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FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) is a potentially fatal viral disease that weakens the immune system of cats. FIV is spread between cats primarily through biting with the virus shed in high levels in the saliva. FIV can be diagnosed using an in-house blood test which looks for an immune response (antibodies) to the virus.
FIV testing is recommended for any cat presenting with a cat fight abscess or other cat fight wounds and all sick adult cats.
There is no need to vaccinate cats which are to be housed 100% indoors (unless housed with an FIV positive cat).
Adult Cats - Cats which have only ever been housed indoors can be vaccinated as for kittens without prior testing (unless in-contact with a known positive cat). If the cats in your household get on well (do not fight) then there is a low risk that in-contact cats will become infected.
FIV causes disease because it alters the cat's immune system so it becomes less able to respond to other infections in the normal way. You can help your cat by ensuring it has a healthy life style and good quality food together with regular worming and yearly booster vaccinations. Standard advice is to house FIV positive cats indoors to reduce the risk of spread to other cats. However, if your cats get along well (don’t fight) then you may choose to keep your FIV positive cat, as the risk of infection spreading by social contact is low. SNAP FIV antibody tests - This is a convenient in-house test providing results within minutes. PCR antigen tests - This type of test requires blood to be sent off-site to a veterinary laboratory. False positive tests - Kittens under 6 months of age may falsely test positive if maternal antibodies to the virus have been passed on to the kitten via the milk of their infected or vaccinated mother.
Cats can also falsely test positive to the in-house SNAP test if they have previously received an FIV vaccination as these cats will develop FIV antibodies as a response to the vaccine which can last up to 4 years.
WebMD Expert BlogsTales from the Pet Clinicwith Ann Hohenhaus, DVM, DACVIMThis blog has been retired. Previously, wea€™ve explored the importance of both the rabies vaccine and the canine parvovirus enteritis vaccine.
Interestingly, panleukopenia is sometimes referred to as feline distemper, which is in no way related to the canine distemper virus. Since the viruses responsible for causing feline distemper and canine parvovirus enteritis are closely related, the clinical signs are similar.
When the veterinarian examines the sick pet, she discovers dehydration, protein loss from the diarrhea and a dangerously low white blood cell count because of the virusa€™s effect on the bone marrow cells. The core FVRCP vaccine also prevents rhinotracheitis and calicivirus a€“ which are upper respiratory viruses of cats. Calicivirus causes similar clinical signs and preferentially infects the oral cavity, causing sneezing, runny nose and oral ulcers. Pet vaccines have proved to be an invaluable tool in protecting our pets from fatal diseases, but that does not mean some thought shouldn’t be given to how they are administered.
We do this in order to provide the best protection from disease as well as to reduce the possibility of your pet have an adverse reaction to a vaccine. After your puppy receives its first year series of vaccines, we like to move our patients to the three year vaccination protocol for DA2PP and Rabies vaccines. We also like to immunize our patients every six months for Bordetella and perform a fecal analysis for internal parasites on that same schedule. After a kitten has gone through its first year series of pet vaccines, we recommend moving to the three year protocol for the FVRCP vaccine. There is nothing more painful than the thought of a lost pet, especially if you are away from home on vacation or visiting friends. The fact is that at one time or another in our pets’ lives they will find a way out of the house or off their leash.
Lost pet microchip IDs are a safe, simple and effective way to prevent your pet from becoming permanently lost.
The microchip is encoded with your pet’s vital information, which can be read by scanners at veterinary hospitals and shelters across the country and around the world. Mandarin Animal Hospital uses a universally read microchip system that is recognized not only across the United States, but throughout South and Central America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. Puppies and Kittens are a lot of fun to have in the home, but they require some special attention in order to assure they are a happy and healthy companion for years to come. Because we want to help our clients give their new family member the best start possible, we strongly recommend our protocol for first year vaccines and examinations.
Our first year protocol includes an initial wellness examination, screening for damaging parasitic infections such as worms or giardia, an initial dental exam, nutritional advice, and more. These regular visits also provide you with opportunities to ask all the questions that come to mind regarding your pet’s care and give us a chance to become acquainted with your blossoming cat or dog.
Dogs and cats in their senior years may be a bit less active, but they are very loving and satisfying companions.
We still recommend yearly wellness exams, vaccination boosters, regular parasite screenings, grooming, heartworm prevention, and dental exams. These examinations are tailored to your pet’s age and condition and include additional lab work such as a complete blood count, blood chemistry, electrolytes, thyroid function analysis, urinalysis, as well as tests for diseases such as certain cancers, diabetes, kidney disease, and others. Because we believe this additional testing is so important to the health of your older companion, we have reduced the cost of our wellness blood work package when performed as preventative medicine at wellness examinations. While we do not specialize in the treatment of any specific disease and refer complicated cases to one of our network of specialists, Mandarin Animal Hospital is widely experienced in the diagnosis and management of a wide range of complicated acute and chronic medical cases. Additionally, many of these cases require hospitalization until the patient is stabilized, which we can provide if necessary. One of the key factors that have extended the life span of companion animals as well as improved health and vitality throughout their lives is our growing knowledge of the role of proper nutrition. However, for some pets with nutritional issues or chronic diseases such as diabetes, they may require a bit more intervention. Mandarin Animal Hospital stocks a number of prescription diets that are specialized to each patient’s stage of life, nutritional requirements or medical needs. Our veterinarians will work closely with you to understand the source of these behavior issues and in developing a specific plan to help eliminate your pet’s unwanted behavior. External parasites (fleas and ticks) as well as internal parasites (heartworms, roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms) are not only a health threat to your pet, but to your family as well. Therefore, the best means to keep your pet, family and home safe from these pests is through prevention.
With a little prevention, there is no reason why your pet and your family should have reason to fear these pests. Stem cell therapy is a new and highly innovative treatment to help control chronic pain and improve the quality of life for pets with osteoarthritic conditions such as arthritis, tendon and ligament injuries, and immune mediate polyarthritis.


If you plan on traveling with your pet or are a breeder you may need national or international health certification for travel or pet sales.
For clients seeking to travel nationally or internationally, these certificates are proof to state and international authorities that your pet is in good health as well as that he or she has been properly vaccinated. Generally, these certificates are only valid for a certain period of time, must be filled out within a specific timeframe prior to when you travel, and require different forms depending on your destination. We can help you understand what you need and advise you on how to safely travel with your pet by air.
In numerous acute or chronic conditions, medication is required to cure or alleviate symptoms.
This is not only convenient to our clients, but ensures your pet receives necessary medications in a timely fashion. Vaccination GuidelinesAt Cats Exclusive we constantly review the latest medical literature to keep abreast of changes that we believe will enhance your cat’s health, including the safest-possible vaccination protocols. We strive to provide your cat with protection from contagious diseases without causing harm. All kittens and cats with unknown history should receive injectable FVRCP vaccines in a series of boosters every 3-4 weeks until they are 4 months plus a 1 year booster. Cats that have completed the initial series would then receive an intranasal (drops in the nose) vaccine that is given every 3 years. We currently do not recommend other vaccines for your cat because we believe the risks outweigh the benefits.
Outdoor cats are therefore at highest risk for contracting infection especially if they are involved in breeding, fighting or have a history of cat fight abscesses. Adult cats prior to being FIV vaccinated for the first time should also be tested, as should cats sharing a household with a test positive cat. Outdoor adult cats (over 6 months of age) vaccinated for the first time require an FIV test to ensure there is no existing FIV infection. AIDS describes the terminal stages of disease which may not occur for many years - if at all! It is likely that other cats in your household may already be infected if they too have been involved in fights.
Not all cats with FIV will develop disease as a result of their infection but FIV infected cats will generally have a shorter life.
Often infected cats will develop chronic or recurrent infections that fail to respond to treatment in the normal way. While this is good practice for a single cat household, it is far better advice in a multi-cat household to house your FIV NEGATIVE cats indoors to prevent them from becoming infected. Its main limitation is that antibodies to FIV can take 3 months to develop following infection.
Antigen tests are not affected by prior FIV vaccination or the presence of maternal antibodies. Kittens testing positive with a SNAP test must be retested after 6 months of age with the SNAP test or at any time using a PCR test. If a false in-house positive is suspected due to possible previous vaccination then repeating the test using a PCR antigen test is recommended.
Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. Ann Hohenhaus, a practicing veterinarian for 25 years, is board certified in both oncology and internal medicine. Mandarin Animal Hospital tailors its vaccination protocol to guidelines established by the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, Association of Feline Practitioners, the lifestyle of your pet, as well as the diseases he or she is most likely to be exposed to.
We recommend your pet remain on the yearly protocol for Leptospirosis, H3N8 and Lyme if indicated based on your pet’s lifestyle and exposure potential. Unlike with canines, we recommend our feline friends receive a yearly Rabies vaccine due to the effectiveness and safety of the Merial Recombinant Rabies vaccine that we use. Most of the time, they will find their way home on their own, but too often pets become lost and are picked up by a well-meaning stranger or animal control officer and delivered to a shelter.
The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is implanted beneath your pet’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades.
Once the information in the chip is read, it can be used to easily reunite you with your beloved companion. In order to make these visits more affordable to our clients we only charge an examination fee on the first series of immunizations even though we perform an examination on all subsequent visits in the series.
For puppies we advise the start of medicines to prevent Heartworm, and arranging their first grooming session. Because we take a balanced approach to the care of your puppy or kitten, Mandarin Animal Hospital spreads out vaccine visits. They also require additional veterinary care in order to keep them healthy and detect early signs of treatable disease.
Felines also are tested for the feline leukemia virus, feline immunodeficiency virus, and heartworm. We can also order a number of nutritional products to better meet your pet’s health needs. Mandarin Animal Hospital offers behavior counseling for many of your pet’s problems including inappropriate urination or defecation, aggression, separation anxiety, inappropriate chewing and barking, scratching, digging, and spraying. Oftentimes, the behavior problem, such as inappropriate voiding, can be linked to a medical issue (cystitis, bladder stones, kidney disease, etc.) and can be treated medically.
Many of these parasites are considered to be zoonotic, which means they can affect animals and humans too.
Mandarin Animal Hospital stocks a wide range of parasite prevention medications and can help you select the right one for your pet.
Mosley extracting a small amount of fat from your pet’s body, which is then sent to Vet-Stem where the sample is processed to extract and concentrate the stem cells. In general, these certificates document that the dog or cat has been properly cared for and received necessary veterinary care, which includes vaccinations. If you do not have this form of documentation it is very likely your pet could be quarantined for an extended period of time. Department of Agriculture and well-versed in handling the documentation required for traveling with your pet. We encourage you to contact your airline to find out the specific documentation that is required. At Mandarin Animal Hospital, we believe that timely and convenient access to these medications is an important aspect of caring for your pet. Simply give us a call or visit our online pharmacy and we can either mail them to you or have them ready at your next visit. We strive to balance the needs for vaccinations to protect against deadly diseases, against the potential risks to cats from vaccines.
Therefore, we have compiled a brief description of each vaccine we offer, including their reported side effects.


While no vaccine is 100% protective against contraction of a virus, the FVRCP vaccine provides excellent protection against the more severe symptoms of infection, thus enabling vaccinated cats to recover much faster.
However, as with all injectable vaccines, some side effects can occur, including: mild pain at the injection site, fever or lethargy, and vomiting or diarrhea. Normal social interaction through grooming and sharing feed bowls is considered to have a very low risk of transmitting FIV. The timing and the type of test used is very important and our veterinarians will recommend the best test for your cat. If your cat tests positive then you simply need to investigate and treat their other problems as they occur. Vaccines are implicated in triggering various immune-mediated and other chronic disorders, also known as vaccinosis.
You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment.
Kittens with feline panleukopenia virus infection are critically ill and unfortunately, many cannot be saved. If it is indicated by the lifestyle and exposure potential of your cat, we also recommend the annual Feline Leukemia Vaccine. If this happens to your cat or dog, a collar alone may not be enough, especially if the tag falls off or you are away from home and cannot be reached at the number on the tag. This ensures your new pet’s immune system adequately responds and recovers from each vaccine challenge. This is all the more true since their metabolism slows and they are more susceptible to a variety of cancers.
Canines are also tested for heartworm as well as three of the most prevalent tick-borne diseases. We can also provide advice and information about diets that benefit specific medical conditions such as liver disease, bladder and kidney stones, renal failure, food allergies, and other conditions. For other behavior issues, the treatment plan often includes behavior modification and may include medication-assisted training.
Additionally, as anyone who has experienced an infestation of fleas in their home can attest, parasites can be difficult and expensive to eradicate.
We will also work with you to develop a program that best meets the specific needs of your pet and your own particular environmental situation. Once the stem cells have been processed they are returned to your veterinarian who injects them in the affected area(s) of your pet. We are able to ensure each medication becomes part of your pet’s medical record thereby reducing the chance for errors and enhance our ability to monitor the use and effectiveness of each medication. Our goal is to keep your cat's vaccinations to the absolute lowest number necessary - recommending only those vaccinations that provide true protection. We prefer the intranasal vaccine in older cats to reduce the risk of side effects that have been associated with the injectable vaccine: sarcomas, injection site pain, joint pain, and fever or vomiting. Because rabies is a deadly disease, communicable to humans, it is recommended in all cats, regardless of outside exposure. The Rabies Challenge Fund is hoping to change this by determining the true duration of immunity conveyed by rabies vaccines. Keeping your cat indoors is also a good idea as it reduces the likelihood of your cat picking up other infections as well as reducing the spread of the FIV virus. It is best not to use this test first as it is more likely to result in false negatives (less sensitive test).
WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider.
For those patients that are considered to be in critical condition, we will transfer them to our emergency clinic partner for continuous monitoring during the night. If our veterinarian is unable to help with your pet’s behavior problem, we can refer you to a board-certified animal behaviorist. We will look at possible exposure points, your pet’s activities and review with you the best ways to control fleas and ticks in your house, yard and on your pet.
This means that the vaccine must be protective against the disease AND that there is otherwise a risk to cat of catching that disease. The fund’s goal is to extend the required interval for rabies boosters to 5 and then to 7 years. The American Association of Feline Practitioners’ (AAFP) new vaccination guidelines are more conservative than those issued in previous years, but the frequency of vaccination may still exceed what your cat actually needs to remain protected against disease. ExpandThe opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training.
Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on WebMD. We will also discuss with you exposure risks for internal parasites, signs and symptoms, and the best means to prevent infection.
Our doctors will discuss individual vaccination schedules with you, taking into account the age of your cat(s), outdoor exposure and presence of other diseases.
Roughly 8% of bats examined in the state of Washington between 1960 and 2000 were positive for the rabies virus. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. The two most recent cases of human rabies infection in Washington State were in 1995 & 1997.
Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Since the antigen load of this new vaccine is higher than that of the one-year version, some veterinarians are proceeding with caution. Some vets report a slightly higher incidence of injection site soreness and malaise for 24-48 hours following the injection as compared to the 1-year product. All vaccination protocols should be tailored to each cat’s individual health and lifestyle needs.
Reply Ingrid April 8, 2015 at 6:28 am (1 year ago)I, too, wish that titers would be accepted in lieu of vaccines by municipalities, Rachel. Alternately, I think extending the legal interval between required vaccinations would be a good solution (and possibly more likely to eventually be approved).
The press release from the UK in 2012 (cannot find the link now) seemed to imply it was a change in the interval rather than formulation.
Reply Fur Everywhere September 15, 2014 at 9:04 am (2 years ago)Thank you for this information.



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