Feline leukemia is a serious, feline-only illness that infects approximately 2-3% of all cats and is fatal without treatment. It is also highly contagious, as the virus is shed in large quantities through saliva, nasal secretions, feces, urine and mother’s milk. Feline leukemia is not contagious to dogs, people or other animals.
Chloe is a gorgeous grey tabby Maine Coon mix female, about two years old. She was found as a stray here in Nashville and taken to the vet, where she tested positive for feline leukemia.
However since she was rescued as a stray and appears extremely healthy, this may be because a previous owner gave her the feline leukemia shot, as this can cause a cat to test positive for feline leukemia for up to three months afterward. So in three months, Chloe needs to be retested to find out if she truly has feline leukemia or if it was just an aftereffect from having the vaccine.
Initially, cats with feline leukemia show no symptoms. However, in a few weeks or months, the infection spreads to their bone marrow and begins to weaken their immune system. Typical symptoms include loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, fever, pale or infected gums, diarrhea, seizures, skin conditions and eye conditions.
As of 2009, however, there is a revolutionary new treatment for feline leukemia called Lymphocyte T-Cell Immunomodulator or LTCI. Given in weekly shots, LTCI has been demonstrated to dramatically improve the health of cats with leukemia by eliminating all symptoms and in some cases even causing infected cats to test completely negative for the leukemia virus. Contact AgriLabs and your vet for ordering information. LTCI is expensive, though you can save some money by ordering direct from the company.
In the past, a cat infected with feline leukemia had a life expectancy of 2-3 years at most. Now, with LTCI, these cats have the potential to live a normal life.
Chloe is very friendly and affectionate. She is comfortable around cat-friendly dogs and loves people. She has been spayed, had all of her other shots, and according to the vet, is otherwise very healthy. She is eating fine and uses the pan normally. Due to the highly contagious nature of feline leukemia, Chloe cannot live with other cats until she has been retested.
If you are interested in adopting Chloe or providing her with a temporary foster home until she can be retested in May, please email her foster mom, Beth at bmartocc[email protected] or call (615) 202-2878.