Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Day After Christmas Everybody

I hope everybody had a great Christmas!

I did.

I had news the day after Forest died that Hummel, one of the 8 kittens from the Attic Cats colony outside Lebanon tested positive for Leukemia. She was the loner kitten, the caretakers called her, and they were not sure who her mother was and claimed he siblings had been killed by their own dogs, when small. They caught her coming out of their attic and caged her.

She went with seven others, including two bottle babes born to a black female, up to Poppa Inc's president. A woman in a trailer park then fostered them until they came down with colds and K retrieved them. They have been on antibiotics and were to be spayed last Friday. However, the vet thought they should all have ten more days on clavimox. HOwever, all were tested. All tested negative except Hummel, who has been seperated from the rest since arriving, since she did not seem particularly attached to them.

Whether it was a false positive, which are common, or not, I haven't heard anything more except for she was positive in a blood test. They were going to spin the blood and test the serum, a much more accurate test for antibodies formed in the blood to combat the Felk virus.

Feline Leukemia is a sexually transmitted disease for the most part, although it is also spread in fighting and from mother to kittens. Casual contact spread can happen although I've never seen it spread in this fashion. It is easier spread than FIV.

My opinion of Felk changed when I trapped a large Harrisburg colony of about 70 cats. When some came up Felk positive, a woman with a scientific mind and desire for knowledge on this disease, paid for the rest to be tested. Of 70 cats living side by side, eating and drinking and sleeping together, grooming each other, sometimes fighting and breeding (until they were all fixed), 11 tested positive and all right down family lines--mothers and their offspring and two big males.

The most common outward signs of Felk are adult cats who look like teenagers (small and immature in size and growth), white gums, from the anemia it causes, and chronic diarrhea. If a positive cat is inadvertantly spayed, without testing, what I've seen is the immune depression caused by the spay, kills them from the Felk within a few months. The most common tumors I've seen post spay in a positive cat, reported by caregivers, as causing death, were intraocular tumors.

Harrisburg is a Felk hotspot just as Adair is a FIV hotspot. Monroe has also seen large numbers of Felk positive cats. Heartland I believe used to map the locations of Felk and FIV positive cats that ended up there. It's good to know where the hotspots are. They also coincide with areas where spay neuter rates are low.

Hummel appears more healthy than the other seven, had not caught the cold they had. The news was devastating to K, but, she hopes The House of Dreams might take her, if she is actually positive.

So, the second test, just found out, came back negative. So the company who does the blood serum tests, Idex, wants her tested again, for their own research on the accuracy of their tests compared to the snap tests or something. It will be negative. There are too many bad snap test results out there producing false positives.

Just as I was writing this about Hummel, who calls up here, but the daughter of the Attic Cats colony older couple. She says her father trapped another in the barn, but didn't mention it to anyone and fed the teen in the trap for two days before mentioning it to his wife, who made him bring the trapped teen into the utility room where it got loose.

So I was going to go out and net the teen and bring it here, get it fixed, before taking it back, but I guess the woman is worn out and emotional, from Christmas and doing so much over the holidays, needs to sleep and I'll get the kitten tomorrow, from her daughter. The daughter's adult daughter has two of the bottle babes, both girls, who now need fixed also.

Some colonies get fixed over time, as the caretakers can deal with it and this is going to be one of those colonies, I think. The daughter isn't going to help them in the trapping, and I feel for that older couple, and would like to get out there, when they're up to it, and get it done once and for all.

Speaking of which, I saw Twister when I was up there getting my carrier. Twister is from over on Clover Ridge and tested FIV positive. That was a few years back, almost four years back. He doesn't look at all like a positive cat either. Keni doesn't think he ever was. We're going to try to get him retested too. I think they shouldn't charge the massive fees when a test is bad and produces a false positive. I wonder if there are just as many false negatives. I wonder if the tests are any good at all sometimes.

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