemper) written by another veterinarian from a site that I trust: https://veterinarypartner.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=19239&id=4952250
Question:How to get vaccinated?
Answer:It depends on the type of vaccine and the age it is labeled for. We usually give one feline leukemia vaccine at around 12 weeks, then another 3-4 weeks later, then yearly after that.
Question:I took my male Siamese cat to the vet today and they diagnosed him with feline leukemia and I want to know if there is anything I can do to help him. Are there any kind of treatment that help or vitamins or medicine I can give him? I know it?s a matter of time but if there is anything I can do to make him feel better
Answer:Definitely start lysine - it is an over-the-counter anti-viral supplement - there are many formulations (gels, chews, powders, etc.) developed specifically for cats. The powder is most cost effective long term or for multiple cats - here is a link to a powder: https://www.1800petmeds.com/Viralys+Oral+Powder-prod12025.html
Question:We rescued an outdoor stray April 2018, we had him tested when we had him neutered and put him in our spare bedroom. Fast forward to October 2019, he had some bouts with diarrhea and constant ear itchiness. We took him back to be tested and he tested positive for FIV and Feline Leukemia, we have another indoor cat that was not vaccinated, he is 12... the one we rescued is around 6. He was in a brutal fight the day before we took him in April 2018. He was negative then, but positive for FIV and Feline leukemia just recently. If he has a positive for feline leukemia on a duo snap test, would that mean at his age and the duration it has gone to his bone marrow I'd he is showing a positive? The FIV diagnosed I suspected which is sad he has both....
Answer:FELV and FIV can be kind of sneaky viruses like that. It is impossible to tell which cats will and won't do well and live relatively normal lives. You are right that it is unfortunate that he has both but it still doesn't mean he can't get through his issues now and go on and live many good quality years. Lysine is an over-the-counter supplement that has some anti-viral properties and seems to help some cats - here is a link to read about one such product, with the price: https://www.1800petmeds.com/Vetri+Lysine+Plus+Soft+Chews-prod11239.html
Question:I had 3 cats and took on a cat that was FeLV+. My 3 cats went through a 3 part vaccination so they did not contact the disease. And every year get a booster. They have been tested for the virus with a negative. I see some shelters and rescues act like if you have a FeLV cat it cannot be around others? What is true? I have 3 cats that say yes if they go through vaccinations.
Answer:Since no vaccine provides 100% protection, it is not recommended, not ideal, but with the cat over-population problem, I feel like it's an acceptable risk for some situations.
Question:My 11 year old cat became ill. Symptoms were dermatitis, anemia, lethargic, and losing weight. Though vaccinated each year for FeLV she tested positive for FeLV. Testing suggested probable bone marrow was compromised. I authorized euthanasia. After the fact I am having doubts. Were there any other alternatives I should I explored?
Answer:This is always a hard decision but her prognosis, since she was FELV positive, was poor. Some cats do ok after a blood transfusion but it's usually the FELV negative cats and, even then, the odds are not great. Many cats get a transfusion, feel better, and then go downhill again immediately, only to have to euthanize then, which would've put her through a lot and been super expensive so you did the right thing.
Question:My young cat tested positive for feline leukemia. She is not gaining weight real well. Is their a supplement that you would recommend giving her?
Answer:Yes, a supplement like this one that contains lysine may help her: https://www.1800petmeds.com/Vetri+Lysine+Plus+Soft+Chews-prod11239.html
Question:Had to put my cat to sleep yesterday She seemed fine until the other day when she stopped eating Took her to the vet and they said she was very sick and there was nothing they could do She tested positive for feline leukemia How could she become ill so fast I was shocked and heartbroken
Answer:I'm so sorry for your loss. Cats are notorious for hiding illnesses until they are on deaths door unfortunately.
Question:My kitten tested negative for feline leukemia and was given his first vaccine against the virus. He gets his second one next Saturday. 2 of his litter mates recently tested positive. Is my kitten protected from getting the virus?
Answer:That is a really good question - I would definitely have your kitten retested with that history - it is uncommon but there are false positives and false negatives.
Question:If a kitten has a positive ELISA test, what are the chances that the IFA could come back negative?
Answer:It is possible but not very probable, but definitely worth retesting.
Question:I think a couple of simi farel cats in my yard have passed from fmi can i by the vaccine an give the ones that i can catch the vaccination or is it necessary ? Thank you for your info
Answer:I don't know what you mean by "FMI" - FIV? FIP? or maybe FELV, which is the abbreviation we usually use for feline leukemia. I would not recommend vaccinating until you have them tested - they are probably all positive and giving the vaccine, especially if they are sick in any way, can be really bad for them.