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Feline leukaemia virus

The viral infections caused by the Feline Leukaemia virus (FeLV) are now the most common cause of premature death in cats in the British Isles.

The virus is found in the saliva of infected cats and is mainly transmitted by direct contact of one cat with another - especially by licking or biting.

Although the virus does on occasion cause true leukaemia, on many occasions the effects are more related to suppression of the cat's immune system, leaving it fatally exposed to infections which a healthy cat would usually recover from.

FeLV infections may also be an underlying cause of anaemia and various forms of cancer in cats. The disease is however unrelated to any human condition and is quite specific to cats.

There are now very effective vaccines against the virus, and we encourage all cat owners to have the cats vaccinated against it at the same time as its annual booster.

Please contact your branch surgery for further information or an appointment.

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