How accurate is an Elisa (blood) Felv test on a 6 day old kitten?
I have had conflicting answers on this one. I have a cat and I am adopting two abandoned kittens. I need to know if a Feline Leukemia Elisa (blood) test results at this young age is accurate. Some have told me that if the test is negative that it's not to be trusted and I should retest at 3 months of age. Is this true? I don't remember this when I was a vet tech but that was several years ago. Thank you for your help.
that is too young i think. wait a month, and then recheck every two weeks.
- Jennifer, ♥
Yeah that is way too young. I read somewhere to do the test at 6months and then re-test a few weeks later;
- cat lover
My understanding is that is it more likely to give a false positive. That is because antibodies may be in her blood from her mother.
That is generally why it is best to wait around 14 weeks to do the test. If it is negative, you have assurance. If you do it early, and it is positive, you really need to do a retest, and that is wasted money.
Some vets may want to wait even longer, but I can understand the concern about bringing in a new kitten and putting your resident cat at risk.
While the concern is high, my experience is that the likelihood of a positive test (done at the proper age) is extremely small, although I always have my cats tested.
Even if they have the disease, the antibodies won't show up until they are at least six months old. You will need to test them at six months of age.
- Elaine M
Kittens retain their mom's antibodies till they reach about 7 months of age. The Elisa test for FIV is NOT accurate at all on kittens as a result. Since it's also coupled with the FeLV test, you'd need to know that both won't show good results on a kitten this young.
If the kitten was born with feline leukemia, it would not survive past the first year and you'd see it not thriving by a few months. The accuracy of blood tests is far better with adult cats but this one gives known false positives at least 20% of the time (which is why I hate that shelters use it!) . It isn't known for giving false negatives.
The more accurate test would be the Western Blot, but I think that would involve taking way too much blood from a kittent his young.
Feline Leukemia is spread by body fluids, if the kittens are sequestered in a different room your cats will be fine. I'd also recommend joining up with the Yahoogroups feline leukemia groups, they have very knowledgeable owners on that. FeLV isn't spread as easily as was once thought. If the kittens do have this, it's easy enough to contain it. If they don't, then fine. But do talk to the FeLV groups on Yahoogroups.
Leukemia — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes, risk factors, treatment of this blood-related cancer.
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