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Feline leukemia virus question

Sean

Site Supporter
#1
If a cat has Feline leukemia virus can they do ok for a long time (long as in 6 years)? The reason I ask has to do with something I happened onto while looking
other topics. What I got from it is an infected cat can do ok for a given time and will be more susceptible to other infections and can later develop other
diseases. Lymphoma was one of the ones listed and that is what they said Tetsu had. Then Mokkun getting sick after that. Both of them being from the same litter.

Basically I ma looking for some ideas on the why part. I know that before I got Bella that she was up to date on all her vaccines. So could I of gotten the boys
and they were already infected? They were never tested for Feline leukemia and I don't know if I would see any issues or not.

Thanks
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#2
I did a lot of reading about FeLV about 5 years ago when my Zari had a positive result for FeLV (it was later proved to be a false positive). One of the factors that ultimately definitively proved her negative was surviving beyond 2 years.

Lymphoma is NOT as characteristic for FeLV as leukemia is. I'm surprised if you have had cats with any sort of disruption to their WBC (white blood cells) that a FeLV snap test hasn't been run.

The FeLV vaccine is not a core vaccine, hence most cats won't come up to date on that unless there is a reason why they have been vaccinated (cats allowed to roam outside for example). Most catteries would have tested their breeding cats and as are all contained there is little risk of them contracting it. Doesn't completely rule it out, I've heard of some new breeders not realizing that their pets that they had as indoor/outdoor kitties that have had contact with their new indoor only Savannahs should have been tested prior to that.

FeLV virus is associated with shorter lifespans, interestingly FIV infected cats can live long happy lives.
From https://www.americanhumane.org/fact-sheet/feline-leukemia-felv/ "We can’t predict the life expectancy of an infected cat, but unfortunately, most will succumb to a feline leukemia-related disease within two or three years after becoming infected."
 

Sean

Site Supporter
#3
Tetsu made it to 5 1/2 years and Mokkun made it to just over 6 years.
I did not have a workup done after I lost them and maybe should have.
It's just strange that they passed at so young of an age.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#4
I agree that it is young.I'm sorry, I don't remember all the details (I communicate with alot of people via FB and Rescue etc) to know all the details. Tetsu died of lymphoma but Mokkun had...? It doesn't seem great that littermates both died so young, all things being as they should with a healthy upbringing as they had :-(
 

Sean

Site Supporter
#5
IMokkun started doing the same thing Tetsu had before he died. Started out just like he (Mokkun) did not feel good took him to the vet
and had a blood panel done because I had lost Tetsu earlier that year. All the blood work came back good and the only thing we had not
done yet was a UA. He had started to eat some but then he took a turn and I went back in and left him at the vet for the day (Monday) so
that they could get some pee from him. In the mean time they gave him s steroid thinking lymphoma. The UA came back with very high sugar.
So the vet started to treat for diabetics. His blood glucose levels were responding But by Thursday morning he had given up and would not
even sit up. The vet felt that with Tetsu history and the speed of onset that there was a high likelihood of a tumor causing all of this.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#6
Without doing a necropsy I guess you will never know. I don't necessarily agree though, cats hide symptoms. It's a shame it's too late to find out. Necropsies aren't just for breeders, often they give a pet owner closure to know what it was that caused their pet's death.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#8
I understand. Most vets don't bring it up... I guess they think that it's an unnecessary cost and doesn't bring the cat back. When my neighbor's Savannah died they texted me in panic and I told them to ask for it. They wouldn't have thought of it either, but it gave them closure to know that it wasn't an inadvertent poisoning and so they didn't have to wonder if they were to blame somehow. Plus then the breeder replaced the cat... but it was the closure I think most important for them...
 

Sean

Site Supporter
#9
I think if Dr Dill had not just retired and not been in the office he likely would of said something.
He knew me well enough that I think he would know it would help to know why with Mokkun.
We had blood work with some X-rays and ultrasound with Tetsu. But with Mokkun the blood work
came back as a healthy cat. So there will always be the why in his case.
 

Ninja-n-Bear

Site Supporter
#10
Maybe it was partly because he missed Tetsu. I know two firsthand stories of one littermate passing, and the other within a short time (a year or less). Poor guys, I hope Xander is filling at least some of that void.