April 2008 Issue

Testing for FIV and FeLV

All cats should be tested ó and retested as necessary ó for the presence of these viruses. Here's why.

Among all causes of lethal feline disease, none should be taken more seriously by cat owners than those caused by two specific submicroscopic organisms: feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Although these viruses are somewhat different in appearance and in the manner in which they exact their toll on feline health, infection with either one of them, if undetected, is capable of causing a catís premature death. To make matters worse, FeLV and FIV infections are by no means rare. Recent estimates indicate that two percent to four percent of the 83 million or so cats in the U.S. harbor one or both of these two viruses.

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