Feline Leukemia Update: Dr. Elizabeth Colleran


Dr. Elizabeth Colleran

On my national Steve Dale’s Pet World radio show, I asked feline veterinarian and past president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners Dr. Elizabeth Colleran about what we know today about feline leukemia that’s different than even 10 years ago. Back then if a shelter cat was positive, the cat was likely euthanized. Now, we know that positive cats can actually live out a long life, dependent on the immune system of the individual cat and how proactive the pet parent is.

It turns out – based on my theory – at least some cats with the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) might even live longer than your average cat without FIV, and I explain why. And Dr. Colleran agrees that might be the same for cats with feline leukemia if we proactively follow the same protocols as cats with FIV.

Also, she says, we’re not seeing as much feline leukemia, in part, because more cats are indoors only. Dr. Colleran says there’s a two to three percent incidence of feline leukemia around the world, and it’s less in the U.S.  IDEXX, the diagnostic lab, and the non profit funder of cat health studies, Winn Feline Foundation, have contributed to recent knowledge about feline leukemia. All true, says Dr. Colleran, and she explains why testing remains critical.

Added one minute bonus – Dr. Colleran talks about how cats developed.


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