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Question
Posted by: Lisma | 2008/08/19

Cat Leukemia

Dear Doc
Last night was the worst night of my life - I had to watch my cat take his last breath as the needle contents worked into his bloodstream. Yes, I am the worst mother there is, because I allowed them to lethally inject my 1,5 year old ginger tomcat. He hadn' t been eating since Friday, but was drinking water and still running around. Last night when I came home he couldn' t jump onto his favourite chair and lost control of his bladder. The vet at the 24hour emergency animal hospital tested for feline leukemia, it was positive and of course, he' s now gone. Please could you tell me how this disease is brought on in cats? Is there something I couldv' e done to prevent it? Was it the food I fed him? He played indoors while I' m at work and was allowed outside for an hour or so in the evening and when it was sunny outside - he loved to lounge on the verandah with the sun baking on him. Also, should I have just brought him home and let nature take it' s course or did I do the right thing by saying yes to the injection? I feel as if I had taken his life myself, as if I killed him and the guilt is eating at me. I' m 24 years old and working while studying part-time. My cat and I lived alone and it feels as if my child is gone. Am I going mad? Is it normal to feel this sense of loss for an animal - who was my closest companion? Please tell me what was the right thing to have done?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Dear Lisma

Its horrible to put down a young animal with a disease like leukemia. They usually get the disease from close contact with a leukemia positive cat. Vaccinations against leukemia can prevent this.

Always have your cat tested for this if you adopt and older cat. If negative have vaccs done.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Chill | 2008/08/19

Nearly all pet-owners have had to deal with the loss of a loved pet, and no matter how or when it happens, it' s never easy - to say the least. You followed a professional' s advice, and they don' t make this recommendation lightly, so I have no doubt that you did the right thing.

Do a bit of googling on feline leukemia if you want to find out more about the disease.<br><br>It' s perfectly natural to be asking these questions, and to be wondering if you did the right thing. It will all settle down, and while you' ll always miss your cat, you' ll get over it in time, and perhaps give another cat a loving home.
Meantime, stop being so hard on yourself. Letting a pet go when the time is right is actually the most selfless thing you can do, and you did not fail him when he really needed you the most. Give yourself a bit of time, and you' ll get back a sense of perspective.<br><br>Best of luck.

Reply to Chill

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