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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16316
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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How do I know if the lukemia positive test is correct cat?

Customer Question

How do I know if the lukemia positive test is correct for my cat?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 11 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

In regards ***** ***** question, this does depend on which test was done to diagnose Pasha as positive for the feline leukaemia virus (FeLV). If this was tested just by an in-house snap test at your vet's practice, then this test would confirm a positive by detecting a specific viral protein (known as p27). This is not something that is found in cats unless the virus is there making it.

That said, if she only had an in-house test to diagnose this, then you are right to want to confirm it. This is because while these tests are great first line tests we do see on rare occasion false positives. Therefore, if this test was don't at the vet practice and wasn't sent to the lab, then it'd be ideal to send a blood sample to the lab for a confirmatory test. This can be virus isolation (where they grow it to see if it is really there) or PCR (a sensitive lab test that detects the virus's genetic material). Positives on these as well will confirm infection but if they are negative then we'd have to assume that the practice test gave us a false positive. So, it is worth a check if she hasn't had a lab based test confirm her viral status.

All the best for Pasha,

Dr. B.

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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 10 months ago.

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