Signs of Feline Leukemia
"Signs of Feline Leukemia include vomiting, constipation and diarrhea. Your cat will appear to get sick more often then normal.."
Signs of Feline Leukemia (FeLV) may appear soon after exposure or they may appear within months or even years.
Most healthy cats will fight off the disease and never show symptoms while others are carriers without symptoms (asymptomatic). Those that show symptoms may still fight off the disease.
For the small percentage that do not, Feline Leukemia will weaken the immune system over time. At the onset of the disease your cat could have bouts of sickness followed by healthy periods. The first time your cat appears sick it could last between 2 and 16 weeks.
Diagnosis from symptoms is not possible since they are common to many diseases. Typical symptoms include:
According to the Cornell University Veterinary School other symptoms of feline leukemia can include:
- Reduced appetite
- Weight loss that increases over time
- Poor coat condition
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Fever that doesn't go away
- Gums that appear pale
- Inflamed gums (gingivitis)
- Inflamed mouth (stomatitis)
- Skin infection
- Bladder infection
- Upper respiratory tract infection
- Change in behavior
- Eye problems
- Abortion of kittens, birthing issues
As the immune system weakens other diseases (called secondary diseases) could take hold such as:
- Peritonitis (bacteria which causes irritation to the stomach lining)
- Low red blood cell count (feline infectious anemia)
- Feline viral respiratory disease complex
- Toxoplasmosis (caused by a protozoan parasite carried by cats)
- Inflammation of the bladder (chronic cystitis)
- Periodontal disease
- Bacterial infections
- Bone marrow suppression (reduction in cells that help the immune system and blood clotting)
- Bleeding without a cause (spontaneous bleeding)
30% of cats that cannot fight the disease develop cancer months or years after exposure such as lymphosarcoma. Symptoms are enlargement of the lymph nodes, and pain in the stomach.