Hi, Lorrie --

Glad you found this group.  You'll get lots of great advice here.

Firstly, don't beat yourself up too much -- it's too bad about the
kitties you put to sleep, but nobody knew much about FeLV back then, it
would have been universally considered to be a death sentence anyway.
Now, there is so much hope for your positive kittens!

Admittedly, your vet was probably trying to let you know the worst of
what you're facing, but if all she can offer is grimness, you might want
to consider finding another vet, at least for these babies.  The fact
that she didn't suggest euthanasia is a point in her favor, but the
kittens would be better served by someone on the cutting edge of FeLV.
Or, if she's willing to work with you, you can print off stuff from the
files on the felineleukemia.org website and help her expand her
knowledge base. ;-)

I assume the kittens are not showing signs of disease.  If they aren't,
depending on their age, they may yet shake off the virus.  But if they
don't, there are still ways to keep them asymptomatic.  FeLV *isn't* an
automatic death sentence these days.  You'll get lots of advice here on
diet and supplements, and (along with some heartache) some nice success

Diane R.

-----Original Message-----
[mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Lorrie
Sent: Friday, September 19, 2008 9:34 AM
To: felvtalk@felineleukemia.org
Subject: [Felvtalk] New member

Hello Everyone,

I'm a new member to the FelV group, but not new to cat rescue 
and TNR, which I've been doing for a long time.

For years I didn't test for FelV, because back in the 1980's I tested
all of my cats for it, and two were positive, so I put had them put
down to protect my other cats.  I've felt horribly guilty ever
since, and because of this I quit testing.

I started testing again about 4 years ago when I began taking care 
of a feral colony I discovered in our small town of Terra Alta, WV.
There were always kittens I couldn't find homes for, and if I kept
them, or kept any strays that were dumped at our house I felt I should
have them tested...... None of them were ever positive. I guess I was
just lucky, but now my luck has run out. Several kittens in a litter
I rescued have tested positive for FelV.

I intend to learn everything I can about FelV, and meanwhile I'll
vaccinate my negative cats with the FelV vaccine. In the 80's it
wasn't too effective, so I hope it's improved.... I'd appreciate 
input on the efficacy of the vaccine.

I understand FelV is contagious, but not highly contagious. From what
I've read it is apparently spread through blood (bites) food dishes,
water bowls and mutual grooming.  The virus apparently doesn't live
long outside the cat's body, but in even a few hours other cats could
be infected.  The vet didn't tell me to euthanize the positive
kittens, but she did give me a grim outlook :-(

I'd appreciate hearing from any of you in regard to this.

Lorrie in Terra Alta, WV

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