Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Signs, Symptoms And Treatment Of Feline Leukemia

Signs, Symptoms And Treatment Of Feline Leukemia

Feline Leukemia is a serious disease that occurs in cats. It is very difficult to watch your cat succumb to this terrible disease? While this is a very real threat, it is important to know that it is one you can treat. Arm yourself with information and take the steps to see that your pets are protected.

Feline Leukemia is actually a virus, not a cancer. It is in the retrovirus family and is more closely related to FIV and HIV than it is any form of Leukemia. The virus works by attacking the immune system of its host. Therefore, your pet becomes susceptible to a variety of diseases that would not other wise be a problem. One of the first diseases associated with the virus was a form of Leukemia. By the time the mistake was sorted out, the name had already stuck.

Feline Leukemia is spread through bodily fluids. This means every thing from saliva and tears to urine and feces. Cats most commonly contract the disease through their habit of grooming one another. It is also possible for kittens to become infected by their mothers. This can happen either before birth or while the infant is nursing. Outdoor cats are at a higher risk for feline leukemia. Also, this disease can only survive in felines. This means that your cat is the only one affected by this disease. Other pets and family members are not at risk.

Signs and symptoms of Feline Leukemia can include depression, increased drinking and urination, sudden weight loss, swollen lymph nodes, diarrhea, constipation, and respiratory distress. If your cat starts to exhibit some or all of these symptoms it is a good idea to call the vet. Whether or not it turns out to be Feline Leukemia you vet is going to want to take a look.

There is a simple blood test to tell you whether or not your pet is infected and has feline leukemia. If the test comes back positive then you will need to test again in about 12 weeks. Some cats are able to fight of the infection on their own. If this is the case then your re-test will be negative. However, if the second test is positive as well, then your cat has Feline Leukemia. Once this is confirmed you and your doctor will decide on a course of treatment of feline leukemia. But you must always treat the animal as if they were contagious. This includes isolating them from any other cats, and changing all food and water bowls as well as setting up a new litter box.
In addition to conventional treatments of feline leukemia(which are often effective although extremely harsh) there are a number of alternative treatments of feline leukemia which have proved extremely helpful in treating cancer in pets, including acupuncture, aromatherapy and homeopathy. The natural and alternative treatment of feline leukemia has become increasingly popular.
If your cat should succumb to Feline Leukemia, you need to wait about a month before bringing in a new cat. You also need to buy new food and water dishes and a new litter box. The chances of your new pet contracting the disease from these items are very slim, but it is better to be safe.

Feline Leukemia is a horrible disease for both the owner and the pet. As a part of prevention have your cats vaccinated at a young age. Studies show that kittens under 4 months of age are much more susceptible to the virus than older cats. So keep those babies inside until they have time to grow up a bit. You can virtually eliminate your cats risk of infection by taking the above steps.

By: debbra sirmans

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