Feline Leukemia

kalmd

Active Member
Took in a couple of feral kittens about 6 weeks ago. Took them to vet shortly after. They were treated for pink eye and swollen lymph nodes. They also received deworm meds. Could not get other shots or tests at that time since they needed to be treated first.

Took them back yesterday for other shots and blood test. Bloodwork came back positive for feline leukemia.

Looking for advice from anyone who has been in this situation and what you did.

I was told by vet that usually kittens that have this are put to sleep, as it is very contagious and not treatable. Their life expectancy is average 1 year, but could be a little longer (usually 3 years is the max and is rare). She said any breeder or rescuer would put these kittens down without any hesitation. It's the normal protocol.

Also, we have 2 older cats that have been living with these kittens during this time and it is possible they have contracted it from them. Fortunately the older the cats the less likely they have caught it, but it is still a possibility.

If we choose to not put the kittens to sleep (which will be heartbreaking), we will need to keep the 2 kittens away from our older cats for 4 months. No contact whatsoever, including food, drink and litter box. We would basically have to keep the kittens in a room away from the other 2 which would be pretty impossible.

Then after the 4 months of quarantine, we would test our 2 older cats for the disease and hope they test negative. I was told takes up to 4 months for the older cats to test accurately so that's why you have a 4 month quarantine period. Then if the older cats are negative, they would be given a vaccine and would have to be vaccinated yearly. The kittens could then live with the other 2 since they would be protected, but the kittens will always have the disease.

It sounds like when the kittens succumb to the disease it is not pretty. They will get very sick. Also, since feline leukemia is a disease that weakens their immune system, they are susceptible to contracting illnesses easily during their life.

I know what my mind is telling me is the right thing to do, but it's a hard decision.

Any experience with this or advice?
 

Dakota

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I had a cat that just died 4th of July weekend that had FIV, which is very different with a much different outcome than FeLV. Sometimes people think FeLV and FIV are the same which they are not. Your situation is just not good and I am so sorry. :huggy:
 

Dakota

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I scrolled away and came back here to say this; I have a huge heart and have taken all sorts of animals in over my life, but if these were my kittens I would have them put down.
 

kalmd

Active Member
I scrolled away and came back here to say this; I have a huge heart and have taken all sorts of animals in over my life, but if these were my kittens I would have them put down.
Thanks, I know that is the right thing to do :(
 
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