23 Sep Cat Vaccination Advice From a Vet in Marrickville. Feline AIDs and what it means for your kitty.
Increasing Cat AIDS Prevalence in Inner West. A New Vaccination for Cats is Available!
The risks are real and increasing
As a local veterinarian responsible for the wellbeing of companion animals, the issue of FIV – closely related to HIV in people has been too quiet for too long. New data has just been released indicating the prevalence of FIV exceeds every other infectious disease in cats. There is a need to protect at-risk cats through a new vaccination that is available to prevent an epidemic occurring in the Inner West suburbs of Marrickville, Botany, Mascot, Newtown, Alexandria. Thank you for reviewing this submission – it’s vital that cat owners in our local community can understand this emerging disease.
- An emerging disease known as FIV is the feline form of the AIDS virus.
- Prevalence in the Inner City and Inner West is estimated to be between 14% and 29% of cats.
- Stray cats are the biggest reservoir of the virus.
What does FIV cause?
Like HIV in people, FIV interferes with the immune system of cats and makes them more susceptible to chronic diseases and cancer. However, most cats show to signs until the disease progresses.
How do pet cats catch FIV?
The main way pet cats get infected with FIV is through bites or scratches by cats who have FIV. Cats who spend some time outdoors are at a much higher risk of catching FIV from stray cats. Kittens can also be infected by their mother through the placenta.
What can be done to prevent this disease?
There are limited treatment options once a cat is infected with FIV, so prevention is key in controlling this disease.
I urge all cat owners who may allow their cats to spend time outdoors in our local area to vaccinate. After years of research, a new low-cost vaccine (Fel-O-Vax FIV), developed by the University of Florida is available in Australia. It has few side effects and is 85% effective in preventing infection in pet cats. Preventing pet cats from going outdoors is also a good way to prevent the disease but is impractical for most people. All new cats introduced into the house should be AIDS tested prior. Let’s keep Marrickville, Alexandria, Mascot, Botany and surrounding Inner West suburbs FIV free.