What is Feline Leukemia Virus?
Thought to be the most common cause of serious illness and death in cats, Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is a highly contagious virus. It can only be transmitted to other cats (not dogs or humans) through saliva, mucus, urine, feces and blood. Most commonly the virus is spread by sharing litter boxes, food and water bowls. Kittens and young cats are more susceptible to the virus (especially prior to vaccinations). The virus severely compromises a cat's immune system, allowing other diseases to take hold and and developing into serious conditions. In the early stages, a cat may not show any symptoms at all. A vaccine is available, but unfortunately, is thought to be only 75-80% effective,and sadly, there is no cure. It is important to have your cat tested,via a blood test, to determine if they have been infected (even if they are asymptomatic) for the safety of your cat and others.
What are the Symptoms of FeLV?
- Sneezing, runny nose and eyes
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Vomiting and Diarrhea
- Weakness, fever
- Pale or inflamed gums
- Poor coat condition
- Upper respiratory infections
- Enlarged lymph nodes
Holistic veterinary care can help address and target the virus itself. By strengthening your cat's immune system, you will help your cat respond better to the virus and not just treat the symptoms associated with the feline virus. A twofold approach is needed to help strengthen your cat's immune system: using a hypoallergenic, high moisture (no dry food) grain-free diet and giving your cat anti-viral and immune-supportive supplements such as Notatum, Quentans, Immune Harmony and Power Probiotic. It is also important to keep your cat's environment as stress-free as possible and avoid contact with non-infected cats.