January 26th 08, 03:59 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
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
> 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
> PCR assay offered by UC-Davis.
> The PCR DNA assay detects the viral genome directly and not antibodies,
> 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
> from infected cats without having to wait 6-8 months for antibodies to
>> 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
> into the body to cause infection. As long as the cats are neutered and
> 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-
> ever becoming positive.
>> Jimmy seems to need a friend, but we're concerned not only for a new
>> health, but for the new cat's potential to introduce other health issues
>> 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,
Thanks for the reply. It's off to the vet for more tests.