SNP LA just started carrying a new vaccine – the FeLV vaccine (aka the Feline Leukemia vaccine). We have not been carrying this vaccine in the past because it is not considered a “core vaccine.” However, this vaccine is very important for cats that are outdoor cats or cats that may encounter outdoor cats. Read on to find out more information about the FeLV vaccine, FeLV, and why you should or should not get this vaccine for your cat.
Feline Leukemia virus is a retrovirus (like HIV) that can cause leukemia, lymphoma, anemia (low blood cell count), and secondary infections in cats. Cats that are outdoors or encounter outdoor cats are more likely exposed to this virus because many outdoor or feral animals can contract this virus and spread it without showing any clinical signs. This virus is transmitted by prolonged contact with an infected cat through activities such as grooming and sharing water sources. Cats can also get infected from bite wounds and/or from their mother transplacentally.
It is necessary for every cat that gets vaccinated with the FeLV vaccine to first get tested for FeLV. This test can be performed at any of our three clinics for $40 ($20 if your cat gets tested during surgery) or at your veterinarian’s clinic. We REQUIRE every cat that gets vaccinated with the FeLV vaccine to first get tested for FeLV. If you perform this test outside of SNP LA, please bring proof of a negative test if you would like to vaccinate. The test will allow us to know prior to vaccination if the cat is already infected with the virus – the vaccine will not prevent infection in an already infected cat.
The earliest a kitten should receive this vaccine is at 10 weeks of age. It also needs to be repeated in 3-4 weeks after the initial vaccine in order to get full protection. The vaccine then needs to be repeated yearly thereafter. You will also need to booster this vaccine in 3-4 weeks in adult cats with an unknown vaccination history or if it is receiving this vaccine for the first time.
We offer low cost vaccines at all three of our spay & neuter clinic locations. Please come by and we can help you determine what vaccines your pet needs to prevent unnecessary diseases from happening.