c Feline Leukemia Treatment

Feline Leukemia Treatment

"Feline Leukemia treatment involves prevention of any secondary infections or illnesses that can take hold while the immune system is weakened. There are some highly experimental treatments that are modeled after human HIV (AIDs) care. Keep your cat indoors to prevent exposure and consider improving your cat's diet."

Feline Leukemia treatment involves fighting the symptoms and underlying causes of problems in your cat. The cat leukemia virus is what is known as a retrovirus. This virus type inserts itself into healthy cells in both the bone marrow and the tissues. Symptoms of the disease may not appear for years after contracting the virus. They start to appear gradually and then increase in intensity.

If your cat has a healthy immune system she could probably fight off the disease. If the immune system is compromised the disease will spread and slowly weaken. Other diseases that enter the body are then able to take route such as bacterial infections.

Experimental Feline Leukemia Treatment

There is no treatment for feline leukemia itself. There has been some experimentation with human HIV treatments. In clinical studies their have been cats that have responded to human recombinant erythropoietin (100 units/kg SQ three times per week). Another approach, Staphylococcus protein A (10 µg/kg IP twice weekly) has resulted in subjective improvement in ill FeLV (Feline Leukemia virus) infected cats. Cats dually infected with FeLV and FIV ()Feline Immunodeficiency Virus showed some improvement after treatment with recombinant feline IFN omega (1 [M}/kg/day SQ for 5 days, in 3 series at day 0, 14, and 60).

Feline Leukemia Treatment

Feline leukemia treatment is partly aimed at preventing your cat from contracting any infections. Cats with FeLV should be kept indoors, because they are less likely to become ill that way. Also, they will not spread the disease to other cats in the neighborhood.

Treatment for signs of feline leukemia also involves keeping your cat as healthy as possible. Feed your cat a nutritious, well balanced diet. Avoid raw meat and eggs and unpasteurized dairy products, because your cat will be susceptible to intestinal parasites and food borne bacterial infections. You can talk to your vet about the best diet for your cat. Be sure to schedule regular well care visits with your vet and maintain dental hygiene to avoid any bacterial infections forming in the mouth. You might want to research and discuss with your veterinarian a natural remedy made to support immune system health such as Get PetAlive C-Caps Formula.

Keep your cat indoors and away from other cats that could either catch the virus from your cat or expose your cat to new health risks such as infection.

If you cat does contract some type of infection make sure it is immediately and aggressively treated. If the feline leukemia triggers some type of cancerous tumor (neoplasia) then your veterinarian might recommend chemotherapy or radiation.

Some vets are now using antiviral medications such as those used for people with HIV for cats with feline leukemia. However, studies have not yet proven those medications to be effective. If you want to try those medications, you’ll have to find a specialist. Most vets do not dispense them.

There is a vaccine that can protect your cat against the disease, although it is not a core vaccine for low risk cats. Even with feline leukemia treatment, cats with FeLV usually only live two to three years from the time they contract the condition, so vaccinations are very important.


Cornell Veterinary Medical Center

Update on feline retroviral infections
Leah A. Cohn
DVM, BS, PhD, Dipl ACVIM, Columbia, USA


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