January 11, 2013

Some diseases of cats

1. Feline Leukemia virus disease:

Feline Leukemia virus infection was, until recently, the most common fatal disease in cats. Because we can now protect our cats with a leukemia virus vaccine, we are seeing fewer cases of the disease. However, it still remains a major cause of death in cats.{{more}}

“Leukemia” means cancer of the white blood cells. This was the first disease associated with the Feline Leukemia virus (FeLv), and thus, the source of its name. We often use the term “Leukemia” rather loosely to include all of the diseases associated with the virus, even though most are not cancers of the blood. This virus causes many other fatal diseases in addition to leukemia.

What diseases are caused by FeLv?

There are three major disease categories associated with the FeLv virus.

  • The leukemias, cancers of the white blood cells.
  •  Lymphosarcoma, cancers which begins in lymphoid tissues, such as lymph nodes. Almost any tissue may be affected; organs commonly involved include lymph nodes, intestinal tract, kidneys, liver, spinal cord, brain, bone marrow and blood.
  • The non-cancerous diseases which include a variety of somewhat unrelated diseases. anemia, abortion, arthritis, and immune suppression are examples..

When the immune system is suppressed, the cat becomes susceptible to many diseases it would ordinarily resist and mild diseases such as respiratory infections, may be fatal.

How is the virus transmitted?

The main means of transmitting the virus is through cat fights. Because large quantities of the FeLv are shed in cat saliva, puncture wounds associated with fighting result in injection of the virus into other cats. Other less frequent routes of viral spread include sharing of food and water bowls, cats grooming each other, and transmission from mother to kittens before birth.

To be continued …

For further information, contact: Dr Collin Boyle
Unique Animal Care Co. Ltd. Tel: 456 4981