RISK FACTORS AND CLINICAL SYMPTOMATOLOGY RELATED WITH FELV: CASE-CONTROL STUDY IN A VETERINARY TEACHING HOSPITAL
Abstract The objective of this study was to identify risk factors and clinical features of the feline leukemia virus (FeLV) infection in domestic cats (Felis catus) seen at a Veterinary Teaching Hospital. A case-control study was performed to determine the risk factors and a descriptive study was done to define the clinical symptoms of the sick animals. From January 2013 to January 2014, 175 medical records of cats seen at the hospital were evaluated. FeLV was found in 34 of them (19.4%). It was noticed an association between age and the FeLV infection (p=0,009); higher incidence of the infection occurring in animals between one and four years old. Hematopoietic neoplasias (p=0,000022), anemia (p<0,0000001), leukopenia (p=0,04) and hyperproteinemia (p=0,043) were associated with FeLV infection. Unspecific symptoms were observed in 51.8% of the animals. Clinical signs associated with respiratory, digestive, tegumentary and nervous systems were present in 20.6%, 14.7%, 5.9% and 5.9% respectively. This study concluded that age between one and four years old is a risk factor for FeLV infection. On the other hand, sex and outdoor access are not risk factors for the infection. FeLV infection is associated with anemia, leucopenia, hematopoietic neoplasia and hyperproteinemia.