Ask the Veterinarian/My Cat Denvyr

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Question
I am searching for some insight on my 18 year old cats health.  

She was just diagnosed with Leukemia on Friday... as I brought her into the Vet (new Vet) for her 6 month senior blood test, as well, she has been vomiting, constipated (slight bit of blood from rectum, very light fluid blood, most likely from pushing) and lethargic.  Otherwise she has been very healthy her entire life, thus receiving all necessary vaccines and yearly check ups. The Vet did say that all of her vitals were normal...

She has never been exposed to other cats, she is 100% indoors.  

I am just sick with the Leukemia diagnosis, how can this have happened under the circumstances?  could it be a false positive???  

The Vet prescribed Metronidazole / Flagyl and Clavamox which I am giving to her 2x per day, however she has not had a bowel movement now since Thursday and she is not urinating very much.  I am at a loss for what steps to take next...

Answer
Dear Daniel,
FeLV-infected cats are found worldwide, but the prevalence of infection varies greatly depending on their age, health, environment, and lifestyle. Rates rise significantly in cats that are ill, very young, or otherwise at high risk of infection. In case of Denver it could be old age.
Cats persistently infected with FeLV serve as sources of infection. Cat-to-cat transfer of virus may occur from a bite wound, during mutual grooming, and (though rarely) through the shared use of litter boxes and feeding dishes.Since Denver seems not exposed to these conditions,a repeat test can be confirmatory.

Two types of FeLV blood tests are in common use. Both detect a protein component of the virus as it circulates in the bloodstream.

   ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) and similar tests can be performed in your veterinarian's office. ELISA-type tests detect both primary and secondary stages of viremia.
   IFA (indirect immunofluorescent antibody assay) tests must be sent out to a diagnostic laboratory. IFA tests detect secondary viremia only, so the majority of positive-testing cats remain infected for life.

Each testing method has strengths and weaknesses. Your veterinarian  may have likely suggested an ELISA-type test first, but in some cases, both tests must be performed—and perhaps repeated—to clarify a cat's true infection state.
Feline leukemia virus adversely affects the cat's body in many ways. It is the most common cause of cancer in cats, it may cause various blood disorders, and it may lead to a state of immune deficiency that hinders the cat's ability to protect itself against other infections. The same bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi that may be found in the everyday environment—where they usually do not affect healthy animals—can cause severe illness in those with weakened immune systems. These secondary infections are responsible for many of the diseases associated with FeLV. The treatment suggested by your Vet is in accordance to counter the bacteria/protozoans which are responsible for the present symptoms.
If tested positive again,consult with your vet whether anti retro viral medication can started,so as to provide a healthy life to Denver.

Hope this information is useful to you.

regards

Anand  

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Dr S Bindu Anand

Expertise

Large and Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Farm Management,Preventive medicine http://binduanand.webs.com/

Experience

A Senior Veterinary Surgeon with more than 25 years’ experience in the field of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry. Mixed animal Practice that will utilize my skills in medicine and surgery, public health, client relations, and developing relationships within the community, such as humane society

Organizations
Veterinary Consultant with Department of Animal Resources,Ministry of Environment,State of Qatar (Present). Animal Husbandry Department, Government of Kerala, India. Oakland's Park, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Severnside Veterinary Center, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Saud Bahwan Group, Sultanate of Oman. Trivandrum Regional Co-operative Milk Producers Union,Kerala,India.

Education/Credentials
BVSc & AH (Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry) 1990. College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Mannuthy, Thrissur, Kerala, India under Kerala Agricultural University. Certificates Of Accomplishments- Equine Nutrition- University of Edinburgh Principles of Public Health-University of California, Irvine. AIDS- Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. General Environmental Health – EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Food Protection-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Zoonoses:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Food Safety:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Occupational Safety and Health-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Rabies Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Animal Handler & Vaccinator Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Wildlife Conservation-United for Wildlife

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