FIV Awareness


Date: 21st June 2012

Issued from:  Newtown Veterinary Clinic, Geelong Victoria 3220

Contact phone: 5221 5333

Premise: As a local veterinarian responsible for the wellbeing of many family pets, the issue of feline immunodeficiency virus & feline AIDS has been too quiet for too long. Now we are presented with test data in every state of Australia that indicates the prevalence of this infection now exceeds all other feline infectious diseases. If I don’t take the initiative to act by promoting awareness then the opportunity to prevent this infection from overcoming their pet will be lost for too many families. Thank you for reviewing this submission - it’s vital that cat owners in our local community hear this information.

High Risk of Feline AIDS

Australia’s geographic isolation affords us with a welcome buffer from many infectious diseases, however, this rule has a notable exception for our unfortunate family cats. Feline AIDS is in Australia and seems to be gaining quite a foothold.

Caused by feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline AIDS is just as you would imagine it. The cat’s immune system can shudder and malfunction, culminating in a grisly set of secondary problems. FIV must surely be the new nemesis of the humble Aussie cat as this virus has also achieved the dubious record of being the single most prevalent feline infection in Australia. In a range of infection studies, each state appears to have an alarming proportion of FIV positive cats: WA 29% infected; QLD 28% infected; VIC 26% infected; SA 18% infected; TAS 15% infected; NSW & NT 14% infected. Add to this, the disturbing calling cards of feline AIDS - ulcers, skin lesions, infections and even cancer – and you’d not be alone if you’re already keys-in-hand and off to the local vet.

Now the question that begs is how do you keep your cat protected? You have two options, the simplest being never let your cat roam free outside. As FIV infection occurs when one cat bites another then you can remove the opportunity for infection by keeping your cat isolated. But what about cats who need the occasional private moment out in the yard, or those that simply revel in climbing a good tree or perch themselves on a fence to taunt the neighbour’s dog? Never to be tamed, these cats need the mobile protection of vaccination. You can bundle it in with the annual vaccination/check-up. Take it up with your local vet, like the Vets at Newtown Veterinary Clinic for some professional advice and they’ll keep the family moggie throwing fur on your good rug for many years to come.