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Do Not Be Afraid of FeLV

Update Time:2023/10/19
The full name of FeLV is Feline leukemia virus. Leukemias in cats refers to a malignant disease that occurs in cats and arises from bone marrow hematopoietic precursor cells. The Feline leukemia virus refers to an infectious virus, generally people say that cat leukemia is an infectious disease, in fact, the virus is infectious.

The feline leukemia virus is a retrovirus that can reproduce itself. Cats infected with the virus are at a much higher risk of developing tumors, such as lymphoma; Can cause coagulation dysfunction or other blood disorders, such as regenerative/non-regenerative anemia; It can also lead to the collapse of the immune system, causing hemolytic anemia, glomerulonephritis and other diseases.

Note: Cats with feline leukemia caused by feline leukemia virus generally live no longer than three years. However, if the cat is positive for the leukemia virus, it does not mean that the cat has leukemia, and other tests are needed to determine whether the cat really has leukemia.
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I. Modes of transmission of feline leukemia virus

Contact transmission
1. Direct contact with sick cats, such as licking, fighting, mating, etc.;

2, sharing food bowls, water bowls, litter boxes and other indirect contact with sick cats.

Mother-to-child transmission
1, after the mother cat infected with feline leukemia virus, during pregnancy, the virus will cause infection of the kitten through the placenta;

2. Even if a kitten is not infected while inside its mother, it can become infected after birth by drinking milk with the virus.

Note: From the above, it can be seen that female cats carrying leukemia virus are not suitable for breeding, in addition to causing infection of kittens, female cats carrying the virus will also face the risk of difficulty in conceiving and easy abortion.
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II. Clinical manifestations of feline leukemia virus

Because the virus does not usually cause acute illness, symptoms are not visible in the early stages of infection. After a long period of infection, there may be:

1. Persistent diarrhea
2. You lose your appetite and weight
3. Visual mucosa pale and bloodless (e.g. gums)
4. There may be inflammation of the skin or mouth
5. Low energy
6. Prolonged fever
7. Enlarged lymph nodes
8. Untidy, dull fur
9. Female cats may have miscarriages

III. Prevention of feline leukemia virus

1. Get the FeLV vaccine (the vaccine is only prophylactic and does not work on infected cats);
2. New cats should have a full medical examination before arriving home, especially adopted/picked up stray cats;
3. Try not to "walk your cat" outside. If you really want to take your cat outside, avoid direct contact between your cat and a stray cat.
4. If cats in cattery and multi-cat households are infected with leukemia virus, all cats should be tested for the virus; Complete disinfection of the cat's space and all cat products, and then quarantine measures;
5. Usually to ensure that the cat commonly used items and often stay in the environment clean, regular disinfection;
6. Pay close attention to your cat's health and get regular checkups.
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Last but not least:Cats infected with leukemia virus, if there is no secondary disease associated with it, can usually survive for more than three years with timely treatment intervention and regular medical check-ups. If there is a persistent secondary infection, tumor, cat survival time is generally shorter. So, don't give up treatment just because your cat is positive for leukemia virus. As long as there's no secondary infection, there's still hope.
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