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FIV in Cats
 
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) or Feline Aids

FIV is a virus that is primarily spread thru the bites of infected cats. The disease is more common in outdoor male cats over 5 years of age. The incidence is low, approximately 1.5 - 6% in the general cat population depending on geographic region and behavior.

Signs include:

  1. Eye disease.
  2. Neurological signs
  3. Enlarged lymph nodes
  4. Weight loss

Secondary Signs due to immunosuppression include:

 
  1. Infected gums, mouth infections and tooth loss.
  2. Chronic upper respiratory infections.
  3. Chronic gastroenteritis.
  4. Chronic skin infections
  5. Tumors
  6. Behavioral problems : inappropriate elimination, aggression
  7. Reproductive problems
  8. Kidney failure

Treatment

There is no cure. There is no vaccine.
Interferon, AZT, or Acemannan may help to increase appetite and overall quality of life. 
AZT has been shown to improve symptoms.

Testing

Just as with human aids - Identifying and Isolating FIV positive cats is the only means by which FIV can be controlled.

Testing ofkittens less than 6 months of age is not recommended because they can have antibodies from their motherís colostrum which can cause a false positive test. Kittens that test positive should be re-tested at 6 months of age.

Positive cats can be confirmed by the Western Blot test.


Cats over 6 months
of age should be tested for FIV:

  1.  Before introduction to a new household

  2.  Before bringing home a new cat or visitor.
  3.  After possibility of exposure ie 6 months after a cat fight

  4.  Periodic or Annual Testing of ďat risk catsĒ is recommended

Cats at risk are cats known to be FeLV positive, fighting cats, strays, cats with bite wounds, escapees, recently mated cats, cats in a household with known FIV + or FeLV + cats.

FIV Vaccine: We DO NOT recommend this vaccine.

This is an adjuvanted vaccine. Iit is at risk of causing an injection site fibrosarcoma. There are 5 Clades of FIV viruses. The predominate Clade in Texas and the U.S. is Clade B. The vaccine contains Clade A & D. Cross protection between the clades is poor. Vaccination will interfere with testing.

FIV or Feline Aids is not contagious to people.
 

     

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e-mail drbob@critteradvocacy.org
Copyright (c) 2003. Dr. Robert L. Rogers. All rights reserved.

The Better Business Bureau. Education Foundation
Torch Awards for Excellence in Business Ethics
Presented to Dr. Bob Rogers
for Public Education about New Vaccination Recommendations