Feline Leukemia (FeLV)
During the early stages of infection, it is common for cats to exhibit no signs of disease at all. However, over time—weeks, months, or even years—the cat's health may progressively deteriorate or be characterized by recurrent illness interspersed with periods of relative health. Signs can include:
The only sure way to protect cats is to prevent their exposure to FeLV-infected cats. You can do this by:
|Cat with FIP|
Virologists classify feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) as a lentivirus (or "slow virus"). FIV is in the same retrovirus family as feline leukemia virus (FeLV), but the viruses differ in many ways including their shape.
Cat infected with FIV can have:
· Poor coat condition and persistent fever with a loss of appetite are commonly seen.
to potentially infected cats.
It is my opinion that cats that live in multi-cat households and cats that go outside, even occasionally, should be tested and vaccinated for the Feline Immunosuppressive Disease group. Even if the vaccines are not 100% protective, as many argue, proactive testing and vaccinating is better that no protection at all.
Cats that live alone and never go out still have a small risk. The risk is not zero. It comes down to personal choice for you and your cat(s).
Some information in this article was obtained through Cornell Feline Health Center, Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ithaca, New York.
The Providence Veterinary Hospital Blog is a publication of Peter Herman, VMD, at the Providence Veterinary Hospital, 2400 Providence Ave. in Chester, PA. Contact Dr. Herman at 610-872-4000 or visit us at http://www.providencevet.com