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View Full Version : Did the vet screw up the FeLV test?


svu geek
February 2nd 07, 01:37 AM
A few years ago, I took a few stray cats to the vet to get their
vaccinations and annual exams as I had decided to bring them in the
house. I told the vet they were strays and I was going to bring them
inside to live with the resident cat. I said I wanted t get them
tested for FeLV and FIV so the vet did the ELISA test. The test came
back negative on all the cats.

Here's my problem: Prior to the test these cats had been exposed to
other cats which could've been FeLV positive. They were exposed to
these other cats that morning and several weeks prior to the test. By
exposed I mean that they sometimes shared plates, water bowls, and
litterboxes.

It's my understanding (through much research) that since these cats
had recently been exposed to other cats, these cats should've been
quarantined for two to four weeks before being tested. Then they
should've been re-tested three months later. It's possible these cats
could've been infected with FeLV shortly before the test and because
it was a recent infection, the tests could've come back with a false
negative. Since these cats were less than a year old at the time with
severe herpes infections I doubt they would've been able to fight off
a FeLV infection.

So, if what I'm saying is correct, it's possible these cats could have
FeLV and it's possible they could've infected the resident cat.

First, is all of what I just stated correct? If so, should I be upset
with the vet for failing to properly inform me about FeLV and the
test?

And, should I/ do I have the grounds to ask or insist that these cats
be retested free of charge since the first test was pointless?

If these cat should be retested, which FeLV test should they get,
ELISA or IFA, since it's almost two years later?

Thanks in advance for any help and/or suggestions.

Wendy
February 2nd 07, 02:05 PM
If you told the vet that they had been exposed very recently then he/she
should have told you that you'd need to retest later. If you didn't discuss
this with the vet then it's on you. Either way I can't see them retesting
for nothing. - discount maybe if you had told them of your concerns and they
didn't advise you to retest or isolate until it was reasonable to test.

W

"svu geek" > wrote in message
ps.com...
>A few years ago, I took a few stray cats to the vet to get their
> vaccinations and annual exams as I had decided to bring them in the
> house. I told the vet they were strays and I was going to bring them
> inside to live with the resident cat. I said I wanted t get them
> tested for FeLV and FIV so the vet did the ELISA test. The test came
> back negative on all the cats.
>
> Here's my problem: Prior to the test these cats had been exposed to
> other cats which could've been FeLV positive. They were exposed to
> these other cats that morning and several weeks prior to the test. By
> exposed I mean that they sometimes shared plates, water bowls, and
> litterboxes.
>
> It's my understanding (through much research) that since these cats
> had recently been exposed to other cats, these cats should've been
> quarantined for two to four weeks before being tested. Then they
> should've been re-tested three months later. It's possible these cats
> could've been infected with FeLV shortly before the test and because
> it was a recent infection, the tests could've come back with a false
> negative. Since these cats were less than a year old at the time with
> severe herpes infections I doubt they would've been able to fight off
> a FeLV infection.
>
> So, if what I'm saying is correct, it's possible these cats could have
> FeLV and it's possible they could've infected the resident cat.
>
> First, is all of what I just stated correct? If so, should I be upset
> with the vet for failing to properly inform me about FeLV and the
> test?
>
> And, should I/ do I have the grounds to ask or insist that these cats
> be retested free of charge since the first test was pointless?
>
> If these cat should be retested, which FeLV test should they get,
> ELISA or IFA, since it's almost two years later?
>
> Thanks in advance for any help and/or suggestions.
>

Phil P.
February 2nd 07, 03:18 PM
"svu geek" > wrote in message
ps.com...
> A few years ago, I took a few stray cats to the vet to get their
> vaccinations and annual exams as I had decided to bring them in the
> house. I told the vet they were strays and I was going to bring them
> inside to live with the resident cat. I said I wanted t get them
> tested for FeLV and FIV so the vet did the ELISA test. The test came
> back negative on all the cats.
>
> Here's my problem: Prior to the test these cats had been exposed to
> other cats which could've been FeLV positive. They were exposed to
> these other cats that morning and several weeks prior to the test. By
> exposed I mean that they sometimes shared plates, water bowls, and
> litterboxes.

I don't think the vet erred. Effective transmission of FeLV requires
prolonged, intimate contact or a bite wound from an infected cat. FeLV
isn't as contagious as was once believed. Also, cats over 4 months old are
highly resistant to FeLV infection.

Since its been two years since their ELISA Snap test, you can have them
retested with the IFA if you want peace of mind- although I really don't
think its necessary.

Best of luck,

Phil

svu geek
February 6th 07, 08:58 AM
Phil P. wrote:
> "svu geek" > wrote in message
> ps.com...
> > A few years ago, I took a few stray cats to the vet to get their
> > vaccinations and annual exams as I had decided to bring them in the
> > house. I told the vet they were strays and I was going to bring them
> > inside to live with the resident cat. I said I wanted t get them
> > tested for FeLV and FIV so the vet did the ELISA test. The test came
> > back negative on all the cats.
> >
> > Here's my problem: Prior to the test these cats had been exposed to
> > other cats which could've been FeLV positive. They were exposed to
> > these other cats that morning and several weeks prior to the test. By
> > exposed I mean that they sometimes shared plates, water bowls, and
> > litterboxes.
>
> I don't think the vet erred. Effective transmission of FeLV requires
> prolonged, intimate contact or a bite wound from an infected cat. FeLV
> isn't as contagious as was once believed. Also, cats over 4 months old are
> highly resistant to FeLV infection.
>
> Since its been two years since their ELISA Snap test, you can have them
> retested with the IFA if you want peace of mind- although I really don't
> think its necessary.
>


Why with the IFA instead of the ELISA? I thought the ELISA could
detect FeLV in stages 2-6 and IFA in stages 5-6. So wouldn't the ELISA
be better? This whole thing is very confusing.

Phil P.
February 6th 07, 02:13 PM
"svu geek" > wrote in message
oups.com...

> Why with the IFA instead of the ELISA?

1. Because the IFA is more reliable for confirming persistent infections.
2. Because ELISAs have a higher incidence of false positives.
3. Because a cat will still test positive with the ELISA if she's harboring
the virus in a *non-myeloid* compartment of the body.

Phil