Hi, Iva --

I'm so sorry you lost little Kiera. But that sounds like the right decision
to make for her. 

But for Becca -- you are absolutely right not to kill a healthy cat.  You've
taken the proper precautions with the other kitties. Others on this list
have discovered "too late" that one of their cats is positive, and still
their healthy cats have not caught FeLV.  You're right, an FeLV+ cat is not
a hotbed of infection to healthy, vaccinated adult cats.

I think probably a lot of people on this list will advise you to run
screaming from a vet who advises euthanizing a cat "just in case." You don't
have to justify your decision not to kill Becca to anyone including the vet.
If she's not good with that, and will not use this as an opportunity to get
up to speed on FeLV (and continues to tell people to kill healthy cats!) you
should really look for another vet. You can call around and ask the vets'
philosophy on FeLV. 

Good luck with Becca. I know you'll get lots of good advice on this list.

Diane R.

-----Original Message-----
From: felvtalk-boun...@felineleukemia.org
[mailto:felvtalk-boun...@felineleukemia.org] On Behalf Of Iva Lark Emily
Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 11:51 PM
To: felvtalk@felineleukemia.org
Subject: [Felvtalk] Introduction - Rebecca

My 2 year old cat Rebecca (Becca) was diagnosed with FeLV on Friday. A brief
history: I adopted Becca, along with another kitty Katherine, from PetSmart
when they were a few months old. They had both been tested FeLV negative.
But I did notice that a week after I brought them home Becca developed large
lymph nodes around her neck that disappeared in a few weeks. I thought
nothing of it and thought maybe she was fighting something off. They both
came home with ringworm so the vet and I assumed Becca was just reacting to
it pretty badly. 
Almost a year later I adopted two kittens (Kiera and Casanova) from my
neighbor, both FeLV negative. Shortly after I brought them home and around
the time they both got spayed/neutered at the SPCA one of them
(Kiera) developed the same swollen lymph nodes. Well, a few months ago Kiera
was diagnosed with FeLV and was in the end stages. She was only 11 months
old. I had no choice but to put her to sleep. By the time she was diagnosed
she already had several large tumors in her body, had stopped eating, and
one of the tumors was blocking her intestines. There was no hope for her. It
was extremely hard to take as she was the only furbaby I had really bonded
with at that point.
Well the vet said to wait a few months and test my remaining kitties. We
still have no idea how they got it, but I wonder if it happened at PetSmart
or the SPCA?  They are all indoor cats and have never been exposed to other
kitties outside of those two experiences. Anyway, we tested my three
remaining cats and one was positive. She has no symptoms aside from some bad
gum inflammation. She's fairly healthy and extremely active. The vet
recommended I put her to sleep to protect the other cats. I initially agreed
and the appt is scheduled for tomorrow. However, after researching and
looking around it appears that 1. If the other cats haven't caught it by now
chances are they might not. The sick kitty is 2 years old, the healthy
kitties are 2 years old and 15 months old. 2. I had the healthy kitties
vaccinated against FeLV on the vet's recommendation and think that after
they get their boosters the odds might be even slimmer of them getting
infected. For  now I have isolated Becca to my master bedroom/bathroom. I
was planning on releasing her in three weeks after the other two kitties get
their booster shots. 
Am I making the right call? If I put Becca to sleep and the others
eventually test positve then I will be crushed! But I don't want to continue
to risk them either. It looks like based on my research it is rare for adult
cats to get FeLV, and if they have already been exposed for so long (over a
year) and are currently negative then aren't the odds good? I have to call
the vet tomorrow to cancel the euthanasia and ask for some antibiotics
instead, and I want to have some good reasons to give her for my change of
heart, along with some good documentation she can research. I figure I can
always use the next three weeks to think the decision through but if I put
her down I can't take it back.  I don't know how much longer I'd have with
her... but doing this when she is so healthy just doesn't sit with me. 
I should add, I got these four kitties to replace my last kitty, who died
from Renal Failure. He was given a few months to live and lived for three
years under my care. I'm not afraid of a little work if it means quality of
life for her and more time together with minimal risk to my other angels.
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