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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16695
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My indoor persian cat got out yesterday and was bitten by a

Customer Question

my indoor persian cat got out yesterday and was bitten by a stray cat. I took her to the vet tonight and they gave her a rabies shot. I didn't think about the possibility of her catching feline leukemia. Is there anything I can do to prevent this
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that your girl snuck outside and was bitten by a stray cat.
I am glad to hear that her Rabies vaccine was promptly updated, as that is a concern for her health and yours as well.
I hope that she was placed on antibiotics as well to prevent abscess formation at the bite.
You are right to be concerned about both Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency viruses, but mostly Feline Immunodeficiency virus because that virus is usually transmitted via bites whereas Feline Leukemia is more likely to be transmitted with longer contact via mutual grooming, sharing food, and water bowls and litter boxes.
Has she ever been vaccinated for either virus?
We find that cats that were tested negative as kittens and went through their initial Feline Leukemia virus vaccine series, especially those that had their first year booster, will often have enough of an immune response to protect them against a one time exposure, even years later. There is nothing we can do for them that protects like those initial vaccines.
The good news too is that otherwise healthy, young adult cats are much more successful in fighting off an infection then young kittens or old cats that are exposed.
Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done now to change the course of things if she was exposed.
She should be tested for both viruses in 90 days to make sure that she is clear. While most cats that are going to get sick show up positive after 60 days there are some that take as long as 90 days, so if you are having a hard time waiting you can test at 60 days and be pretty sure with those results, but 90 days is the best time frame to get a more definitive negative.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Kara