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Feline Leukemia

So this will be our first blog, we think it's an important one. Right now we have a mom cat with three of her babies and all of them have tested positive for leukemia.

Feline Leukemia Virus (FELV) is a relatively common viral disease of cats. Some cats acquire this infection at a very young age by being born to an FELV-infected female cat, others contract this disease through direct contact with saliva from an infected cat. Most cats with FELV lead full, normal lives, but these cats do have special environmental and health requirements and are susceptible to some health consequences once infected

Let's first talk about how do cats get leukemia?

There are various ways including bodily fluids, which includes saliva, nose strips, urine, feces and blood. However, it is most commonly transmitted through Direct contact such as mutual grooming, sharing litter boxes, food and water bowls. It can also be passed through a mother's milk. Outdoor cats who get into fights with other cats can transmit the disease through bites and scratches. This is why it's always important to keep your cats indoors

What should I do if my cat has leukemia?

First and foremost the leukemia weakens and animals immune system and predisposes cats to a variety of infections and diseases. This can include anemia, kidney disease and cancer of the lymph system.

1. Feed your cat a nutritionally balanced diet one free of raw meat eggs and dairy products, discount Harbor bacteria and parasites and lead to infection. Offer a bland diet, such as white meats like chicken, cod, coley, or turkey. One of the problems with feline leukemia is that the immune system is less able to fight off infections, and signs of illness, such as vomiting, should be treated sooner rather than later.

2. Keep your cat indoors

3. Ensure that your cat gear is hygienic. Keep all your cat's litter boxes, food bowls, water bowls are very clean. This means daily cleaning, without fail. If you're not around to do it, someone else must be tasked with this chore

4. Bring your cat in for a check-up every. The longer a cat lives and is infected with leukemia the more likely they are to develop certain types of problems such as infections, diseases, cancer. Infected cats should have a physical examination and blood counts twice-yearly. blood, and fecal exam should be performed once a year. The 6-month checkups are vital, even if you see no sign of sickness in your cat.

5. Be aware that you need to spot secondary infections quickly.

Can this disease be passed on to dogs?

No, it can only be passed on to other cats, not dogs, humans, or any other animals.

Feline Leukemia - How Serious is it?

"Many people think FeLV cats are sick and dying and have no quality of life, but The reality, though, is felines who are positive for the virus can remain healthy for months or years after their diagnosis until the virus becomes active." In fact, some cats can live to be 10 to 15 years old if they are diagnosed as an adult. Whatever length their life ends up being, their time can be joy-filled.

So what exactly does the future hold for a cat who is diagnosed with FeLV?

FeLV positive cats must be kept indoors away from unaffected cats so they don’t spread the disease to other cats.  They should be spayed/neutered, provided with good nutrition, avoid raw diets, and need regularly visits to their veterinarian. With proper care many FeLV cats can live months to years in apparent good health.

A huge misconception is that FeLV cats should be euthanized once they test positive because, again, the misconception is they won't live very long and will be ill and suffering for a long time.

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