Fe­line AIDS – what does it mean for your cat?

Mansfield Courier - - News -

IT is a lit­tle-known fact that Aus­tralians love cats - they’re the sec­ond most pop­u­lar pet to dogs na­tion­wide, with an es­ti­mated 29 per cent of Aus­tralian house­holds own­ing at least one.

An­other lit­tle-known fact is that Aus­tralia has one of the high­est rates of in­fec­tion world-wide for Fe­line ,PPXQRGH¿FLHQF\ 9LUXV DOVR NQRZQ DV ),9 RU )HOLQH AIDS.

Fe­line AIDS, as a re­sult of the name, of­ten at­tracts FRPSDULVRQ­V WR +,9 RU $,'6 in peo­ple.

In many re­spects the dis­eases are quite sim­i­lar - in­fec­tion is life-long, leads to a com­pro­mised im­mune sys­tem and may be trans­mit­ted from mother to off­spring, or by sex­ual trans­mis­sion.

An im­por­tant dif­fer­ence, KRZHYHU EHWZHHQ +,9 $,'6 LQ SHRSOH DQG ),9 LQ cats is that that the pri­mary mode of trans­mis­sion be­tween cats is in fact cat ELWHV DV ),9 LV VKHG LQ FDW saliva.

Feral cats are es­pe­cially im­por­tant in the trans­mis­sion of Fe­line AIDS, with the SUHYDOHQFH RI ),9 LQ IHUDO cats es­ti­mated to be up to 25 per cent, com­pared to a preva­lence of eight per cent in healthy pet cats.

Thus, any cat that goes out­side has the po­ten­tial to JHW LQWR D ¿JKW ZLWK DQRWKHU cat, and con­tract Fe­line AIDS.

Dr Chelsea Hair ex­plains that over re­cent months we KDYH KDG VHYHUDO ),9 SRVLWLYH FDWV KHUH DW 'HODWLWH 9HW Ser­vices.

The con­se­quence for a

FDW WKDW FRQWUDFWV ),9 DUH YDVW DV ),9 KDV D YHU\ ORQJ in­cu­ba­tion pe­riod.

Some cats may show an acute, mild form of ill­ness where clin­i­cal signs may in­clude fever and lethargy (how­ever, this stage may go un­no­ticed).

Cats will then go through what is known as a la­tent stage, and live for many months to years ap­pear­ing healthy and well.

7KH ¿QDO VWDJH RI ),9 LV a chronic AIDS syn­drome, where im­muno­sup­pres­sion leads to var­i­ous op­por­tunis­tic in­fec­tions.

Dr Hair urges cat own­ers

WR FRQVLGHU WKH XVH RI WKH ),9 vac­ci­na­tion.

This can be in­cor­po­rated into a yearly vac­ci­na­tion and health check.

There is a quick in-house test that can be run be­fore start­ing a vac­ci­na­tion course to en­sure your cat is free of the virus.

It is im­por­tant for cat own­ers to un­der­stand that

D GLDJQRVLV RI ),9 LV QRW D death sen­tence for your cat with ap­pro­pri­ate man­age­ment and care, these cats can still go on to lead happy lives.

These af­fected cats sim­ply need more metic­u­lous man­age­ment to en­sure a pro­longed asymp­to­matic stage.

$W 'HODWLWH 9HWHULQDU\ Ser­vices, we are com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing high stan­dards of pre­ven­ta­tive vet­eri­nary care to your cats.

For the month of March, we are of­fer­ing dis­counted test­ing and vac­ci­na­tion DJDLQVW ),9 WR UDLVH aware­ness of this dis­ease, as well as pre­vent fur­ther spread.

To book your cat in, call 5779 1754.

LOOK AT VACCINATIN­G AGAINST AIDS: Fe­line AIDS is es­ti­mated to be found in 25 per cent of feral cat pop­u­la­tions, and is eas­ily trans­mit­ted to do­mes­tic an­i­mals. Luck­ily, a vac­ci­na­tion is avail­able.

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