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Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Optimal treatment for your pet requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be crucial and may include the following:

  • Administer as directed all medications prescribed by your veterinarian.

  • Observe your cat's appetite and general activity level. Examine and monitor mucous membrane color (the pink color of the gums), urinations, defections, lymph node size and presence of any masses.

    The "Test and Remove" strategy is a method to eliminate FeLV-positive cats from catteries or multiple cat households and includes the following:

  • Do not bring any new cats of unknown FeLV status into the cattery or household.

  • Remove all FeLV-positive sick cats from the cattery or household.

  • Test all remaining cats Feline in the cattery or household for FeLV infection.

  • Disinfect all bedding, food and water dishes, litter pans, and other objects that have been in contact with infected cats.

  • Confine all FeLV-negative cats in one area. Re-test these cats in 3 months. These cats are considered free of FeLV if they are negative on re-testing.

  • Quarantine all new cats and isolate them from other cats in the cattery or household for 3 months.

  • Newly added cats are considered free of FeLV infection after 2 negative test results 3 months apart.

  • Re-test any FeLV-positive cat.

  • Cats that re-test positive on the second test may be latently infected or persistently infected.

  • Cats that re-test negative after testing positive on the first test should continue to be isolated. Retest these cats after 3 more months. They may be transiently infected but are not considered negative until they have 2 negative test results 3 months apart

  • The actual follow-up procedure will depend on the severity of your cat's disease, his response to therapy, your veterinarian's recommendations and your own wishes for your cat.


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