Question for FeLV experts...

Gina GroneGina Grone Beatrice, NebraskaMember Posts: 217
edited 23 January, 2010 in Cat Health
Rosita\'s mom with a question here: Last summer I fostered a mom and litter of kittens for our shelter. Mom was tested for FeLV right away and tested negative. The kittens were tested at three months and all tested negative. ELISA snap tests with blood samples were used each time. All had a few health problems - URI and some ringworm, but recovered. The two females were the strongest and healthiest of the litter. The male was smaller and sicker. I kept the male and one female, and the other female was put up for adoption. They are all right around six months old at this point. The kitten was adopted about a month ago. Last week we got a call from her adopter saying that her kitten had tested positive for FeLV. They had taken her in to get declawed and the pre-surgery bloodwork showed she was anemic. They ran two snap tests and both came up positive. They almost euthanized her because they have other cats, but at the last minute they opted to run a PCR test. That test came back negative. They did some more bloodwork to look further into the low RBC problem, and I am not sure what the exact results of the new tests are, but their vet is now telling them she thinks the cat has latent FeLV. I\'ve done some research, and many of the resources I looked at said PCR testing should find a latent infection, and that it is also used to confirm whether or not a cat is truly infected. So if it\'s negative, the cat should be considered negative. The adopter wants me to talk to my veterinarian and our shelter\'s veterinarian - and I am doing that - but I am wondering if anyone here as any knowledge, advice or words of wisdom. Any thoughts on the PCR test? Anyone been through something similar? If this kitten really is infected, I will take her back and find her a sanctuary or something, because she is awesome. But her adoptive family is emotionally distraught because they love this girl so much, and I am praying that she can stay with them somehow. Also, as soon as I heard that she had tested positive, I took my two kittens (her littermates) and had them retested with snap tests - both were negative. Sorry this is long, and thanks in advance for any advice, - Gina


  • Gina GroneGina Grone Beatrice, NebraskaMember Posts: 217
    edited 19 January, 2010
    I guess it doesn\'t matter anymore. They put her down today. Said the leukemia had gone into the marrow and their vet gave her only a week to live. RIP, my girl. |/a/|
  • kristina bkristina b Member Posts: 169
    edited 19 January, 2010
    My condolences to you and your Mom. We found a calico about 1year old, tested positive in the bone marrow too. By then we'd fallen in love with her already and had to keep her. She lived with us for a year; she was the most affectionate, smartest cat; of all ours gone we took her death the hardest and longest; we miss her the most. Don't know whether this is callous to post, but the point is that FeLV is very difficult to emotionally deal with. I empathise with all of you.
  • Christina WahlChristina Wahl Member Posts: 164
    edited 19 January, 2010
    Has the kitty been vaccinated for it? If so this will show as a positive. Other wise this does sound odd to me. My cats also lived with a positive and never actually got it from him for yrs before we found out. I only got them vaccinated when we moved to a one bedroom since they would share everything and found out he had it. all of those are great info on it and one talks about your situation I think. (the last one.)
  • JessicaJessica Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 1,339 ✭✭✭
    edited 23 January, 2010
    FELV is a strange disease and there is so much conflicting information about it. Some cats have been found to be immune, while others are carriers and don't feel the effects, while still others pass quickly from an FELV related illness. It's estimated that a large portion of the feline population has been exposed to the virus. My Sable and Chloe were both diagnosed last January with FELV, while Brooke and Maus tested negative for the virus. Sable passed away from an FELV related illness last April, and Chloe is still with us and doing well, knock wood. Once it's in the marrow, it's said that a cat can live several years without succumbing to disease, with diligent vet care. Both Maus and Brooke are kept separate, and vaccinated. They tested negative despite having been exposed to Chloe for four years previously, and Maus is also her son. It's complex and confusing and hopefully there's someone out there that will figure it out.
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