Because there is a difference of opinion amongst veterinarians today about the best and most effective approach to treating feline leukemia, there are many options from which to choose.
Some believe there is not enough supporting evidence that medications specifically intended to counteract the feline leukemia virus can extend the life of the cat. These veterinarians most likely opt to treat the infections or cancer themselves. Others actively prescribe medications, such as ImmunoRegulin, Acemannan, Interferon Alpha, Lymphocyte T-Cell Immune Modulator, or Staph Protein A. It is important to find a veterinarian who will discuss in detail the options for treatment.
ImmunoRegulin, a biological medication, is used to stimulate the animal’s immune system to fend off the disease. It uses naturally-existing killed whole-cell bacteria. It works by activating the cells that fight infection. ImmunoRegulin is administered intravenously once or twice a week until the animal responds positively, then once a month to maintain quality of life. ImmunoRegulin can be used in addition to other more standard therapies, and on cats of any age.
Acemannan, extracted from the gelof the aloe vera plant, is a medication also used by humans to fight HIV. Acemannan is a complex carbohydrate shown to effectively fight off viruses and help boost the efficacy of the immune system. While the extent of its capabilities is not yet fully understood, Acemannan activates white blood cells to better destroy bacteria, viruses, and tumor cells. Acemannan may be administered orally, or by injection.
Interferon Alpha, a medication used to improve the immune system function, has been shown particularly effective in cats suffering from feline leukemia and upper respiratory infection. It has anti-viral and anti-cancer capabilities.
Lymphocyte T-Cell Immunomodulator, a protein produced by the epithelial cell line of the thymus, is an effective medication used to attack viral and tumor cells. It also helps the cat recover from anemia, a symptom associated with feline leukemia. Lymphocyte T-Cell Immunomodulator is administered via subcutaneous injection.
Staph Protein A is a protein found in the cell wall of the bacteria known as Staphylococcus aureus. This protein has the ability to bind proteins in a disruptive pattern, which may result in feline leukemia going into remission.
Feline Leukemia Tests Explained
ELISA, short for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, is the most common test performed by veterinarians to determine the presence of a protein produced by the feline leukemia virus. It is able to detect both stages of feline leukemia. A blood sample must be taken for this test. It is possible for these tests to return a false positive, so it is important to retest after 60 days, to ensure an accurate diagnosis.
IFA, short for indirect immunofluorescent antibody assay, can only detect the second stage of feline leukemia. This test also detects the protein from the virus, but only once the virus has advanced to the second stage. A blood sample must be taken for this test, and the test may be administered in addition to ELISA.
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.
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