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feline leukemia

feline leukemia

Postby bluedawg » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:26 pm

i have absolutely zero experience with this, so i feel like the stuff i "know" is questionable at best, but... i just got a text from my sister telling me that her vet diagnosed one of her kitties with feline leukemia. this kitty is 16 years old and has been fat and happy her whole life, until very recently when she's lost a ton of weight.

i guess i had always thought that feline leukemia was one of those 'gets diagnosed as a kitten' things... am i off-base? she's has this kitty (and her brother) since they were tiny babies. they are barn kittens, but as soon as they came home with my sister (8 weeks old?) they became indoor-only cats.

i feel like this is really weird and confusing, but maybe i just don't have a good grasp on how feline leukemia works. i'll be googling too, but you know how i trust vegans above anyone else. ;)
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Re: feline leukemia

Postby vegankitty » Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:56 pm

It is unusual for an older indoor cat to be diagnosed with feline leukemia. A cat can be diagnosed at any age though-it's not something that is limited to kittens.She would have had to be exposed to it at some point and if she has been in the house 16 years she should n't have been. And cats don't live that long with it. I went to a seminar on it at the ASPCA and the lifespan for a FeLV+ cat is usually short. I would need to dig up the handouts to double check but I think that the virus can be fought of by a small majority of cats but they still test positive. Does the cat have symptoms?
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Re: feline leukemia

Postby bluedawg » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:27 am

well, the diagnosis was that she has feline leukemia (as evidenced in her bloodwork) and cancer (as evidenced by other symptoms and a mass in her intestines)... so the vet said it's possible that the cancer happened first and is affecting the bloodwork...?? but yeah, that's what i was thinking... that if she'd been + all along then it would have been apparent much much sooner than 15 years down the line. plus, she has totally had blood panels before, and i'm sure she had all of her 'kitten shots' way back when. confusing. regardless, they want to see her brother now so they can do bloodwork on him as well (since it's contagious)... so we'll see.

meanwhile, poor sweetie has lost half her bodyweight and was very dehydrated. she got fluids and a steroid shot yesterday, and it doesn't sound like there is really anything they can do. :( she's my pal; she has always liked me (in particular, she adores eating my hair, so much so that as soon as i sit down, she RUNS across the room to get on the back of the couch to lick my head) and i love her to pieces. my sister is having a rough time, too. meh, stupid cancer.
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Re: feline leukemia

Postby panthera » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:56 pm

I'm really sorry to hear that, bluedawg!
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Re: feline leukemia

Postby bluedawg » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:00 pm

thanks, panthera. azi was put to sleep this morning, so it's a sad day. i'm sure they'll be taking her brother in soon to make sure he's okay... what a roller coaster this week has been for my sister and her family. ugh, i wish animals could live happily ever after forever.
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Re: feline leukemia

Postby vegankitty » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:04 am

Oh I'm sorry! That's so sad.
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Re: feline leukemia

Postby matriarco » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:43 pm

I'm so sorry, bluedawg. :(
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Re: feline leukemia

Postby bluedawg » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:25 am

thanks, guys. she went downhill fast and it was really the kindest decision my sister could make, but it still sucks. i just hope her brother isn't too heartbroken for too long--they were pretty close. *sniff*
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Re: feline leukemia

Postby Dugan » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:09 pm

Even when things have gotten so bad that it makes the decision easy, it remain a terrible decision to have to make. Peace to Azi...
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