Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is one of the most leading causes of death in cats; second only to trauma. The majority of cats infected with FeLV will die within three years of contracting this virus.
What is feline leukemia virus?
As the name implies, FeLV is a virus that can severely suppress a cat’s immune system. FeLV is one of the chief causes of lymphoma or anemia in cats. Since the Feline leukemia virus can compromise a cat’s immune system, the virus can leave a cat exposed to deadly infections.
How can a cat contract the feline leukemia virus?
The virus is passed from cat to cat through blood, urine, feces, and saliva. A mother can pass it on to her kittens in the womb or through nursing. In most cases, a cat can pass it onto to another cat through grooming or fighting.
Which cats are most prone to getting the feline leukemia virus?
Kittens and young adult cats are most susceptible to contracting FeLV. Senior cats are less likely to contract this deadly virus since their immune systems have had enough time to develop a resistance to the virus. Indoor cats are least prone to being infected. However, cats that share water and food bowls, or litter boxes increase their chances of getting FeLV. Indoor cats that interact with outdoor cats can easily be infected.
What symptoms does a cat with FeLV have?
Cats infected with FeLV will exhibit one or more of the following signs: pale gums, yellow in the whites of the eyes or mouth, enlarged lymph nodes, loss of appetite, weight loss, lethargy, fever, or diarrhea. If your cat experiences one or more of these symptoms, take it to a veterinarian right away.
How is the feline leukemia virus detected?
Your veterinarian will be able to test your cat for FeLV by performing a blood test. In some cases, additional testing may be required.
What type of treatment is there for FeLV?
At this time, there is no way to treat the feline leukemia virus.
Is there a way to prevent the feline leukemia virus?
While FeLV cannot be prevented 100%, the chances of a cat contracting the virus can be greatly reduced.
Ways to help prevent FeLV:
Keep your cat indoors. This will greatly reduce the chances of it getting in contact with cats who have the virus. In addition, have your kitten or cat tested. If the test proves negative, your veterinarian will most likely recommend a vaccination program along with annual testing.
Nobivac Feline 2-FeLV 25 ds tray vaccine is recommended for the vaccination of healthy cats as an aid in the prevention of lymphoid tumors caused by, and diseases associated with, feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infection.
NOBIVAC Feline 1-HCP+ FeLV 25 ds Tray (Eclipse 3 + FeLV) Feline Leukemia-rhinotracheitis-calici-panleukopenia Vaccine Modified Live And Killed Virus. Eclipse* 3 + FeLV vaccine is a combination vaccine that unites the benefits of Eclipse* 3 and Fevaxyn* FeLV in one vaccination.
In summary, feline leukemia virus is a deadly disease with no known cure. Most cats will perish within three years of contracting the virus. Prevention is the best remedy. Keep your cats indoors and away from interacting with cats who have the virus. Have your kitten tested for the virus. If the test is negative, your kitten can be vaccinated against the virus.