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Owners of cats and new kittens are encouraged to speak to their veterinarian about feline immunodeficiency virus. FIV has a high prevalence compared to most other countries in Australia and can cause serious and potentially fatal illness in cats by weakening the immune system. It has also been linked to kidney disease, neurological conditions, chronic gingivostomatitis, skin conditions, and weight loss.
Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health is committed to helping veterinarians minimize the impact of FIV on our cat population – and has established the Australian Feline Retrovirus Advisory Panel, an independent panel of experts in feline medicine and veterinary infectious diseases. The panel has developed guidelines to help veterinarians diagnose, prevent, and treat FIV.
The virus is mainly transmitted through bite wounds that introduce saliva with virus and FIV-infected white blood cells. The virus can make cats susceptible to chronic and recurring infections of various types and has been shown to increase the risk of some cancers.
While FIV infection can have devastating health effects in some cats, it is important to advise owners that FIV is not a death sentence and is not a reason for euthanasia. Some FIV-infected cats can lead relatively normal lives with a near-normal lifespan for extended periods of time. Because management and housing conditions affect the results of FIV infection, owners of FIV infected cats can support their cat and allow many to lead relatively normal lives.
“Vaccination to prevent FIV infection is recommended for domestic cats whose owners cannot or cannot be persuaded to protect their cats from the risk of being bitten by an FIV-infected cat,” said Dr. Mark., Chairman of the Australian Feline Retrovirus Advisory Panel, said Westmann.
“Unfortunately, once a cat is infected with FIV there is no cure, so it is important for cat owners to have a prevention protocol in place to ensure cats are safe and protected. Australia has one of the highest FIV infection rates in the world, but is also one of the few countries that has access to an effective vaccine. ”
Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health manufactures a polyvalent FIV vaccine to prevent FIV infection. The three-dose primary series 2-4 weeks apart can be given to healthy kittens or cats eight weeks or older to prevent infection with FIV, followed by an annual booster vaccination.
More information for veterinary staff at: https://www.animalhealthacademy.com.au/login/index.php or www.vetplus.com.au. When you register for the Animal Health Academy for the first time, use the access code myAcademy