The FeLV Project Information Sheet
- The FeLV Project Web Page-
- Can I order these drugs myself?
- Is Interferon expensive?
- Is there anything I can add to my FeLV+ cat's diet to help boost his/her immune system?
- What is Dimethylglycine (DMG), and can it help my FeLV+ cat?
- What is Hemobartinella and how does it affect a cat's FeLV+ status?
- Why is dental health especially important for FeLV+ cats and what can be done to help prevent gum disease?
- What can I do when my cat has stopped eating?
- A Protease Inhibitors FAQ Sheet
- Things To Consider Before Modifying Your Cat's Diet
- The FeLVTalk Mailing List and Archives Pages
- A Veterinary Directory of Vets Known to Use These Newer Methods
- The Newsgroup: alt.animals.felines.diseases
(James G. Wilson) at: firstname.lastname@example.org
PART ONE: The FeLV Project Web Page- Newer Methods For Treating FeLV+ Cats
The Project web page can be found at: http://www.felineleukemia.org
At this website, you'll find information on the newest methods for treating feline leukemia (FeLV) complete with references and protocols for each of these treatments. Some of these treatments include drugs such as: Immunoregulin, Interferon, Acemannan, and holistic approaches. Here are some frequently asked questions about these drugs:
Can I order these drugs myself?
No. Your veterinarian has to order drugs such as Immunoregulin, Interferon, and Acemannan. However, most, if not all, of the holistic medicines can be obtained from your local health food store.
Is Interferon expensive?
No. Interferon (if ordered from the address at our website) costs $100.00 per bottle- which contains enough Interferon to treat five cats for a year! Ask your vet about buying it in smaller portions at a time to reduce the cost.
Is there anything I can add to my FeLV+ cat's diet to help boost his/her immune system?
In addition to the treatment combination of Interferon and Immunoregulin, people are having the best success with adding supplemental vitamins, digestive enzymes, and herbs to their cat's diet.
Pet-Tinic is a liquid vitamin mineral supplement with Iron that is especially good for anemic cats. Antioxidants will assist in the prevention of tissue damage. One of the vets we have had on the list liked a procyanidin and curcuminoid combination and used "Life Force Super Antioxidants" made by the Infinity2 company for this. 1/2 capsule daily is sufficient. There are others out there that will also do the job. Infinity2 also makes a product called "Vital Charge" that assists with the adverse side effects of corticosteroids, one capsule daily. The best nutrition you can get into your cat is very helpful. There are two ways to approach feeding:
1. You can add back digestive enzymes to prepared food to allow better utilization of food. Digest A Meal from Infinity2 (1/4 to 1/2 capsule per meal) and Prozyme (1/4 tsp. per 1 cup of food) are both good, Viokase is not as effective as these.
2. You can use a mixture of raw food. Mix one part organ meat (liver and/or kidney) to 3 parts lean meat. Into this mixture, mix one part vegetables (green peas, broccoli florets or similar) to 6 parts of the meat mix. Add one multiple vitamin (ex - Insure Plus from Infinity2) per pound and one Total Flora Support from Infinity2 (contains a patented, partially antibiotic resistant, beneficial gut bacteria) per pound. This can be frozen and retain its nutritional and enzyme values for about 6 months. Use good quality meats so they are clean and as parasite-free as possible. The only drawback to feeding raw meat is the possibility of transmitting tapeworms, or of contracting salmonella from using raw chicken parts.
What is Dimethylglycine (DMG), and can it help my FeLV+ cat?
Dimethylglycine (DMG) is an amino acid that stimulates T-cell production and activation, thereby helping to maintain the immune system. It can be bought at a good health food store as N.N-Dimethylglycine (DMG), or as AANGAMIK by FoodScience, or your vet can order it in liquid form from the Vetri Science Corporation as Vetri-cine DMG. It is given orally or mixed with food at 25 - 50 mg per day for a "healthy" cat, 50 - 100 mg is the ususal daily dose for a 9 to 10 pound cat in our situation.
What is Hemobartinella and how does it affect a cat's FeLV+ status?
Hemobart (Feline Hemobatonellosis or Feline Infectious Anemia) is caused by a microscopic parasite (Ricksettia or Hemobartonella Telis). This parasite likes red blood cells and attaches to them. The animal's system realizes the red blood cells have been altered and sends them to the spleen to be destroyed causing anemia which further compromises a FeLV+ cat's system. This organism has a tendency to come and go in the bloodstream. Therefore, several blood tests may be necessary to get a confirmed diagnosis.
Symptoms include pallor, depression, weight loss, decrease in appetite, anemia, and possible jaundice (also symptoms of Feline Leukemia). This is a contagious disease that is probably transmitted by blood sucking insects such as fleas, ticks, or mosquitoes (therefore, it is very important to control them) or from a mother cat to her kittens during pregnancy. It is also transmitted from bite wounds and blood transfusions.
1/3 of the cats infected will die from the infection. Cats that "recover" are ususally infected for life but the parasite is suppressed by the cat's immune system (a problem for immune-system compromised animals). Immune compromise, such as from feline leukemia, stress, or administration of corticosteroids can cause a recurrence of the infection.
The infected cat can be treated with Tetracycline. If that doesn't work, Doxycycline (also of the Tetracycline family) may work well, and if that still doesn't work, add Baytril to the Doxycycline. Even though it can also cause problems, moderate doses of Prednisone can also be used to arrest the destruction of red blood cells.
Even treated cats should be considered carriers of the disease and may experience recurrences since treatment does not completely eliminate the parasites.
Why is dental health especially important for FeLV+ cats and what can be done to help prevent gum disease?
FeLV+ cats seem more susceptible to periodontal disease which can result in very serious health problems. If infected gums bleed, the bacteria in plaque can enter the bloodstream and spread infection throughout the body. This disease-causing bacteria may damage the kidneys, heart, liver and lungs. Your vet should examine your cat's mouth for any problems. A professional cleaning may be needed to remove tarter below the gum line. However, this requires anesthesia, so the risks to a FeLV+ cat are a concern. Advancements in anesthesia have reduced the risks, so your vet may advise the benefits of cleaning outweigh the negative effects. Antibiotic therapy, before and after cleaning, can help protect against the bacteria in the bloodstream. It's easier to prevent gum disease than treat it. Brushing your cat's teeth once or twice a week can help maintain gum health and greatly reduce the risk of gum infection. Do not use human toothpaste- it foams and irritates their stomach when swallowed. There are toothpastes specially made for pets and they're malt or meat flavored so pets like the taste. Brushing your cat's teeth shouldn't be stressful for your cat or you. Start by holding them normally and gently stroking the outside of their cheek with your finger. After a few days, or when they seem comfortable with this, let them taste the toothpaste. Next, introduce the cat toothbrush or finger brush and gradually increase the number of teeth you brush in each session. Proceed slowly so your cat is comfortable, and build up to about 30 seconds on each side. You only need to brush the outside of the teeth and gum line. Be patient and gentle, reward your cat with lots of praise and a treat. If you are having problems, ask your vet to show you how to brush your cat's teeth. If a cat is improperly restrained, they will struggle and make brushing their teeth impossible. However, you can try to firmly grasp your cat by the scruff and slightly lift them off of their front paws. If your cat won't tolerate brushing or has a sore mouth, ask your vet about brushing alternatives. There are gels and rinses that help cleanse the teeth and mouth and can be applied with a cotton swab, sponge applicator, or gauze.
What can I do when my cat has stopped eating?
Loss of appetite is common in FeLV+ cats and requires veterinary attention to try to determine and treat the cause. There are a number of assisted feeding options for cats that will not eat on their own. Your vet may recommend enticing your cat with aromatic, warm cat food or other appropriate foods they may find appealing, or your vet may prescribe an appetite stimulant or food supplement. (Note: human baby food is not nutritionally balanced for cats and may contain onion which can cause anemia.) If this doesn't get your cat to eat enough, your vet can teach you the correct technique and recommend a commercial food made for syringe feeding. It's a time-intensive procedure because you have to wait for the cat to swallow each small squirt and some cats become stressed by syringe feeding. Another option your vet may give you is inserting a feeding tube, and there are several tube-feeding options. If the tube is inserted through the cats nostril into their esophagus, they usually remain hospitalized and the tube often gets irritating within a few days. Longer term feeding tubes can be implanted in a variety of locations. Cats with the tubes implanted in their esophagus or stomach can usually go home with owners who are willing to learn feeding tube care. Vets can also provide nutritional support with intravenous feeding, but this requires hospitalization.
PART TWO: The FeLVTalk Mailing List and Archives Pages
The mailing list was created to give folks a more interactive means to gain information about FeLV treatments and support during the rough times of caring for an FeLV+ kitty. To subscribe to this mailing list, go to:
The Mailing List Page. If you have any problems with this, please contact me for help.
PART THREE: A Veterinary Directory of Vets Known to Use These Newer Methods
We have established a directory where folks can find a vet that uses these newer methods for treating FeLV+ kitties. It is located at: http://www.felineleukemia.org/direct.shtml
Please note this disclaimer before using this directory:
As there is still no cure for FeLV, NO veterinarian listed here shall be held liable for any death or subsequent complication related to feline leukemia or the use of these newer methods for treating it. Vets listed here are recognized solely for their efforts to employ the methods described on our FeLV project web page . As with all information taken from the internet, it is your responsibility to look into and decide on the validity of these presentations.
For vets that wish to be added to this list, please contact me personally, and I'll add your practice ASAP.
PART FOUR: The Newsgroup: alt.animals.felines.diseases
We've established a newsgroup where folks can also post their questions and comments regarding these
newer methods for treating FeLV, FIV, and FIP. However, this newsgroup is open to ALL feline diseases.
You can access this group (if your news server supports it) by clicking here.
If your news server doesn't support this group, you can still access it by going to
Deja News and filling out their sign-up form. By signing up with them, you can both read and post to this