Does feline leukemia kill cats?
Just when you thought felines can live forever, then boom! The big bad feline leukemia virus comes in and leaves a trail of sadness. But how brutal is this Shakespearen-esque story for our furry friends? Can they bounce back from this fatal disease? Let’s find out.
What Is Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)?
FeLV as The Wolf Among Us– it silently infects cats without giving obvious symptoms. This viral infection affects the cat’s immune system and blood cells causing them to become weak and vulnerable.
There are different stages of FeLV:
This stage usually lasts 10-12 weeks on average. During this time, the virus spreads through the cat’s bloodstream and attacks their bone marrow which results in making more viruses.
However during stage one:
- Loss of appetite
- Anemic or pale gums/white parts around eyes
Infection becomes so severe that your cat’s body cannot fight off everyday infections anymore -death looms closer than ever before. It can happen anywhere from two months to three years after initial infection (average expectancy). At this point there may be apparent symptoms such as weight loss, lethargy or even an increase in oral sicknesses like gingivitis
So now you have a basic understanding about FeLV but let’s dig deeper into what happens if your beloved fur baby contracts it.
How deadly is it really?
Question everyone wants answers for – how likely will my cat die from feline leukemia virus?
Sadly speaking cancer rates soar up to 70% most typically by secondary illnesses caused by lowered immunity.Some cats though are lucky enough not develop any clinical signs at all.It helps to understand these different outcomes:
A majority small percentage falls under being asymptomatic carriers who show no signs until the virus rears its head during severe stages.
With most FeLV deaths arising from secondary illness it’s important to stay alert for any signs of infection that your cat contracts. Keep an eye on symptoms like persistent diarrhea and oral infections as they may be signs indicative the second stage.
Tumors & Cancer
Secondary tumors are uncommon in cats, unless a developed when completely overwhelmed by viral instances. At this point it would be best to consult with your veterinarian if you suspect anything out of ordinary
So can lost hope lead to salvation? Sadly no, feline leukemia has no cure which essentially means euthanasia, if the disease becomes too aggressive
How can I help my Cat?
There might feel like there isn’t much one could do for their furry friend busy fighting against an invisible opponent but here are some things you could try:
Hydration & Nutrition
Make sure your kitty stays well hydrated especially during early stages . It’s also advisable feeding them high quality food rich in vitamins this will assist in boosting immunity levels.
Routine Health Checkups
Keep tabs at all times paying attention to changes in behavior or physical appearance you noticed over time. This way, vets can monitor viruses with shorter life spans is regulated.
One thing we know for certain about Feline Leukemia Virus – Prevention is better than Cure so make vaccination appointments or even keeping FeLV positive kitties indoors where possible!