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ExcelVets Robina

237 Scottsdale Dr
Robina Qld 4226
Phone: 07 5562 5777
Fax: 07 5562 5522
mail@excelvets.com.au

Business Hours

8:00 - 5:30 Mon - Fri
8:30 - 11:30 Sat

After Hours Emergency

07 5559 1599

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Feline AIDS - FIV

The cat breeding season around June is also associated with the cat fighting season - allowing for the spread of infectious diseases such as Feline AIDS. Although cats can get FIV at any time of the year, there is a peak around the breeding season due to the spread of infection as a result of cat fights.

What is Feline AIDS? Is it the same as Human AIDS?

Feline AIDS is caused by an infection with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).  This virus interferes with the normal functioning of the cat’s immune system and is potentially fatal.

Despite having many similarities to human AIDS, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is not the same as the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), although they are both in the Lentivirus  family.

What are the signs and symptoms of feline AIDS?

Cats infected with FIV may remain healthy for a number of years. Early symptoms usually include signs such as:

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lethargy
  • Swollen lymph nodes

As the disease progresses, we are more likely to see symptoms such as:

  • Weight loss
  • Sores in and around the mouth
  • Eye lesions
  • Poor coat
  • Chronic infections

After a while, the immune system becomes too weak to fight off infections. Unfortunately as a result of this, the cat will die from one of these infections.

How can your cat become infected?

The FIV virus lives in the blood of the infected cat and the sad thing is, that once they have it, they have it for life. Healthy cats become infected when they are bitten by an FIV positive cat, as the virus is shed in high levels through the saliva. Consequently outdoor cats are at a higher risk of contracting the disease, as they are more likely to get themselves into a cat fight and get bitten.

The saliva itself is not responsible for spreading the disease; the actual bite wound is an integral part of disease transmission.

How prevalent is FIV in Australia?

Reports show that between 14% and 29% of cats in Australia test positive to FIV infection - Queensland has a 30% incidence rate.

What can I do to prevent feline AIDS?

Unfortunately there is no treatment or cure for FIV :(
However as with all things, prevention is better than cure, and the good news is, there is a vaccine available that can aid in the prevention of FIV. Please phone us at ExcelVets if you have any queries regarding this vaccination.

What else can I do to prevent feline AIDS?

  • Vaccinate your kitten prior to them venturing outside
  • Limit exposure of indoor cats to outdoor cats
  • If a new cat is joining your household, have a simple blood test for FIV first - it takes 15 mins and is done at ExcelVets
  • Isolate an aggressive cat from other cats