Monday, February 3, 2014

2/3/2014

Good morning!  57 degrees at 5 am,  temps supposed to be in the mid 60's today,  Happy Dance :)


Today's Ustream Room  ( http://ustream.tv/blindcatrescue )  is the FELV+    Room.    FELV means Feline Leukemia.   There are many articles on the internet about FELV and I sincerely question the accuracy of what many of them say.  I think that the information that they decided was factual in the 60's is still gospel.

Garfield

If you take a cat to the vet and the vet test the cat for FELV & FIV,  they will use a snap test.
If the test comes back positive,  DO NOT PANIC!  and DO NOT EUTHANIZE the cat!
The snap test can be very unreliable.  If it is not stored correctly,  if it is not timed correctly,  if every step is not done exactly right,  you will get a false positive.   The vet can send the test out.  The vet will want to send it out for an Eliza test.   It is a snap test but done differently at a lab...  DO NOT DO IT!    This test will show a positive if the cat has had exposure to the FELV virus  but it still does not mean they are positive.  Believe me,  my vet and I had a long discussion about this test.  She ended up having a long conversation with the lab and discovered what I am getting ready to tell you and changed her protocol because of it.
A cat that comes back positive on Eliza may still revert to a negative,  their system may fight it off,  an owner may have given them the FELV vaccine,  they may have had exposure but they are not really positive.

INSIST that the vet send the test out for an IFA test.   If the IFA test is positive,  your cat is absolutely positive,  it will stay positive.  That test shows the virus is in their bone marrow,  there is no going back from that.  All of our FELV+ cats are tested with the IFA test.   To show you how frustrating these tests can be,  Journey tested positive on snap,  negative with Eliza,  Positive IFA.  

Liza


How long does an FELV+ cat live?   Depends on many factors,   Do they actually have it  or are they a carrier.  No way to know which one they are,  it is just a fact.  I have a 12 year old FELV+ cat living in my house.  He has tested IFA positive every time tested.   He is a carrier and for what ever reason,  his body has not reacted to the virus, yet.      The average life span is approx 3 years old.   Providing good food,  good medical care, parasite control, etc...  you may get several years longer,  you may get much less.  We have had some not live 1 year,  we have 4 cats right now that are all in the 3+  year range.  (Wendy,  Liza,  Journey, & Garfield)


Wendy


Can they have good quality of life or are they sickly the whole time?    Most are not sickly at all until the virus becomes active and the progress to death.   Most have a very good quality of life until that point.  If you watch the camera today  you will see both Joey & Peg running on the cat wheel.

Joey & Peg


How does it spread?  That is something I disagree with what is written out there.  The other sites say grooming, food bowls, water,  practically everything but air.  I know many people that have vaccinated their negative cats against FELV,  they live with their positives  and the negatives stay negative,  the positive stays positive.   That is the same in my house.  I have Salem who is IFA positive,  but the others that have lived with him their whole lives are still negative.  So I do not know how it really is spread.  I know being born with it to a positive mom  is one way,  I suspect bloody fighting is another way,  any others,  I will not say any of the others you will read out there are fact until you show me a current test proving it.


Journey

Are there any treatments?   There are several that have come out and claim all kinds of cures etc.  There are things that are supposed to help build the immune system, etc.  We have tried them all,  other FELV shelters have tried them all,  and we all agree the only thing they do is make us spend lots of money.   We spent almost $10,000 trying several of the different treatments.  Of the cats they were tried on,  4 have passed away,  2 are still alive but still test positive.


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We will have boxes tonight,   chat at 6 pm boxes at 6:30 pm EST  LIVE on http://ustream.tv/blindcatrescue