Swan Veterinary Hospital 2016-2017 FIV In-House Clinical Study
Between September 2016 and February 2017 we conducted our very own in-house clinical study on the prevalence of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) in “pet-owned” cats. All cats in our study were owned by our clients; not strays or rescues (due to unknown vaccination history and higher FIV exposure levels from being outdoors). Australia has one of the highest rates of FIV infection in the world, and WA is home to the highest rate of FIV-infected cats across the nation.
The results of our study show that 40% of cats tested in the Midland area are positive for this incurable disease!
What is FIV?
FIV causes a potentially fatal viral disease that depresses the immune system of a cat. The virus exists in the blood of infected cats and is carried in their system throughout their life. There are several stages of infection and often the disease goes unnoticed until the final stage – Feline Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Eventually, the immune system becomes too weak to fight off other infections and as a result, the cat may die.
Is your cat at risk?
Infected cats transmit FIV to healthy cats most often by biting. All cats with outside access are at risk of contracting FIV. Cats that fight regularly are at particularly high risk. Although rare, it is also possible for a mother to pass the infection on to her kittens.
Infected cats may show some of the following symptoms:
- Weight loss
- Eye problems
- Poor coat condition
- Sores in and around the mouth
- Behavioural changes or other neurological disorders
- Chronic infections such as urinary, respiratory, and skin
There is no cure for an FIV-infected cat. We can use a simple blood test to determine the FIV status of your cat. This can assist in the management of a vaccination regime for those who are healthy, and a treatment plan for those who are infected.
To book your cat in for their FIV vaccination, please give us a call today!