If you have a cat that is allowed outdoors then you need to read and consider the following information.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) causes a syndrome we call Feline AIDS, a very similar syndrome to Human AIDS. The virus attacks the immune system leading to chronic infections and tumours, eventually these are fatal. This virus is prevalent in south east Queensland, some reports indicate that up to 28% of cats are infected. FIV is spread from cat to cat primarily through bite wounds and outdoor cats are obviously at the highest risk of contracting the disease. Grooming and sharing of water bowls is thought to be a very unlikely source of infection.
Even though this cat virus is related to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), no human has ever been infected with FIV.
A course of three vaccinations 2-4 weeks apart is required to gain maximum immunity, then a yearly booster to maintain that immunity.
If your cat is over six months of age a FIV blood test is required prior to beginning the vaccination course – this requires a very small blood sample and the results are available while you wait – a negative result means we can start the vaccination course immediately. Cats younger than six months old do not require a blood test.
We also recommend, if your cat is not already microchipped, that a microchip is inserted at the time of vaccination. Cats who are vaccinated for FIV can give a positive result on an FIV Blood test. This means that if your cat is picked up by the RSPCA or pound he or she may incorrectly be diagnosed with FIV and not deemed suitable for rehoming. A microchip allows you to be reunited with your cat, and for a complete vaccination history to be obtained – preventing inappropriate euthanasia.
We can incorporate this new vaccine into your current protocol so please ask us about it when you make your appointment for an Annual Check Up and Vaccination. Call on 3341 3399.