Leukemia in cats: causes, symptoms and treatment

Fluffy Pets are exposed to numerous dangerous diseases and need constant attention and care, as only the owner can save from harm your four-legged friend. Cancer these cute Pets are not spared, and virus leukemia cats is a common disease.

Leukemia in cats: General information

Leukemia or leukaemia in cats and cats is a disease of viral etiology. The representative of the infection refers to the group of retroviruses. The virus leukemia cats was first isolated in 1965, a popular researcher William Jarrett from England, he was able to isolate virus from tissues of the animal. Since that time, being laborious and long work in the study of FeLV.

During the exposure, leukemia cats affects the tissues of the red bone marrow and genetically changes the structure of the new generate of immune bodies. Because of this not only decreases the useful activity of the hemopoietic system but also the formation of morphologically and functionally modified immune cells (lymphocytes) and white blood cells.

Therefore, leukemia in cats is characterized by such pathological indicators:

  • Change at the genetic and cellular level of immune bodies during viral leukemia in cats is starting to lead to the spread throughout the body pet data altered cells, thus they can be completely attributed to cancer. Because with this disease often appear malignancy in various sites of the body – lymphoma in cats, with the appropriate signs.
  • Immunosuppressive (overwhelming) effect on the overall immunity of the cat is affected in the increase of the number of different secondary (external) disease and increase the severity of their passing. The more brightly the signs of the virus leukemia cats can be viewed in the places in which the animal organs and tissues directly in contact with the environment, which has the most abundant pathogenic microorganisms. This includes the entire length of the digestive tube from the mouth to the anus, respiratory system and skin. In addition, healing of contaminated wounds lasts quite a long time, often relapses of purulent abscesses.
  • The leukemia cats do not have any external symptoms, which it would be possible to establish a clear diagnosis. As the virus leukemia cats over time suppresses the immune system of your pet, you begin to identify the disease in the first place, those that look at first glance quite harmless disorders, digestion, gingivitis, stomatitis, and so on, characterized by the corresponding features. Cancer tumors are formed much later, but their appearance veterinarians may not always associated with the appearance of the virus leukemia cats. Accurate diagnosis is only possible during laboratory examination of the blood with the help of dear ways that the owner can afford not always.
  • There is no treatment for viral leukemia in cats. No drugs that could act on the virus itself, once it effectively to suppress or destroy. The only protection is vaccination of young cats, but this approach does not always help.
  • Viral leukemia in cats is not transmitted to man and is not dangerous in any way to us, however, as with HIV or human leukemia infected cats are unable.
  • The virus leukemia cats – it is in the overwhelming number of cases of the deadly disease to this species. Death can occur because of outside diseases, which could not cope weak immunity or pathological actions of lymphoma. But are marked rare cases of recovery of the cat, when her immune system has enough power to defeat the virus.
Varieties of the disease

Leukemia in cats is the so – called disease of leukemia, when the vessels formed a large number of young and immature white blood cells. The causative agent is a virus coming from outside or is in the body of the animal, and during the weakening of the immune system progresses, begins to integrate into the structure of macromolecules (DNA), changing their program. Because the disease is that the blood, the affected cells around the body quickly spread, leukemia starts to progress.

So how did the virus-the pathogen come from? In some cases it gets to the cat from the environment, in this case, it is clear that the animal is somewhere infected. Sometimes the fungus develops inside the bodies under the action of negative factorsthat are not fully understood. Just in the body cats can count no less than one hundred copies of this virus, they are safe in full before the time, until quickly and spontaneously generated in significant quantities. This phenomenon is called chronic leukemia.

Typically, the cat becomes infected from an external source (often via blood). Penetrated virus is unique because it can be mixed with other diseases, in this case, the obtained hybrids are dangerous.

The danger is not only in fairly rapid development of disease – there have been caseswhen animals died a few years after birth. But also likely to infect others as the virus can move on to other brethren. The owner of the cats do not need to worry because the virus leukemia cats to humans are not transmitted, a four-legged pet with their illness safe for him. The passage of the disease is quite heavy, the reasons are not fully understood. Diagnosis in the early stages most often wrong, and so save the animal is not always possible.

Distinguish three types of leukemia:

  • Multifocal. Infects multiple organs, it is the most dangerous, and the treatment of the disease is quite complex. The best result is not a complete treatment, but only the opportunity to give the cat a little more time.
  • Of the abdominal cavity. Looks like a disorder of the digestive system, when starting jaundice, loss of appetite, the rapid emaciation, constipation and dehydration.
  • The thoracic cavity. In this region accumulates liquid, clogged esophagus and trachea, this leads to labored breathing and choking.

Still it is accepted to allocate and three types of the passage of the disease:

  • Latent. Associated with the appearance of the disease in the liver, lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen. By the time the virus passes in the blood, disturbed circulation.
  • Transient. Appears during good health, the cat yourself recover completely. The virus for several months is noted in the saliva or urine of the animal, then it disappears.
  • Persistent. The virus suppresses the immune system, which it can not cope. The disease progresses rapidly, it leads to death of the animal.
The causes of the disease

In cats, the virus leukemia may appear at the time of infection from the environment. Disease during a fight can be transmitted through blood, during mutual courtship, when animals lick each other, saliva (when cats from the same bowl to eat). Virus kittens from the mother has been relatively rare, because the milk from sick cats, as a rule, is not infected, but these cases occurred.

Which of the animals is at risk? Most often disease are exposed to cats, this is the result of their behavior.

Scientists have proven that the virus leukemia appears and the animals that live in large companies. For example, when from a neighboring apartment Granny cat lady contains a dozen furry Pets, don’t allow your pet to them, as some of them certainly already infected.

Also, the disease can be transmitted during free-range, when the owner releases a animal to walk with other cats. The danger can lie in wait anywhere, and street cats are never clean and vaccinated.


In cats, the virus leukemia has certain signs, which the owner can identify that something is wrong, send the animal to a diagnosis and make treatment:

  • In the early stages of the disease itself externally does not manifest, there is only a high number of white blood cells and the production of lymphocytes. The incubation time can last from a week up to 5 years.
  • The stage of progression is characterized by a number of symptoms, including severe fatigue, loss of appetite, drowsiness, fatigue.
  • Occur digestive problems, including constipation, bloating, diarrhea.
  • There is a heavy and labored breathing, specific cough.
  • May increase the temperature of the body.
  • The animal becomes irritable or depressed, noted his uncharacteristic behavior.
  • Increase in size the lymph nodes.
  • Appears pucheglazosti.
  • Probable discharge from the nose or eyes.
Diagnosis of the disease

At home the disease to be excluded, even experienced veterinarians in the early stages not all the time unable to determine the cause of the disease.

When it is determined signs of viral leukemia in cats, the diagnosis is thus:

  • Determine the increase in ESR, presence of anemia, the concentration of white blood cells.
  • Used blood test, which is based on thorough study.
  • Used x-ray and ultrasound examination.
  • Applied analysis of immunity on the presence of markers of virus.
  • One of the cat bodies are the pieces of cloth, which is presumed to be the hearth.
  • Do gastroscopic studies, laparoscopy, biopsy.

Despite the long list of treatments diagnosis, the result can not be determine the tests can be negative, the signs are not, the animal still today. In this case re-examination after some time.

The treatment of the disease

Then, when the veterinarian has determined the illness, it begins the process difficult and lengthy treatment of viral leukemia in cats. There are several ways: withdrawal symptoms and increase immunity. To improve the General condition, antibiotics, and drugs to stabilize the condition of immunity.

In severe cases may require hospitalization of the animal, with the further observation in hospital. Vets undergoing chemotherapy, which produced a blood transfusion. In this case, do not apply tools that simulate the immune system as they adversely affect the appearance of new cells.

I still do not get rid of the virus, it is still not found. Treatment in cats, the virus leukemia has a focus only on strengthening the immune system, weakening disease, the maintenance of the body. As a result, you can give your animal a few years of life. Therefore, having heard the terrible diagnosis, it is not necessary to refuse treatment, and then decide to sleep in viral leukemia animal or not. The cat feels the love of its owner and will help in the hard struggle.

Preventive measures are directed on that, to prevent the probable contamination:

  • The best remedy is vaccination. For example, the domestic drug Laciel, which can operate throughout the year, preserving from the deadly scourge of the health of the cat.
  • Make hygiene of the animal, promptly wash clothing and dishes, clean the tray, wash the bedding, in this case, is not afraid of no leukemia in cats.
  • You need to limit any contact with outside cats, as well as with animals who live in a large gathering.
  • Timely praecepit all diseases, during the appearance of disturbing symptoms, immediately visit a vet. Alone should not carry out any procedures that you recommend to friends, whether it is the treatment of cats with vodka or other means without consulting a doctor.
  • Follow the immune system of cats, which in a balanced diet to add vitamins, avoid colds and hypothermia.

In cats, leukemia is a deadly dangerous disease, which is almost impossible to cure. The owner will only be able to extend the life of your pet and to ease his suffering. Since leukemia has a viral etiology, it is much easier to engage in its prevention avoiding contact with cat carriers. Don’t forget that leukemia is difficult to diagnose, the best thing is to trust only professionals.

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