The leukemia virus is a deadly disease that attacks your feline’s white blood cells. Many cats are able to build immunity to the virus after contracting it. Young kittens and cats with a weakened immune system can die from this viral infection.

Transmission

Cats that are infected with the feline leukemia virus can transmit it to other cats through their nose and mouth secretions. However, it can also be shed in feces and urine. Mothers can also infect their kittens via her milk. One of the last common methods of transmission is a bite wounds.

Symptoms

It’s not uncommon for cats with this virus to show no symptoms in the early stages. However, the feline’s health will eventually get worse over time. The disease can take years to progress. Symptoms vary widely and include appetite loss, pale mucus membranes, chronic diarrhea, and various eye conditions. It is also common for cats to experience neurological disorders such as seizures.

Diagnosis

The leukemia virus in cats can be detected in the bloodstream using one of two tests. It may be necessary to repeat the test in order to make a definitive diagnosis. The most definitive diagnosis can be made from a positive result from both types of tests.

Treatment

There is no known cure for the leukemia virus. Secondary bacterial infections can be treated using antibiotics. Some cats may even need blood transfusions or chemotherapy. Any other supportive care is aimed to giving your cat a better quality of life.

Prevention

Keeping your cat away from cats that may be infected with the virus is the best method of prevention. This essentially means to keep it indoors and away from feral cats who may bite him. If your cat has been given the usual vaccinations, he will be protected from the virus.

Author: Darrin Swain