FIV (Feline immunodeficiency Virus) is a disease that is transmitted from bite wounds by infected cats. The wounds are contaminated by the saliva of the infected cat and the virus slowly develops within the previously non-infected cat.
After infection there is a period of variable length during which the virus lives in the cat’s body but may not cause the cat to become unwell.
They may not seem unwell immediately after infection, but may begin show symptoms in later stages which can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen lymph nodes
Generally these symptoms will resolve and the cat will appear healthy for a period of time before starting to show other symptoms of the disease as it progresses. As FIV develops further, it slowly weakens the immune system and the cat may become susceptible to other illnesses that the immune system struggles to fight off.
Signs of FIV are not always visible in a short period of time, though during this period, cats can become carriers and transmitters of the disease.
Vaccinations are available to help prevent the spread of the disease and can be completed in conjunction with your cats’ annual vaccination.
If your cat has access to an open outdoor area, it is highly recommended that this be incorporated into their annual check-up.
Testing is available to check for this disease in cats over 6 months of age. As antibodies can be transferred by queens through their milk, kittens will often test positive prior to 6 months of age as the test recognizes the antibodies. The vaccination will help boost their immune system after this period to protect against the disease.
If you have any further questions in regards to your cats vaccinations, please contact us at the clinic on (03) 54282805