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FeLV result was a FALSE POSITIVE - holy crap.

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  • FeLV result was a FALSE POSITIVE - holy crap.

    My giveaways kitty, Private Benjamin:

    was tested for feline leukemia when I had her spayed, and she was NEGATIVE! She got the vaccination. I hooked her up with a nice home!!

    The new home took her to the vet -- she had a skin irritation that was a hangover from her flea infestation.

    And the vet retested her.
    And she has a weak positive for feline leukemia. Apparently, it takes a while to incubate, and she was incubating it already when I got her spayed and got her shots.

    Now we are STUCK. She can't go home with her new home, because her cat didn't have a feline leukemia vaccination, and they are afraid she will infect their original kitty, vet concurs.

    I can't take her. I have 4 already.

    FeLV cats aren't supposed to live outside because of the risk of injury and infection making them sick sooner. But the only other homes I have access to are outdoor / barn gigs. Which endangers neighborhood cats, which is irresponsible.

    Can anyone suggest to me any possible resources to foster her / find her a home? I think that she is going to have to be euthanized, but her adopter is adamantly opposed to this answer. (!!!!) Please don't yell at me, we were trying to do something good for this cat and now we are up a crick.
    Last edited by Lori B; Jul. 11, 2012, 05:49 PM.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

  • #2
    That's the hard part.

    We have lots of little kitties dumped in our big, roadside barn. Little fluff balls. In the last 10 years, only 1 ever tested positive.

    We have, at any time, between 4-6 barn cats. We couldn't risk it, so we had the poor little thing put down.

    We probably spay/neuter at least 4 or 5 a year that don't belong to us.
    At least, not at first.

    So very sorry. It's really hard.


    • #3
      Wow, that's really hard. I have friends in both Illinois and in AZ who would take her for sure. They have both had + kitties who have lived long, happy lives with other melow kitties who never got it. What ideas does the vet have? Or the adopter?

      My totally indoor kitties are not vaccinated (except for rabies),so when we got myhusbands new cat last year, they were separated for 4 months or so, then retested new cat. When I was adopting more new folks I for sure vaccinated. The local shelter does not test routinely, and while the chances are low, when it does happen its very hard. really sorry and I hope your girl lands well. But maybe the vet knows someone who is comfortable dealing with it. Good luck!


      • #4
        An FELV positive test is so hard. Years ago, I had all of my cats die of leukemia. Vaccines were in the testing phase, but hadn't been developed. At that time, it was estimated that something like 10% of the overall cat population in the area got it. (This was in So. CA) I now live in No CA and do a lot of cat rescue. In that time, including cats S/N/tested from a feral colony, we have very few positives. Only one kitten has tested positive that was up for adoption, and after exhausting all alternatives, we had her euthanized. It was very hard, but finding a home who will take a leukemia positive is almost impossible, and as you noted, it isn't fair to make one a barn cat.
        Mystic Owl Sporthorses


        • Original Poster

          After scrambling this a.m., I have a line on a possible spot for her with someone who fosters and places them, and am going to retest her. The 2 tests she had were 3 weeks apart, one negative, one weak positive, so I think it's worth a second look before we have to do anything drastic.

          Thanks for the sympathy. She is an adorable kitty, IMHO. Not super cuddly, but very cute and sociable in her own way.
          Attached Files
          I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
          I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


          • #6
            Good idea to retest. We have had at least one cat retest negative after a weak positive FELV. Good luck; I really hope this cat gets a great home.
            Mystic Owl Sporthorses


            • #7
              The type of test matters too because with vaccination, some of the tests can come back positive if I'm not mistaken.

              Best wishes to you!
              A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

              Might be a reason, never an excuse...


              • #8
                Keep us posted. I have a friend who has rescued a number of FeLeuk kitties. She may know a similar rescuer in your area. PM me if you need anything. (((hugs)))
                Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

                You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.


                • Original Poster


                  The vet gave the kitty a second SNAP test, and an IFA test, and both came back negative. So now the test count is:

                  3 negative
                  1 positive

                  So the vet thinks she does not have it, she is fine and she can go home now.

                  This after I scrambled, begged you and other folks for help and advice, tried to find her a foster home where FeLV was ok, etc. So glad she is ok.
                  I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                  I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                  • #10
                    Great news!
                    McDowell Racing Stables

                    Home Away From Home


                    • #11
                      That is such great news!
                      Mystic Owl Sporthorses


                      • #12
                        That is terrific news! She is so cute.


                        • #13
                          Excellent!! Snap tests arent that reliable..in the fact that they can sometimes test weak to normal positive when they are negative....and this is fairly common. Its a great idea to followup with the other to confirm. This is what most vets recommend rather than going solely on the snap. Great news


                          • #14
                            Great news!!!
                            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                            Might be a reason, never an excuse...