I sent the following to Estelle at BF:

Dear Estelle:

 I am on a feline leukemia listserve with a woman who has beenconversing with 
you regarding the Clemans article on FeLV.  Like her, Iam concerned about the 
way the article is written. I adopted 6 FeLV+cats and nothing about the article 
proved true with them.   One was atleast 8 or 9 when she died, and the vets 
thought probably older (I hadher for over 6 years but she was a positive adult 
of unknown age when Iadopted her). Another lived to 6 years old, and two to 5 
years old. Theremaining two died at just under 4 years and at 18 months. While 
theydid not live normal lifespans (though Patches, the oldest, lived longerthan 
the average housecat in the US), all but one lived far beyond the"less than two 
years" following diagnosis stated by Dr. Clemans.  Moreover, none of the 6 cats 
were unable to fight off commoninfections or anemic from the FeLV. Two of them 
died of FIP and theother 4 of lumphoma. Until they got those diseases, they 
were healthy--when one brought in a URI to the rest, one course of clavamox got 
ridof it. Keeping them on Lysine then kept them healthy until they gotlymphoma 
or FIP years later. 

When the cats are well cared for in a home setting, versus a sheltersetting, 
this does not seem to be that uncommon (given the reports ofpeople on the 
listserve). I do object, like the other writer, toposting an article claiming 
that cats with FeLV are likely to getanemic and jaundiced and unable to fight 
off normal infections, andthat they are likely to live under two years past 
diagnosis, when it isbecoming more and more clear that this is not true outside 
of theshelter setting with proper care. Veterinarians just out of vet 
schoolhave reported to me that vet schools no longer teach that FeLV+ catsare 
likely to die within 2 years of diagnosis. That is apparently anold school 
thing that is proving to be untrue, and vet schools nowteach that the cats can 
live much longer with proper care. 

Best Friend is my favorite animal organization, and I am usuallythrilled with 
everything you do. I am, however, dismayed that thisarticle is posted on your 
website and encourage you to take it off.There are more updated and 
comprehensive articles on FeLV that can beposted instead. The article does a 
real disservice to positive catswaiting to be adopted.


Michelle Lerner




-----Original Message-----
From: felvtalk-requ...@felineleukemia.org
To: felvtalk@felineleukemia.org
Sent: Wed, Feb 10, 2010 1:00 pm
Subject: Felvtalk Digest, Vol 20, Issue 7

Send Felvtalk mailing list submissions to

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit

or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to

You can reach the person managing the list at

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of Felvtalk digest..."

Today's Topics:

   1. FW: Virginia Clemans article regarding Feline Leukemia    Viirus


Message: 1
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 2010 09:33:50 -0600
From: "Laurieskatz" <lauriesk...@mchsi.com>
Subject: [Felvtalk] FW: Virginia Clemans article regarding Feline
    Leukemia    Viirus
To: <felvtalk@felineleukemia.org>
Message-ID: <000001caaa66$72a9d7c0$57fd87...@com>
Content-Type: text/plain;   charset="us-ascii"

If anyone is so inclined, might be good for them to hear from others.



From: Estelle Munro [mailto:este...@bestfriends.org] 
Sent: Tuesday, February 09, 2010 6:38 PM
To: Laurieskatz
Subject: RE: Virginia Clemans article regarding Feline Leukemia Viirus


Dear Laurie,
I have emailed Dr. Mike about your concerns and he does not feel that the
article is inaccurate. Although brief, it does not give the impression that
FeLeuk is an automatic death sentence nor does it in any way encourage folks
to euthanize upon diagnosis. She does encourage folks to provide good
nutrition, maintain a low stress environment, and keep in touch with the vet
at any sign of illness.

Perhaps at some point in the future Best Friends will do a more lengthy
article on Feline Leukemia. Thank you so much for your input. We appreciate
that your experience has been dramatically different to what Dr Clemans
described and are genuinely delighted for you and your cats. Our experience
and statistics we have seen show that what Dr Clemans wrote is unfortunately
more common.

Best Wishes,

Estelle Munro

-----Original Message-----
From: Laurieskatz [mailto:lauriesk...@mchsi.com]
Sent: Sun 1/31/2010 7:22 AM
To: Estelle Munro
Subject: RE: Virginia Clemans article regarding Feline Leukemia Viirus

Thanks but this still does not address the issue of the FeLV article scaring
people and the likely unnecessary euthanizing of cats diagnosed with this

Will you consider printing my letter to present the other side and my own
experience, please?


Laurie Crawford Stone

From: Estelle Munro [mailto:este...@bestfriends.org]
Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2010 6:00 PM
To: Laurieskatz
Subject: RE: Virginia Clemans article regarding Feline Leukemia Viirus

Dear Laurie,
There is a new article in the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of Best Friends magazine on
FIV. I think you'll find it more in line with your thinking.

Best Wishes,

Estelle Munro
Assistant Editor

-----Original Message-----
From: Laurieskatz [mailto:lauriesk...@mchsi.com]
Sent: Tue 1/26/2010 7:21 PM
To: Estelle Munro
Subject: Virginia Clemans article regarding Feline Leukemia Viirus

Dear Editor:

The article about Feline Leukemia Virus by Virginia Clemans is inconsistent
with my experience and, I believe, does a great injustice to cats diagnosed
with this virus. Certainly not all cats diagnosed with FeLV have the health
issues Clemans reports. I lived with two cats who were diagnosed with feline
leukemia after I adopted them. Stripes lived to age 16 years. Squeaky lived
to age 22 years. They were robust boy cats who lived together for 15 years.
They weighed 15-16 lbs. People always commented about what big boys they
were. They were playful and fully engaged in life.

Stripes had an occasional undiagnosed illness that always resolved. Squeaky
was never sick a day in his life until his final three weeks. Squeaky died
from oral cancer. We did not determine Stripes' cause of death. My vets did
not treat these cats any differently than other cats I have had. There was
no alarm sounded when their tests came back positive. The information was
given to me as part of a routine exam. I had no idea anyone thought this was
a big deal. Certainly my vets did not think so.

I rescued two other cats who tested positive for FeLV. Ollie lived to an old
age, asymptomatic except for some dental issues at the time he was rescued.
Bella is still alive. She is a 13 lb ball of love. She was rescued 3 years
ago and was an adult cat at that time. She was anemic and had a high fever
when rescued but these situations quickly resolved with medication treatment
by an internal medicine specialist.

Feline Leukemia does not have to be a death sentence. The kitties who test
positive should be retested as there can be false positives (and false
negatives). Their owners can find information and support groups on the
internet (yahoo offers several groups for FeLV cat owners). In this group
format they can talk to other people who live or have lived with cats with
FeLV. They can get questions answered. They can learn about feeding a
quality food, keeping stress to a minimum and various supplements and
treatments in the event of illness. Not all the cats who test positive will
be as lucky as those I mentioned here, but there is another side to this
disease and there are many cats who survive and thrive with this disease.


Laurie Crawford Stone

Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Felvtalk mailing list

End of Felvtalk Digest, Vol 20, Issue 7

Felvtalk mailing list

Reply via email to