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Need Vet for FeLV+ Kitty

November 2nd, 2007, 03:22 AM
Hi everyone -

I'm so glad I found this forum. I just recently moved to Toronto and I need some help. I have a 6 month old kitten named Indy who first tested FeLV+ at 10 weeks old. Right now he's a very happy little guy, and you'd never know that he's sick to look at him. I was looking for some advice or recommendations on how to find the right vet for Indy. Although he's not showing any symptoms right now, my husband and I are eager to get him in to see a vet just for a check up and to discuss treatment.

I was hoping someone could recommend a feline specialty vet, or a vet who would be open and willing to work with us on treating Indy to keep him with us for as long as possible. The vet who diagnosed Indy had recommended euthanizing him on the spot - that was not an option for our little baby who was otherwise perfectly happy and healthy! So it is important to us to find a vet who either has experience treating Feline Leukemia, or just a good vet who wants to help Indy and us fight this disease.

We're willing to travel pretty far to find the right vet for Indy. Any advice, experiences, recommendations, etc. are greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

November 2nd, 2007, 06:26 AM
Sorry, I don't live in the TO area, but would like to say Indy is sure lucky to have you!! Aren't you just the kindest person to give this guy a life for as long as you can.:angel2:

He sure likes like a cuddler.

November 2nd, 2007, 11:20 PM
Me neither not in the area but I know some members are, I'm sure they'll have some suggestions.... and is he ever a cutie... I am so glad you are going to give him a good life as long as you can, it's what all of God's creatures deserve! I hope he continues to be symptom free for a very long time. Best of luck finding your vet! And welcome to the forum... and you know there is a whole section here just for pictures... hint hint! ;)

November 3rd, 2007, 01:30 AM
Indy is adorable :lovestruck:
:goodvibes: for continuing symptom free
:fingerscr for a great vet

November 3rd, 2007, 06:00 AM
Here's some info (a bit difficult to read because of the background):

There are definitely risks associated with FeLV cats - immunosupression, transmission, etc - but they can also have pretty normal lives. I would find a vet who is willing to work with you on keeping him in optimum health. You'll notice that there are a number of supplements on offer but opinion seems to be divided on their efficacy and if the cat is already healthy, it's hard to tell if they make any difference.

I would be vigilant for any infections or changes, more so than for a FeLV negative cat, but I wouldn't freak out too much. Introducing other healthy cats to the household might be problematic, although I often see rescues looking for homes for FeLV cats so that may be a solution if you wanted to get him some company.

Enjoy your little Indy, he's a sweetheart!

November 3rd, 2007, 07:47 AM
OMG what a little sweetheart and very lucky to have you:lovestruck:
I don't know any vets in Toronto,but I am sure there are plenty,you could always make an appointment with one and ask him/her to give you a name of a specialist.
There are people here from Toronto,who might be able to help.
and more pics please,he is just adorable:cat:

November 4th, 2007, 01:42 AM
This is a site I have bookmarked, but cannot recommend from personal experience

I noticed they also have an online support group - again, I have no experience with this one BUT am part of an online group for CRF cats and that is something that can't be beat!

I just wish you the very best!

Also: The College of Veterinarians of Ontario might be able to suggest names of Vets in TO
You also might ask the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph

November 4th, 2007, 07:06 AM
What an absolutely adorable kitten. I wish you all the luck in the world finding her a vet to treat her.

Isn't that something that cats can overcome? I thought I read not long ago that once they passed the initial stage they were able to live with the disease in their system and not be hindered by it. Or was that something else.

Regardless, I wish you much luck!:pray:

November 4th, 2007, 09:42 AM
I can't say for sure Ancientgirl,but I think you are right,I seem to remember a friend of mine rescued 5 cats from HS,all whom had FelineL and they did very well for many years.
Maybe it's different with a kitten,I don't know??

November 4th, 2007, 10:16 AM
I found this site.

It has some very good information and also has several other links for some sites and information.

Here's an excerpt of what it says in the beginning:

Know The Enemy

FeLV is a retrovirus that can directly cause cancer. The virus is usually transmitted through contact with the saliva of an infected cat. Kittens under 16 weeks are the most susceptible to the virus. Cats over 16 weeks who are dealing with an illness unrelated to FeLV, stress, or injury may also be more susceptible.

There are effective tests to detect FeLV. The two most common are the ELISA method (Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) and the IFA method (Immunofluorescent assay). The ELISA test is done routinely in veterinary clinics to screen for FeLV. The IFA test needs to be sent to a lab and is sometimes used to confirm a positive ELISA test. The ELISA test can detect infections earlier than the IFA test, but during the first few weeks after initial infection the virus may not be detectable.

Of the cats (over 16 weeks) who are infected with the FeLV virus about one-third will develop a transient viremia - this means they are infected for less than 12 weeks and then they extinguish the disease (virus). Cats with transient infection may test ELISA+, but 8 to 12 weeks later they will test negative. These cats are no longer infected and cannot transmit the virus. Once cats overcome FeLV infection they are most likely immune for life, however there is a chance that some of them could be re-infected later.

Approximately one-third of the infected cats will develop a latent infection - they eliminate the virus from the blood and saliva, however the virus is not completely extinguished. Their immune system usually keeps the virus in check, but if latent infected cats are stressed (i.e., - illness, steroid use, pregnancy) the disease might become activated (they become persistently viremic). Many latent infected cats extinguish the virus within 3 years, although some remain persistently latent. Cats who have developed latent infection will test ELISA and IFA negative. Other tests like PCR or bone marrow samples may be able to detect the virus.

Less than one-third of the infected cats will develop persistent viremia - the virus is present in the blood and saliva for over 12 weeks. These cats are most likely infected for life and are susceptible to FeLV related diseases. Cats who have two positive ELISA tests at least 8 to 12 weeks apart and/or test IFA positive are probably persistently infected and they can infect others.

I think it gives a positive out look. If you get a good vet that is knowledgeable, I think you have a great chance at your kitty living a good quality long life.

November 4th, 2007, 10:52 AM
I live in Toronto and have gone to same vet practice for more than 25 years. I do know that some of their patients have suffered from various forms of cancer as I have heard the owners discussing chemo etc. I don't know if I can post the name of the clinic - but here goes since I can't PM you - mods remove it if necessary - Leaside Animal Clinic, 1662 Bayview Avenue - 416-481-1127. (Clinic is 2 blocks south of Eglinton.) They are open Sunday as well from 10:00 until 4:00. You could always call and ask if they would be willing to see your cat. There are 4 very good vets at this clinic. Hope everything works out for you.

November 5th, 2007, 06:13 AM
Indy looks like a little heartbreaker, such a cutie :cat:
I only know of one vet as I'm unsure of the other one if they would deal with Indy. It's in Mississauga, Dixie Animal Hospital 1760 Dundas Street East telephone - 905-270-5444. The vet is amazing as are the staff, they have refused on several occasions to put down an animal and instead of force fed it for months until it's fully back in good health. Putting an animal down is something they try to avoid both for the animal and the owner, unless it's for the best and there is nothing else to be done of course.