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What You Should Know About Feline AIDS

By: PetPlace Staff

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Home Care

Optimal treatment for your cat requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up is crucial.

  • Administer any medications as directed by your veterinarian and observe general activity level, body weight, appetite and attitude.

  • Have your vet show you how to examine and monitor your cat's gum color, urination, defecation and lymph node size.

  • Contact your veterinarian promptly if you are having trouble treating your cat, your cat develops new symptoms or symptoms worsen.

  • Provide quality nutrition as directed by your vet and schedule veterinary visits to monitor your cat's condition.

    Prevention

    A vaccine has recently become available to help reduce the risk of your cat acquiring FIV. In addition to vaccination, eliminating interactions with infected cats and stopping your cat from fighting greatly helps reduce the risk. Keeping your cat indoors and neutering males are probably the most important keys to prevention.

    Ideally, FIV-infected cats should be isolated from cats that do not carry the virus. This is to eliminate any chance of transmission to your uninfected cats. However, transmission among household cats through normal contact is thought to be unlikely.

    Some veterinarians believe that FIV positive cats should be quarantined to a separate area in a household away from other cats and should have no contact with FIV-negative cats. However, this is difficult to do in some multi-cat households. Many FIV positive and FIV negative cats live together without problems. If you do mix your cats, you need to understand the possible risk of infection to your healthy cats, however slight.

    For multi-cat households, the recommendation is for all cats in the household should be tested for FIV. Quarantine all FIV-negative cats to one area. Retest these cats in three months. If they are negative at that time, they are considered free of FIV. Cats are considered free of infection when two negative test results separated by three months have been obtained. Though you want the new cat to be a member of the household as soon as possible, it is important to observe the quarantine period to eliminate any risk to your existing cats.

    Retest all FIV-positive cats. Cats that test negative for FIV after having testing positive on the first test should remain isolated. Re-testing should be carried out after three additional months.

    Kittens should not be allowed to nurse if their mothers are infected because the virus can be passed through the milk.

    Please note: Positive titers to FIV can occur from some vaccinations. This can product a positive test result. If your cat tests positive to FIV and is NOT sick, please determine if your cat has been vaccinated recently. Titers to the vaccine can occur for up to 13 months after vaccination.



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