Feline Leukemia Virus
Edmond veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Bianchi is working to educate cat owners about the dangers of feline leukemia and the importance of vaccination to prevent this disease.
“Exposure to infected cats significantly increases a cat’s risk to contract FeLV, especially for kittens and young adult cats,” said Dr. Bianchi. “While the risk for indoor-only cats is low, cats in multi-cat households, especially households where one or more cats are outdoors, increases the risk. The disease can be transferred when cats share food and water dishes as well as litter boxes.”
Feline leukemia is passed between cats primarily via saliva and blood; in some cases the disease may also be passed through urine and feces. Outside of the house, grooming and fighting are the most common ways to transit feline leukemia, says Dr. Bianchi.
Dr. Bianchi notes that, “In general, we’ve also seen a steady increase across the greater Oklahoma City metro area. For this reason, I recommend cat owners talk to their veterinarian about their cat’s lifestyle and whether vaccination is the best option for prevention.”
Symptoms of feline leukemia include pale gums, enlarged lymph nodes, unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite, yellow color in the mouth and whites of the eyes, progressive weakness and lethargy, fever, diarrhea and difficulty breathing. Read full story…