Feline lukemia and Feline AIDS question - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Feline lukemia and Feline AIDS question

I went to the rescue where I am pretty sure I will be volunteering. They have one room where they house the sick cats. I beleive they said Feline Lukemia and I think Feline AIDS.

I was wondering how is this transmitted. Is there anything that I could bring home and make my kitties sick, except for a URI I don't know what else can be transmitted from a human to a cat.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 02:22 AM
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I don't think they are certain how it is transmitted, some working theories are the litter, saliva, blood...the usual suspects. I don't think the virus can survive very long at room temps so direct cat to cat contact would be the most likely transmission method.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 02:56 AM
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i'm not sure on how it is transmitted either.. I've just heard that any cat kept in close proximity to infected cat for long amounts of time can be very likely to contract it.. I've heard of whole catteries getting wiped out from this..
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 03:35 AM
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FIV is spread the same way as HIV - bodily fluids. The most common way cats become infected is through bites from an infected cat, mating and in utero. Humans cannot carry the disease. I work with positive cats and all my cats at home are negative. Basic hygeine is all you need - the positive cats should have their own utensils, toys, beds that will never be used with healthy cats, and take off your work clothes when you get home.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 01:33 PM
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Very good advice mentioned already. Just wanted to add that it was believed that my Chelsea contracted Feline Leukemia from sharing her inside water bowl with an indoor/outdoor cat that came inside sometimes (not ours). It spread very rapidly and we had her put to sleep within 2-3 weeks after we think she contracted it.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-16-2005, 02:07 PM
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There is a lot of the viruses in the saliva of infected cats, so sharing water bowls could be a method od contraction if the infected cat was leaving saliva in there.

Just like to mention, this is NOT the case with humans infected with HIV, whose saliva contains little of the virus...
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 06:40 PM
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Great question!!!

I want to volunteer at the Humane society, but scared that I'd be putting my own cat at risk.

I think some less deadly diseases can come in on your shoes so I'd be careful about that also.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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I left my shoes and clothes that I wore in the garage (where my washer is) I changed into a robe and wore that into the house.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 09:59 PM
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Our shelter doesn't have facilities to house FIV+ or FeLV+ cats (we're in cat overload already), and they're euthanized on intake, unless we have someone who's expressed interest in taking in such a cat (I wish we had enough room for an FIV program, though). But transmission of those diseases is difficult enough so that it doesn't concern me to work in the isolation unit with cats of unknown status. I worry more about things like distemper and ringworm. In any case, we come in through the cellar after working at the shelter, undress, put our shelter clothes in a hot wash, come upstairs, put on fresh clothes, and either shower or do a scrub to the elbows with Hibeclens followed by an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before we greet the cat. That was my vet's suggestion because I was paranoid about bringing diseases home. Also, our "shelter shoes" live in my car trunk and never come in the house...at the very least, do a good bleach dip on your shoes before entering the house, but better yet, buy a pair of cheap sneakers and just keep them out of the house completely. Then, if something happens (like a distemper outbreak), you'll know that you didn't inadvertantly bring it home on your shoes before the outbreak became evident. If I had to pick one piece of advice, it would be "keep your shelter shoes out of the house at all costs."

Also, if you have small hands, buy yourself a box of latex exam gloves, because for some reason, people always donate these enormous gloves that fall off my smaller hands...I spend more time fiddling with the gloves than I do working, so I just bring my own now. Also, if the shelter doesn't have hand sanitizer dispensers, keep a bottle of it in your purse and sanitize your hands between working with cats. It's usually not an issue for me because I have my hands in a bleach bucket between cats during morning cleaning, but if you're brushing and patting cats, it's a good idea to sanitize between cats. If I notice anything abnormal during cleaning (funny stool, worm segments, or non-hairball vomit), I'll change into a new pair of gloves before moving to the next cage, bleach or no bleach.
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