PDA

View Full Version : FIV+ Question


JP
January 25th 08, 11:02 PM
Our cat has been diagnosed with FIV.

Are there guidelines for introducing another cat into the household or is
bringing a new cat in something that should be avoided?

Jimmy seems to need a friend, but we're concerned not only for a new cat's
health, but for the new cat's potential to introduce other health issues to
a immune compromised, but otherwise healthy cat.

What's the consensus on this issue?

Noon Cat Nick
January 26th 08, 06:24 AM
JP wrote:

> Our cat has been diagnosed with FIV.
>
> Are there guidelines for introducing another cat into the household or is
> bringing a new cat in something that should be avoided?
>
> Jimmy seems to need a friend, but we're concerned not only for a new cat's
> health, but for the new cat's potential to introduce other health issues to
> a immune compromised, but otherwise healthy cat.
>
> What's the consensus on this issue?
>
>

The only other cat you should bring into your home is one that has
already tested positive for FIV. If you bring in another cat that isn't
FIV+, chances are exceedingly high it will get infected. That you don't
want. But another FIV+ cat already has the virus, and so neither will be
a danger to the other in that regard.

Check with the nearest no-kill shelter. They often keep for adoption
FIV+ and FeLV+ cats, rather than destroying them.

Q: Does Jimmy genuinely have the disease, or has he just tested positive
for the virus?

Phil P.
January 26th 08, 11:21 AM
"JP" > wrote in message news:Y%[email protected]
> Our cat has been diagnosed with FIV.

First off- How old is your cat? Cats less than 6-8 months old can test
positive due to maternally-derived antibodies without actually being
infected. If your cat is younger than 6 months, retest in a month or two.
It takes about six months for maternally-derived FIV antibodies to
dissapate.

Second- If your cat is older than 6-8 months and your vet used an in-house
test that he performed himself (FIV-ELISA Snap Test) you can have your cat's
blood retested with a labortory test called the Western Blot (immunoblot).
This test detects more specific antibodies. The in-house FIV-ELISA Snap
test, and to a lesser degree, the Westernblot, produce a lot of false
positive results because both test for antibodies to the virus and not the
antigen or virus itself. False-positives are always more common when
testing for antibodies.

Third- If your cat was vacinated against FIV he will test positive for FIV
on both, the FIV-ELISA Snap Test and the Western Blot. The only test that
can differentiate FIV-vaccinated cats from FIV-infected cats is the FIV-DNA
PCR assay offered by UC-Davis.
The PCR DNA assay detects the viral genome directly and not antibodies, thus
its the most specific and the most sensitive test available for FIV.

If I were in your situation, I'd opt for the PCR DNA assay because it can
also distinguish false positive results due to maternally-derived antibodies
from infected cats without having to wait 6-8 months for antibodies to
dissapate.

>
> Are there guidelines for introducing another cat into the household or is
> bringing a new cat in something that should be avoided?

FIV is not nearly as contagious or as easily transmitted as many people
think. It usually takes a deep bite wound to transmit enough virus directly
into the body to cause infection. As long as the cats are neutered and don't
fight, its relatively safe to keep an FIV-positive cat in a household with
other cats that are FIV-negative. I know of many mixed households where
FIV+ and FIV- cats have lived together for many years without the FIV- cats
ever becoming positive.


>
> Jimmy seems to need a friend, but we're concerned not only for a new cat's
> health, but for the new cat's potential to introduce other health issues
to
> a immune compromised, but otherwise healthy cat.
>
> What's the consensus on this issue?

Before you make any decisions, have Jimmy retested with the FIV DNA PCR
assay. He may not even be infected!

Best of luck,

Phil

JP
January 26th 08, 04:23 PM
"Noon Cat Nick" wrote :

> JP wrote:
>
>> Our cat has been diagnosed with FIV.
>>
>> Are there guidelines for introducing another cat into the household or is
>> bringing a new cat in something that should be avoided?
>>
>> Jimmy seems to need a friend, but we're concerned not only for a new
>> cat's health, but for the new cat's potential to introduce other health
>> issues to a immune compromised, but otherwise healthy cat.
>>
>> What's the consensus on this issue?
>
> The only other cat you should bring into your home is one that has already
> tested positive for FIV. If you bring in another cat that isn't FIV+,
> chances are exceedingly high it will get infected. That you don't want.
> But another FIV+ cat already has the virus, and so neither will be a
> danger to the other in that regard.
>
> Check with the nearest no-kill shelter. They often keep for adoption FIV+
> and FeLV+ cats, rather than destroying them.
>
> Q: Does Jimmy genuinely have the disease, or has he just tested positive
> for the virus?

He has only tested positive.

JP
January 26th 08, 04:59 PM
"Phil P." wrote:

> "JP" > wrote in message news:Y%[email protected]
>> Our cat has been diagnosed with FIV.
>
> First off- How old is your cat? Cats less than 6-8 months old can test
> positive due to maternally-derived antibodies without actually being
> infected. If your cat is younger than 6 months, retest in a month or two.
> It takes about six months for maternally-derived FIV antibodies to
> dissapate.

Jimmy is about 4 years old.

>
> Second- If your cat is older than 6-8 months and your vet used an in-house
> test that he performed himself (FIV-ELISA Snap Test) you can have your
> cat's
> blood retested with a labortory test called the Western Blot (immunoblot).
> This test detects more specific antibodies. The in-house FIV-ELISA Snap
> test, and to a lesser degree, the Westernblot, produce a lot of false
> positive results because both test for antibodies to the virus and not the
> antigen or virus itself. False-positives are always more common when
> testing for antibodies.

This is good to know. We will have him retested.


> Third- If your cat was vacinated against FIV he will test positive for FIV
> on both, the FIV-ELISA Snap Test and the Western Blot. The only test that
> can differentiate FIV-vaccinated cats from FIV-infected cats is the
> FIV-DNA
> PCR assay offered by UC-Davis.
> The PCR DNA assay detects the viral genome directly and not antibodies,
> thus
> its the most specific and the most sensitive test available for FIV.

We didn't have Jimmy vaccinated against FIV, but we're not sure of the
history before us (birth > 6 months)


> If I were in your situation, I'd opt for the PCR DNA assay because it can
> also distinguish false positive results due to maternally-derived
> antibodies
> from infected cats without having to wait 6-8 months for antibodies to
> dissapate.
>
>>
>> Are there guidelines for introducing another cat into the household or is
>> bringing a new cat in something that should be avoided?
>
> FIV is not nearly as contagious or as easily transmitted as many people
> think. It usually takes a deep bite wound to transmit enough virus
> directly
> into the body to cause infection. As long as the cats are neutered and
> don't
> fight, its relatively safe to keep an FIV-positive cat in a household with
> other cats that are FIV-negative. I know of many mixed households where
> FIV+ and FIV- cats have lived together for many years without the FIV-
> cats
> ever becoming positive.
>
>
>>
>> Jimmy seems to need a friend, but we're concerned not only for a new
>> cat's
>> health, but for the new cat's potential to introduce other health issues
> to
>> a immune compromised, but otherwise healthy cat.
>>
>> What's the consensus on this issue?
>
> Before you make any decisions, have Jimmy retested with the FIV DNA PCR
> assay. He may not even be infected!
>
> Best of luck,
>
> Phil


Thanks for the reply. It's off to the vet for more tests.

Noon Cat Nick
January 26th 08, 07:35 PM
JP wrote:
> "Noon Cat Nick" wrote :
>
>
>>JP wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Our cat has been diagnosed with FIV.
>>>
>>>Are there guidelines for introducing another cat into the household or is
>>>bringing a new cat in something that should be avoided?
>>>
>>>Jimmy seems to need a friend, but we're concerned not only for a new
>>>cat's health, but for the new cat's potential to introduce other health
>>>issues to a immune compromised, but otherwise healthy cat.
>>>
>>>What's the consensus on this issue?
>>
>>The only other cat you should bring into your home is one that has already
>>tested positive for FIV. If you bring in another cat that isn't FIV+,
>>chances are exceedingly high it will get infected. That you don't want.
>>But another FIV+ cat already has the virus, and so neither will be a
>>danger to the other in that regard.
>>
>>Check with the nearest no-kill shelter. They often keep for adoption FIV+
>>and FeLV+ cats, rather than destroying them.
>>
>>Q: Does Jimmy genuinely have the disease, or has he just tested positive
>>for the virus?
>
>
> He has only tested positive.
>
>
>

Then he has the virus, not the illness. Chances are he might never get
feline AIDS, but would have a compromised immune system, causing him to
become ill more easily. Still, another FIV+ cat is the safest bet for a
companion for Jimmy.

Phil P.
January 27th 08, 02:24 AM
"JP" > wrote in message news:[email protected]
>
> "Phil P." wrote:
>
> > "JP" > wrote in message
news:Y%[email protected]
> >> Our cat has been diagnosed with FIV.
> >
> > Before you make any decisions, have Jimmy retested with the FIV DNA PCR
> > assay. He may not even be infected!
> >
> > Best of luck,
> >
> > Phil
>
>
> Thanks for the reply. It's off to the vet for more tests.

Your vet can't perform the FIV DNA PCR. Your vet must send a blood sample
to UC-Davis. If you email me with your email address, I'll send you the
form for submitting the blood sample.

You can also contact Christian Leutenegger at UC-Davis (530.752.7991) for
more information.

Best of luck,

Phil

Phil P.
January 27th 08, 02:25 AM
"Noon Cat Nick" > wrote in message
news:[email protected]_s21...
> >>
> >>Q: Does Jimmy genuinely have the disease, or has he just tested positive
> >>for the virus?
> >
> >
> > He has only tested positive.
> >
> >
> >
>
> Then he has the virus, not the illness.


That's not necessarily true. A positive test result from either an in-house
FIV ELISA Snap test or laboratory-run Western Blot assay simply means
*antibodies* to FIV have been detected in the blood sample- not the virus or
viral antigen. The FIV ELISA Snap & Western Blot assays are both antibody
assays and incapable of detecting virus or viral antigen.


Phil