Just missed you - I was out with the children at the park for a few minutes. We're heading to the library soon but will be back in a couple of hours.
Any time we see a kitty with what we think may be lymphoma, we always wonder if it might be triggered by Feline Leukemia, as that is a virus that CAN cause cancer.
So, we always test for Feline leukemia, starting usually with a simple ELISA test on a drop of blood.
Here is more about these tests and what they mean:
Feline leukemia (FeLV) is a devastating virus for which there is no cure once cats are exposed. Transmission occurs through infected saliva; bites by or sharing bowls with infected cats may infect other cats within the household.
Symptoms are numerous including fever, frequent infections, weight loss, depression, decreased appetite, and swollen lymph nodes.
Prevalence of the disease is worldwide with locally high numbers of incidence possible in infected groups of feral cats.
Blood tests can identify infection… but there are different kinds of infections!
When you or I get sick with the flu what happens is: healthy --> sick --> mount immune response --> healthy.
Unfortunately, it is not that simple with FeLV! Instead of the two possibilities (healthy or sick), there are four possible outcomes for cats with FeLV.
OUTCOME 1: IMMUNITY (40% of cats). The cat may be sick for a few days, but then recovers.
OUTCOME 2: INFECTION (30% of cats)– The cat is sick, seems to get better, but the virus is still there, and in weeks to years the cat gets sick again and dies.
OUTCOME 3: LATENCY (28% of cats) The cat has FeLV in the body but it is hard to detect as it hides in the cells, and may lead to cancer. This can only be detected by a special test called PCR. So, this is what they may be wanting to do with Daisy. it is also a blood test, but results take longer (a week for us up here in Canada).
OUTCOME 4: IMMUNE CARRIER (1-2% of cats) - The cat has FeLV, but is not affected by it, BUT can still pass it on to other cats.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Feline Leukemia and the only thing we can do is provide supportive care, giving antibiotics for bacterial infections and treating the symptoms.
Here are websites with more information:
So, the fact that Daisy has these large lymph nodes which are suspected of being possible lymphoma, which *can* be caused by FeLV is why they want to test for this. There is no cure, but knowing her status would help to let us know about her prognosis and other treatment options.
Must go before the library closes!
bye for now,
PS don't bother hitting "accept" at this point, as I'm sure we will be talking more!