This disease is primarily transmitted in the saliva of cats. This virus is not stable when outside of the cat so it can only last for a short time outside the body. Direct contact is needed for transmission. Signs of infection are weakness, anemia, weight loss, loss of appetite, tumors, kidney disease, liver disease to name a few.
Feline Leukemia is usually fatal, although infected cats can have a very normal life. It can take months or years before the first signs of the disease appear. This virus is one of the leading causes of death in cats not including trauma.
Cats that do become sick, with some exceptions almost never recover. There is not a cure or specific treatment for feline leukemia. Treatment usually consists of supportive care of many different forms. The best way to avoid the disease is to vaccinate the cat. Vaccines are not always a 100% means of prevention because at the de la Houssaye Animal Hospital we have seen breaks in vaccines in the past but those cases are very few and are usually due to extenuating circumstances.
de la Houssaye Animal Hospital strongly recommends vaccinating your cat against Feline Leukemia. It is also recommended to know the viral status pertaining to this virus before vaccination.