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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-10-2005, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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feLV

Can any one explain this to me, I know my cat was vaccinated against it. Someone told me it was like the Kitty version of AIDS. THEN my roommate said that people could get it.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-10-2005, 01:29 AM
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Well, here's what I've found on it being transmitted to humans:
"Q: I have friend with cat with feline leukemia....her vet said there was an increased incidence of leukemia in children where cats with this disease were around? is this true???? never heard of it and can't imagine it lives long enough to cause problems in humans... Thanks, BMan

A: BMan-

There was an exchange in the letters to the editor (I think that is where it occurred) section of a veterinary journal in which this claim was made. It was apparently based on a British study in which children with leukemia were studied for factors that might have contributed to their disease. Children with cats were more likely to have leukemia in that study but to the best of my knowledge (I have only seen reference to this in a textbook, not the article) there was no mention of this being from feline leukemia virus. Many other studies have been done since this one and none have shown any evidence that feline leukemia virus can cause leukemia or lymphoma in humans. I truly believe that this information is simply incorrect.
Mike Richards, DVM "

And:
"Epidemiological and laboratory studies have failed to provide evidence that FeLV can be transmitted from infected cats to humans. Regardless, FeLV-infected cats may carry other diseases. At greatest risk of infection are elderly or immunosuppressed people (e.g., those with AIDS, or receiving immunosuppressive medications such as chemotherapy), infants, and unborn children. It is recommended that pregnant women, people with suppressed immune systems, the very young, and the very old avoid contact with FeLV-infected cats. "

And this is what it is:
"Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) is a common and important cause of illness and death in pet cats. Cats that become persistently (permanently) infected with this virus are at risk of developing many severe illnesses such as anaemia and cancer. Between 80 and 90% of infected cats die within three and a half years of being diagnosed as having FeLV.

The most common effect of infection is immunosuppression. The virus infects cells of the immune system (the white blood cells) killing or damaging them. This leaves the cat vulnerable to a wide variety of other diseases and infections (secondary infections). FeLV is a member of the same virus family as feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). "

It's basically feline leukemia. Hope that helps

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-10-2005, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I was going to get my cat tested but my Vet told me her brother was and he was negative for it so I shouldnt worry about it. Should I still get her tested?
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-10-2005, 01:45 AM
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It is suggested that you test them but it's more important to test them if: Your cat has a history of cat fights or wounds from cat fights, it has been exposed to ill cats, the cat has an unknown background, and it lives in a multiple cat household.

These are also the symptoms for it: "A variety of chronic and/or recurrent disease develops in cats persistently infected with FeLV. There is a progressive deterioration in their condition over time. Clinical signs are extremely diverse but include fever, lethargy, poor appetite and weight loss. Respiratory, skin and intestinal signs are also common. Cats may suffer from several illnesses at the same time. Anaemia occurs in about a quarter of infected cats. FeLV can infect the red blood cells in the bone marrow causing a reduction in numbers of these cells or production of abnormal red blood cells which do not work properly. In other cases, FeLV may cause destruction of red blood cells by the cat's own immune system. Anaemic cats show clinical signs such as weakness and lethargy.

Cancer develops in around 15% of cats infected with FeLV. The most common is lymphoma, a cancer of lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) resulting in solid tumours or leukaemia (tumour cells in the blood stream). Solid tumours can be seen at various sites including the intestine, kidneys, eyes or nasal chambers. In multicentric lymphoma, the tumour involves multiple lymph nodes and other sites."

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-10-2005, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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Wow... I know she has none of that. But God that would be horrible!!! has anyones cat on here had that?
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-10-2005, 09:57 AM
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The reason that it is called kitty AIDS is because it is an immunosuppressing disease. From the literature I have read, it is not zoologically possible for it to jump species.

Do you suspect that your cat has FeLV?

Vacinations are not 100% effective and even cats vacinated against FeLV (or any disease for that matter) can still contract it. FeLV has NO cure. You can treat the disease and keep the cat comfortable but it is deadly.

The first test for FeLV is the ELISA (Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). Even if the ELISA test comes back negative, you should still get the second test, the IFA (Immunofluorescent assay). Sometimes if the FeLV is in a later stage, the ELISA will have a false negative. If the ELISA is positive, you can be fairly sure that your cat has FeLV, but you could confirm that with the IFA.

There are so many symptoms of FeLV that it's impossible to really define what an FeLV+ cat is like. Some don't show any symptoms but are contagious. The Winn Foundation has a great article on FeLV.

We had our cat tested for FeLV because she was anemic and her initial bloodwork indicated that FeLv could be present. Thankfully, she was negative and we eventually found the root of the problem.

Any new cat entering your home should be tested for at least FeLV and FIP before entering the home. FIP is a little more problematic because any cat vacinated against it could show a false positive. I know that the vacination isn't very common here. It's an intranasal vacination if that rings a bell.

The most at-risk cats are those that are outside cats. FeLV especially runs rampant in feral colonies.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-10-2005, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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I dont think my cat has FeLV But I havnt had to tested for it, she is a strictly indoor cat if shes outside at all shes on a leashe and harnes, or i am holding her or shes in her carrier.

She doesnt show any of the symptoms that mm_simb had mentioned. in fact right now shes doing crazy summersaults on my bed and playing with her toy by batting it killing it and jumping on my bed with her "kill".
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-10-2005, 11:19 AM
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FeLV testing isn't usually necessary unless your cat shows symptoms or has been in contact with FeLV+ cats.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-10-2005, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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If and when i get a second cat i think i will get her and the new kitten tested
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-10-2005, 11:55 AM
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I would get the new kitten tested before bringing it anywhere close to your other cat (ie. not even in the house). FeLV is contagious and if you bring a new cat in that is infected, you would be exposing your other cat to a disease that is not treatable.

(I think that's what you meant anyways but I wanted to be sure you knew to test before they had contact)

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-10-2005, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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So is FeLV like Parvo for dogs?
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-11-2005, 01:10 AM
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Parvo can actually be cured with treatment. Parvo can kill a dog in a matter of days if it's not treated immediately.
FelV cannot be cured although you can lenghen your cat's life with some treatments.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 08:52 AM
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Dog Parvo is more like Feline Distemper. I would still test your cat now for Felv AND FIV. The fact that the brother was negative just shows that he wasn't born with it. I have seen litters of kitten in the shelter living together with half showing up positive and the other half negative. Just because your cat isn't showing symptoms does not mean he is not postive for either of those diseases. As far as FIP that Candice mentioned unfortunately any test that they could do really couldn't help. They test for presence of corona virus. There are 37 (I think) different corona viruses that can be found in cats and most likely most cats would come back positive. One of the corona viruses mutates into FIP in 1 out of every 300 cats. There is so much they still do not know about this disease and I wish they would hurry up. Its an awful disease. The only sure way to diagnose FIP is a biopsy of the internal organs but unfortunately I am not sure if they could do this with an asymptomatic living animal. Here is a site from Cornell University who is the forunner of research for FIP.

Cornell University FIP info
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 09:42 AM
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Dena, would you recommend that all cat owners have their cats tested for FeLV?

When Max was sick recently, there was a small chance that is was FIP. I read the Cornell documentation and some additional reading from Dr. Scott and they all seem to suggest testing for FIP whenever bringing a new cat into a household. I guess if you had a negative household, you wouldn't want to bring in a positive cat. Or if you had a positive household, you might think twice about bringing in a negative cat? I don't know.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-12-2005, 10:03 AM
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Absolutely test all cats for both Felv and FIV if they have never been tested or if you are bringing a new cat home that hasn't been tested in at least a year if not less time. You just never know what happens in the mean time and I would just trust someones word on it.

We had a few cases of FIP in the shelter 2 years ago. Our vet at the time told us to test and euthanize pretty much the entire shelter, which at the time was 147 cats. We called several vets in the area and we talked to Cornell University directly. They told us absolutely not to euthanize and testing would be inconclusive. Our course of action was to keep close eye on all of the cats, isolate cats that could be exhibiting signs of FIP and to make sure that we mention it to anyone adopting a cat the signs to look for. They told us along with several other vets that work with breeders as well as shelters that the testing is truly inconclusive. Most cats in a shelter will come back positive for a corona virus just from being outside but in now way does that prove FIP. Cats from breeders are just as succeptable (bad spelling I know) to FIP but I am not sure if their rate of coming up positive for corona would be lower on a whole. I do know that cats that are kept in large numbers confined in smaller areas are at higher risk for FIP and they are more likely to get FIP when being directly exposed to it.
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