Feline Leukemia: Symptoms and Treatments for Cats in Pewaukee, WI

Feline leukemia is an unfortunately common illness in cats. It is a severe condition that frequently turns fatal, but there are methods of helping your Pewaukee, WI, cat manage the disease if you catch it early enough.

In the article below, you’ll find out more information about the most common symptoms of feline leukemia. You’ll also learn whether or not there are any treatments for your cat’s illness, and you’ll find out more about ways you can help manage the symptoms. Read on to find out more.


Symptoms of Feline Leukemia

Rapid Weight Loss

Cats who are sick with feline leukemia may lose a lot of weight very quickly. This symptom can be associated with many other serious health problems, so you will need to take your cat to the vet right away if you notice he is losing a lot of weight in a short amount of time.

Frequent Fever

Although some cats with feline leukemia may not run a fever, many will have a chronic and recurring fever as part of the disease. The fever may contribute to dehydration, so it will be crucial to provide your cat with plenty of fluids when fevers flare up.

Chronic Diarrhea

Chronic, frequent diarrhea is another common symptom of feline leukemia. This diarrhea may lead to excessive dehydration without careful monitoring and treatment, so you will need to work closely with your vet to prevent dehydration from turning fatal in this situation. Diarrhea from feline leukemia may be completely liquid or may present in the form of soft stools.

Pale Gums

Your cat’s gums may turn pale or white with feline leukemia. This symptom is closely related to dehydration and is a sign that your cat has a fever or is suffering from excessive diarrhea. Either way, you will need to head to the vet to find out what you can do to help manage the symptoms causing pale gums.

Difficulty Breathing

In the later stages of the disease, your cat may suffer from difficulty breathing. He may wheeze or have labored breaths that are visibly difficult when you watch his sides moving. This is a sign that your cat may be nearing the end of his life.

Treatment and Management for Feline Leukemia

No Treatment, But Prevention

Most cats will not live longer than three years after the initial diagnosis of feline leukemia. You can help your cat live comfortably by keeping up with all recommendations from your vet and ensuring your cat is kept healthy in other ways.

You can prevent your cat from contracting feline leukemia by having him vaccinated against it. Cats need to be given a feline leukemia vaccination if they spend any time outdoors or are ever in the presence of other cats. Additionally, if your cat will be kept at a boarding facility, a feline leukemia vaccination will likely be required.

Keep Cats Indoors

If your cat is diagnosed with feline leukemia, you absolutely must keep him indoors and away from other cats. This way, he will not risk spreading the infection to others, and he will also not risk getting sick with other feline illnesses from contact with strays.

If you have multiple cats and only one is diagnosed with feline leukemia, take the others to the vet to be tested immediately. The disease is very contagious and can quickly spread to cats who are unvaccinated against it.

Treat Secondary Infections Stat

If your cat contracts a secondary infection or illness, work with your vet to treat the condition as quickly as possible. Quick response to secondary illnesses will help your cat’s immune system fight the feline leukemia more easily.

Regular Vet Visits

Your cat will need to see the vet very frequently to help manage his feline leukemia and maintain his health as long as possible. Do your best to meet all of these appointments and follow the advice of your vet.

Feed Them a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet can help your cat remain healthier overall, which in turn can make it easier for him to combat this disease. Ask your vet for recommendations about which type of diet is right for your cat.

Our Animal Hospital in Pewaukee, WI, Can Help with Questions About Feline Leukemia

As you can see, feline leukemia is a serious concern. If your cat is diagnosed with this illness, you will need to work very closely with a trusted vet to manage the symptoms as long as possible. Your vet will also help you choose the right options for your pet moving forward.

With the right plan of action and the help of a professional, you can provide your cat with the best possible chances at combating feline leukemia. Although there is no treatment for the disease, your cat may be able to live several years with feline leukemia.

To schedule your cat’s next vet visit or if you need more information, give us a call at (262) 347-0787.

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Since 1977, Pewaukee Veterinary Services has provided progressive veterinary medicine to pets of Pewaukee and the greater Milwaukee area. We put a strong emphasis on preventive medicine and alternative therapies aimed at keeping companion animals healthy and happy. Yet, if your pet is ill, there’s no better place to entrust their care. Our animal hospital in Pewaukee not only has the most advanced veterinary equipment in the area, but also the skilled veterinarians and staff to use it.