Feline Leukemia Medication and Supplements


Feline Leukemia Medication and Supplements


Question: I am interested in giving NAC as a supplement to a FeLV cat. My vet is uncertain about the amount to give and is concerned that an inappropriate dosage might prove too toxic. Can you recommend an amount to give? Many thanks. Sincerely, E. T-J.

Answer: E.-

I am assuming that you are referring to N-acetylcysteine, which has shown some promise in studies in rats for reducing viral replication in feline immunodeficiency virus infections ( Mortola, Okuda, et al, 1998). In the same study it was noted to reduce apoptosis (cell death) which might not be a good thing when used for feline leukemia virus infection rather than feline immunodeficiency virus infection. In the case of FeLV, the virus may lead to cancer and apoptosis is a good thing when it affects cancer cells. That is just my own thinking -- not something I have seen about this use in the literature.

I couldn't find a dose for use for FIV cats, but there is a dosage for use of N-Acetylcysteine at 140 mg/kg initially, followed by 70 mg/kg every 4 hrs, given orally or intravenously for acetaminophen toxicity that has been published. Usually this is given for a few days (3 to 5) until the cat recovers, so I don't know if it would have to be adjusted further for long term use.

Mike Richards, DVM 12/10/99

Feline leukemia - Medication

Q: Hi,

I'm wondering if i should be putting my 7 year old FeLV male cat on any of the new drugs prescribed for FeLV? My cat tested positive twice four years ago when we took him in as a stray. We spoil our fat cat (approx. 15lbs) and love him to death...Outwardly he appears symptomless,however, he has had blood work that showed he has persistant viremia (not sure if spelled correctly)..very low white blood cells. Our cat doesn't take well to any medications especially antibiotics, we've tried numerous ones and they make him depressed and he'll stop eating etcc.. it's weird.

Anyhow any info. you could provide would be helpfull..thank You!


A: Karen-

I am not aware of a new highly effective medication for feline leukemia. If you know the medication name I will be glad to research it.

Mike Richards, DVM

Last edited 04/20/04


Michael Richards, D.V.M. co-owns a small animal general veterinary practice in rural tidewater Virginia. Dr. Richards graduated from Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine in 1979, and has been in private practice ever since. Dr. Richards has been the director of the PetCare Forum...