Happy Anniversary

Lexington Animal Hospital just celebrated its first anniversary under Dr. Meghan Ryan. LAH, which has served animals in Rockbridge county for over 65 years, was led and owned by Dr. Sheryl Carls for the previous 34 years. We all hope Dr. Carls has enjoyed her first year of retirement!

Dr. Ryan greatly appreciates all the help that the staff, Dr. Mollie, and Dr. Carls has given her in this first year. Dr. Ryan is very happy to have settled here with her family in Lexington, VA and has enjoyed getting to meet all the cats, dogs, and their owners over the last year.

To celebrate our anniversary and give back to our community, Lexington Animal Hospital had a free spay/neuter day on Saturday, July 28th for feral cats in our community. We spayed and neutered 45 cats, and plan make this an annual event.

Feral Cat Facts

Feral cats have an average of 1.4 litters per year and 3.5 kittens per litter. A pair of feral cats and their offspring can produce up to 420,000 kittens over a 7 year period.

There are approximately 146 million cats in the United States, and about are feral/unowned.

Cats are the #1 domestic animal to be infected with rabies. Rabies still kills 59,000 people world-wide annually

Lastly, know your cat’s status!

Recently, Lexington Animal Hospital has seen a spike in cats and kittens testing positive for Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV). This virus causes more cat deaths than any other infectious organism. The virus not only suppresses the immune system allowing other infections to worsen, but can also cause severe anemias and fatal cancers like leukemia and lymphoma.

Feline Leukemia Virus is spread through close, social contact, as the concentration of the virus is high in saliva. The virus can also be shed through urine, blood, nasal secretions, and milk. Pregnant cats can infect their offspring during pregnancy or while nursing.

For some cats, their bodies’ immune system can tackle the virus and clear the viral infection. For others, the virus spreads throughout the body’s lymph nodes and incorporates itself into the bone marrow. After this incorporation, infected blood cells are released into the body and the virus is shed in the saliva, urine, and other bodily fluids.

The prognosis for most cats with Feline Leukemia Virus is typically poor, as 80% of infected cats die within 3 years of diagnosis. Treatment options include antiviral drugs, chemotherapy for leukemia and lymphoma, as well as supportive care for any other diseases and infections.

As with most diseases, prevention is BEST. Lexington Animal Hospital recommends annual testing and annual vaccination against Feline Leukemia Virus for:
1) all kittens
2) all outdoor cats
3) all cats that live with other cats with Feline Leukemia Virus
4) all cats that have come in contact with cats of unknown status (foster homes, shelters)

Resources- please see AAFP Retrovirus Guidelines

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *