Welcome to The Cat Site
your cat community
Interact with our community

Kittens Exposed To Felv

Discussion in 'Caring for Strays and Ferals' started by Amring, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. Amring

    Amring Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    4
    6
    Jun 20, 2018
    Columbus, OH
    Hello all. Up until now, I've just been a casual reader and never found a reason to post. I've found this forum to be very helpful and supportive and hope you can give me some advice.

    Main Question: Does anyone have any stories of FeLV scares? Good ending or bad, I just want to prepare myself.

    Short Story:
    My mom combined two kitten litters for one week. Some of the kittens were FeLV+. We are worried the other kittens have been infected and will get a persistent infection. I want to hear any stories or insights you may have.

    Long Story:
    I have been helping a feral cat colony outside my apartment complex for years. This past year, I bought a Tomahawk drop-down trap to Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) a tricky mom cat. He had 4 kittens this year.

    4/26/2018 - TNR feral mom cat. Captured 2 kittens estimated at 4 or 5 weeks old. There were still 2 more kittens not yet captured. I gave the captured ones to my mom to foster. She is a foster volunteer with the local shelter.

    5/15/2018 - Caught remaining 2 kittens. My husband and I tried catching them every day but were unsuccessful until we threw to of neighbors and a Blink motion sensor camera. At this point, they are estimated at 7-8 weeks old. They also go to my mom and are reunited with their siblings.

    The four kittens from the feral colony will be referred to as Litter A.

    Meanwhile, my aunt is a volunteer foster for the same shelter. She has been taking care of Litter B for two weeks. According to her, Litter B consisted of 2 kittens of the same litter and one orphan kitten. 3 kittens total. She stated that the shelter asked her to take them in as an emergency foster even though it overlapped with her vacation. She took them in for 2 weeks and had brought them to my mom for the last week.

    5/23/2018 - Aunt drops off Litter B and immediately starts unloading them into Litter A's room. My mom allows this even though the 2 kittens of Litter B are visibly ill. One has sneezing/runny nose while the other has an eye infection. I point these out but my aunt says that it was a prior infection that they've already finished their antibiotics and they should be fine. My mom and Aunt state that the shelter has vaccinated them and tested for everything. However, the shelter never gave the vaccination or medical history info for the foster kittens. They only had their FVRCP vaccine and testing for parasites. Nothing about FELV.

    5/30/2018 - The two most social and healthy kittens of both litters are brought to the shelter to be fixed and put up for adoption. We were already going to adopt those two from Litter A.

    ... The two sick kittens from Litter B tested FeLV+. The shelter called my mom and aunt. Neither picked up in time and they were put down. My kittens from Litter A were negative and got adopted as planned.

    5/31/2018 - At my urging, all remaining kittens were tested and vaccinated for FeLV. All were negative - even the last of Litter B, who was an orphan lumped with the two FeLV+ kittens. Orphan was a runt and will be lucky to reach 6 lbs in adulthood. She had to be force-fed prior to my mom, who fed her boiled chicken. It's the only thing she'll eat. So it surprised me that this weak kitten was exposed for 3 weeks and was still negative.

    Litter A was quarantined in groups of two. Orphan lives by herself.

    6/5/2018 - One of Litter A had stopped eating and got lethargic. He seemed off after the vaccine but regressed over time. He seemed to be getting better the day before but crashed on 6/5. I rushed him to the vet and got blood tests and subcutaneous injection for fluids. He had a fever of 105 F (normal is at 102 F). I would give the blood results later, as this past week be long.

    6/6/2018 - Fever Kitten was progressing. I brought him in for a follow-up. Vet thinks he had a reaction to the FeLV vaccine. He has been normal since. The remaining kittens had mild conjunctivitis and are otherwise fine.

    They are being re-tested and getting their booster shots next week on 6/27/2018, 4 weeks after their first FeLV test. I have been going crazy and sick with worry. I took them away from their mom with the belief that they were going somewhere better... But they might get FeLV because of 1 week of exposure. The two infected kittens weren't observed grooming the other kittens but they shared the same dishes. Any info about kittens with FeLV has been about kittens getting it as newborns... Not as 10-12 week old kittens. And they all say that kittens are particularly vulnerable...

    Do you think I got them vaccinated in time? Have you faced anything similar? Please share your story.
     
    Jcatbird purraised this.

  2. mrsgreenjeens

    mrsgreenjeens Every Life Should Have Nine Cats Staff Member Advisor

    12,238
    2,096
    Aug 13, 2009
    Arizona
    Boy, it's really hard to say :alright:. You are right in that most of the time they (kittens) contract it from their mom. I think in this case you may just have to wait and see what happens next week, and even then, you may not get your answer, because when they are young, you often get false negative or false positive results :sigh:. At this point I would say we can just hope for the best.

    :vibes::vibes::vibes:
     
    Jcatbird purraised this.

  3. catwoman707

    catwoman707 Advisor Staff Member Advisor

    7,623
    2,141
    Dec 16, 2011
    Vallejo, CA
    A couple of things, one is please tell me you are trapping the felv mom ASAP. She was likely given felv by a male who got her prego or even earlier, same way as this may not be her first litter.
    The male felv guy surely needs neutering too. If he is showing signs of felv he may even need to be pts humanely, since he is homeless and will end up suffering and spreading continues.
    FELV luckily doesn't live longer than about 3 minutes, it's actually a weak and easily killed virus. This is why ferals don't spread felv unless a deep bite is acquired, which males do to females during mating.

    Quarantining is critical with different litters. Imperative.
    Panleukopenia is the biggest threat, especially if they went to the shelter before going in to foster.

    FELV is not as easily spread as once thought. It actually takes mutual grooming and sharing dishes etc over a longer period of time.
    While I can't say for sure the kits will be fine, I would say it's not too likely that they got it in the short period they were exposed. No guarantees though either.

    I'm sorry to hear you got them felv vaccines, the only time I personally feel necessary is when a pos cat lives in a home with a neg cat.
    The vaccine will sometimes cause side effects and neg reactions, as other vaccines will, like rabies vacs.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
    Jcatbird purraised this.

  4. Amring

    Amring Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    4
    6
    Jun 20, 2018
    Columbus, OH
    Just to recap, the feral kittens I caught are Litter A. I have fixed Litter A's mom and treated her for FeLV, which she was negative for. I don't know anything about Litter B or Orphan's parentage since they came from the shelter.

    3 minutes? That sounds way better than the "several hours" estimation I kept hearing. Thank you for the encouraging info. :)

    I thought that the FeLV vaccine doesn't trigger false positives for FeLV. I think you're referring to FIV?
     
    Jcatbird purraised this.

  5. catwoman707

    catwoman707 Advisor Staff Member Advisor

    7,623
    2,141
    Dec 16, 2011
    Vallejo, CA
    I can't believe I did that.......ugh.
    You are so right, I need to edit my post!

    Dr. Hines is 2ndchance.info/flv is good to read. Here is a quote-
    "The Leukemia virus does not survive outside of the cat's body for more than a few minutes. So unless you own another infected cat, this pet did not catch FeLV from contact with contaminated places or objects"

    There are so many varying veterinarian's opinions/versions it gets ridiculous.
    I personally like Dr. Hines info, he keeps it short, easy to understand and is in sync most of the time with Dr. Pederson, who I learned from at UC Davis Vet Med Center and trust completely. He is known all over the world for his great knowledge.
    He and Dr. Kate Hurley are the best.

    Now, as for mom testing negative but has pos babies, the only way this happens is when mom is one of the fortunate ones who were able to fight off the virus and be rid of it, but during that time the kittens were exposed in utero, causing them to remain pos.
    Also, when a kitten is born with it, they will have it much worse than when a fully matured adult cat gets infected with it.
    Kittens are unable to fight off the virus, and will live very short lives. Usually gone by 18 months.
    Where-as an adult who gets it can live many years, sometimes even 14 or more, close to the average age of a cat's lifespan.
     
    Jcatbird purraised this.

  6. catwoman707

    catwoman707 Advisor Staff Member Advisor

    7,623
    2,141
    Dec 16, 2011
    Vallejo, CA
    I am surprised your mom put them together, since the one littermates had active symptoms going on. They remain fully contagious as long as they show symptoms of the illness.
    Then the virus remains in the environment for a while as well.

    1 week of exposure sharing dishes and litterbox?
     
    Jcatbird purraised this.

  7. Amring

    Amring Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    4
    6
    Jun 20, 2018
    Columbus, OH
    They were all NEGATIVE! :)

    I'm sorry for forgetting to post this earlier. If anyone is in a similar situation, I hope this story helps.
     
    Jcatbird purraised this.

  8. Jcatbird

    Jcatbird TCS Member Top Cat

    1,400
    6,999
    Dec 5, 2017
    Southern U.S.
    All negative is great! I have an older cat who tested positive at under a year old. No active issues but I take great care to keep him from risky exposures. I do rescues too and quarrentine is a strict rule, never bent. I did rescues ten years ago. Most had FeLV. Young kittens were the highest casualties. The older ones survived much longer, some to living fairly long lives. When the disease did manifest it was usually very quick. ( of the ones who got sick, all had all tested positive ) I gave them safe and happy lives while they were here. The one that tested positive that I still have has done very well. Back then it was suggested that all FeLV would die and should be pts. I did not agree but when illness arose I did not let any cat suffer. Every cat in the colony was caught, spayed/neutered by me to stop the spread of the disease. Although another colony has just been caught by me, ( same location) not one has tested positive. I am very grateful. Every cat or kitten that is caught gets immunized before going up for adoption I make sure all are healthy. I never turn a sick kitty over to the shelter. I wish that shelter had done a better job of giving you documentation. You have done a fantastic job! It sounds like you have already gotten through all the hard times but I just wanted to praise you for hanging in there through all of that. I understand how stressful :alright:that must have been. Those kitties are very lucky that they came to you. :goldstar::redheartpump:
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.