Stray Testing FeLV Positive

tnl

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We recently took in a very friendly stray and have been unsuccessful in finding his possible owner so far. He is quarantined in our spare room with all the necessities as we have 6 other cats. We took him to the vet last week to scan for a chip, which he doesn't have, and to have him examined, tested and vaccinated. The SNAP test came back as FeLV positive which means we can't keep him if no other owner is found. I'm just wondering if anyone knows how accurate this test is. Could it be a false positive? He isn't showing any symptoms. Should we retest? We definitely don't want to risk the health of our other cats.
 

di and bob

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My cats are all 7 and 8 years old and one tested positive for FeLV. The vet said to assume they all have it. One was so repeatedly sick the vet said he had 'days' to live. That was 18 months ago. The chances are if the cat you have is older, not a young kitten, he may be fighting off the disease and building new white blood cells every 30 days. I started keeping them strictly inside, away from possible other diseases, and giving them all DMG and LifeGold for cancer. none have been sick at all. From the research I have done, and new studies, it appears to be not as communicable as they thought, usually contracted through deep bites and catfights. It CAN be transmitted through saliva when the cat is shedding the virus though, so mutual grooming could be a problem. I would definitely wait a few days and have an IFA test performed which is much more accurate. SNAP tests are in-house and often innacurate. if he is older and survived this long, he could live a happy life for 10 years. I would definitely recommend something to bolster his immune system. i put my cat's meds (drops) each morning in a shared packet of delectable Lickables in the stew flavors, they absolutely love them and it is the only thing I have got sick cats to eat too. Bless you for caring for this sweet boy, I pray someone will adopt him and give him the happiness he deserves.
 

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SNAP tests for FeLV are around 91% accurate, sadly, though you could request a retest, if you’re not sure. That said, a large proportion of cats are able to recover from the virus without medical intervention (around 70%). It could be that he had FeLV and is recovering, or his infection will be otherwise non-persistent (may be dormant in a few cells, for example).

I’d call the vet, and see if you can’t come and retest him in another week or so.

Is there any chance he was neutered or had otherwise been seen by a vet before you took him in? SNAP tests will detect signs of previous vaccination, if it was recent enough. Also,was the SNAP test done before or after he was vaccinated when you took him in?
 
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tnl

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di and bob di and bob and Maurey Maurey Thank you for the information! The vet said he's about 2.5 years old. He's not neutered...yet. I don't know if he was vaccinated before the test as we weren't allowed in due to Covid-19. I would like to retest though. My husband is rather attached to him but agrees we can't risk the health of the other cats.

20210402_173628.jpg
 

di and bob

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Just for some peace of mind, knowing you did all you could, I would retest. Make sure your cats are up to date with their FeLV vaccinations. Kittens have VERY little chance of surviving long with this disease. If he is over one year old his chances are most likely good he will live a lot longer, if someone protects him from diseases from other cats and keep him inside. Make sure whoever neuters him (which is a good idea because it cuts down on aggressiveness and fighting) knows about the leukemia. he would definitely need an antibiotic to ward off any infections which could kill him. My little one was SO sick before we diagnosed him and I started him on the DMG, he went from 13lbs to 5 and refused to eat/drink/come out from hiding. I encouraged him many times a day to lap up a tiny bit of Lickables and he survived. It was really touch and go. The vet said he had almost no white blood cells left.
 
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tnl

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Just for some peace of mind, knowing you did all you could, I would retest. Make sure your cats are up to date with their FeLV vaccinations. Kittens have VERY little chance of surviving long with this disease. If he is over one year old his chances are most likely good he will live a lot longer, if someone protects him from diseases from other cats and keep him inside. Make sure whoever neuters him (which is a good idea because it cuts down on aggressiveness and fighting) knows about the leukemia. he would definitely need an antibiotic to ward off any infections which could kill him. My little one was SO sick before we diagnosed him and I started him on the DMG, he went from 13lbs to 5 and refused to eat/drink/come out from hiding. I encouraged him many times a day to lap up a tiny bit of Lickables and he survived. It was really touch and go. The vet said he had almost no white blood cells left.
Sorry to hear your little one was so sick but glad he survived it! I plan on making an appointment tomorrow to have him neutered. Thank you for the word of caution...I will make sure to mention it to our vet. I believe they do blood work before the procedure too? We figure if we can't keep him, we'll have a little better chance of finding him a home if he's already fixed.
 
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tnl

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I called the vet this morning and they suggested a PCR test. We agreed and brought him in this afternoon for a blood draw. We'll get the results in 7 business days. Fingers crossed!! 🤞
 
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tnl

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We got the results back today and unfortunately he is positive. ☹ So, now we have to find him a nice home.
 

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I'm so sorry. I know it isn't easy. I give mine those immune builders I mentioned and 19 months later they are still strong and going. Remember, since he is a little older he may be fighting off the virus. There may be a good chance he lives a normal life with immune help. I pray he finds a nice home.......
 
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