Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is the most common type of cancer among cats. It’s extremely transmittable and is fatal for 85 percent of cats that contract the disease persistently.
FeLV is associated with several other conditions; the virus attacks and weakens the immune system, which increases the risk of bacterial infections and the complications associated with them.
Blood is a major component of the immune system, which is why FeLV is known to cause blood disorders such as anemia. It can even result in a type of blood cancer known as lymphoma, which develops from white blood cells.
Presently, there is no cure for FeLV—but secondary symptoms can be treated as long as they are diagnosed early.
That’s why we’ve broken down the most common symptoms of FeLV based on these secondary conditions.
Symptoms of Bacterial Infection
Bacterial infections are common in cats and are not necessarily caused by FeLV. But to be on the safe side, it’s best to get a feline leukemia test done.
Common symptoms of bacterial infection include persistent fever, coughing, runny nose, diarrhea, and vomiting. A closer look might also reveal issues with the urinary or respiratory tract and skin infections.
Symptoms of Anemia
Anemia is a condition that causes the number of red blood cells circulating in the body to fall. This means that there’s less oxygen being carried throughout your cat’s body. The two major warning signs are pale pink or white gums and your cat being increasingly tired or weak.
You might also see yellow discoloration in the whites of your cat’s eyes or its mouth.
Symptoms of Lymphoma
Cats with lymphoma often exhibit a variety of symptoms, as the cancer can attack any major organ. The most common symptoms are loss of weight and a decreased appetite. Because your cat lacks nutrition, you will also witness progressive weakness and lethargic behavior.
Lymphoma attacks the lymph nodes deep in the body as well as the peripheral nodes, causing them to swell up. You might be able to spot or feel enlarged lymph nodes on the body. Other symptoms include chronic diarrhea, vomiting, and shortness of breath—these differ depending on the organs that have been affected.
If you think your cat is suffering from feline leukemia virus, CatDX offers quick and affordable FeLV testing solutions. You just need to collect a sample of cat saliva using our home test kit, send it to our lab and receive test results in a few short days.
Order your test kit online or call 203-296-3688 now.