Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Feline leukemia, a very contagious and usually deadly retrovirus

Heather Edwards, 4/10/2011:

Unknown to me, Tanga, who was 5 years old, had feline leukemia, a very contagious and usually deadly retrovirus.

With her diagnosis, I made frantic phone calls to my friend's former vet, scanning the medical charts I'd received the day I took Tanga home. Surely, she'd been vaccinated or at least checked for feline leukemia?

No, the vet's office replied. She'd never been tested.

"Well, surely she was vaccinated," I said desperately. "He adopted her from the humane society three years ago."

"No, ma'am," said the woman. "The humane society doesn't automatically test for feline leukemia."

I couldn't wrap my mind around this, not even as I said goodbye to my very sick little Tanga, who had lost nearly half of her body weight in a matter of weeks and was refusing to eat or drink. The disease was affecting her bones as well. There was nothing I could do except stroke her head as she died and whisper, "Go to Jim now, honey... go to him." Read more>>

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