WHAT IS FELINE AIDS?
Feline Aids is caused by infection with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). FIV is a potentially fatal viral disease that interferes with a cat's immune system.The virus lives in the the blood of the infected cat and once contracted, is carried throughout the cat's life. Healthy cats contract the infection through being bitten by a FIV positive cat. Cats infected with FIV may remain healthy for a number of years. While some infected cats show no sign of disease, others may display initial symptoms such as:
*Fever *Loss of Appetite *Diarrhoea *Lethargy *Swollen lymph nodes
As the disease progresses, other symptoms may occur, including:
*Weight loss *Sores in and around the mouth *Eye lesions *Poor coat *Chronic infections *Certain types of cancers
Eventually the immune system becomes too weak to fight off other infections or diseases. As a result, the cat may die from one of these subsequent infections.
HOW IS THE INFECTION CONTRACTED?
FIV is spread from cat to cat primarily through bite wounds, the virus being shed in high levels through saliva. Outdoor cats are at a higher risk for contracting the disease. The spread of FIV through water bowls or grooming is unlikely. An actual bite wound is an integral part of the disease transmission. Although rare, it is possible for a mother to pass the infection on to her unborn foetus.
HOW PREVALENT IS FIV IN AUSTRALIA?
It is reported that between 14% and 29% of cats in Australia test positive to the disease. Outdoor cats are at higher risk of disease.
WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT FELINE AIDS?
There is no treatment or cure for an FIV infected cat, however a vaccine is available that can aid in the prevention of infection with FIV. Talk with your veterinarian about the best vaccination program for your cat. Along with vaccination, other health management measures include:
Limiting exposure of indoor cats to outdoor cats
Using caution when introducing a new cat to a multi-cat household
Having new cats tested prior to joining the household
Isolating an aggressive cat from other cats.
FIV vaccination guideline:
Vaccination against FIV is separate to standard cat vaccinations. If your cat has had an F5 (or similar), they still require a triple course when they first have their FIV vaccine.
Unvaccinated Cats: Those cats 8 weeks of age or older require 3 doses at an inter-vaccination interval of 3 weeks.
FIV-Vaccinated Cats: Annual FIV booster vaccination is recommended.
Why Restrain Your Pet?
Properly Restraining your Pet could Save their Lives & Others.
Even the best trained pet can get over excited or frightened when travelling in a car; showing behaviour that can easily distract the driver, and possibly causing a accident.
A unrestrained pet becomes a fly projectile in the event of a accident or sudden stop; which can harm the pet and others.
Many pet owners believe a restraint isn't necessary when just running down the shops, when in fact this is when most accidents happen.
A properly restrained pet won't be able to fall off the back of a ute.
What Restraint Options are there?
Selecting the proper restraint option, best suited for your pet is essential.
There are many pet restraint options available.
Pet safety belts (Like our Product of the Month), pet car seats (with built-in seat belts), travel crates, and vehicle pet barriers are some excellent options.
The following information is from Queensland Transport website.
A driver must not have an animal in their lap while operating a vehicle.
A person riding a motorbike must not carry an animal on the petrol tank of the motorbike.
It is recommended that pets do not ride unrestrained in either the front or back seats of any vehicle. A special pet harness can be attached to your vehicleâ€™s seat belt. Smaller pets can also be transported in pet carriers. Pets can be put in the back of a station wagon with a cargo barrier that complies with Australian standards. Dogs should not ride unrestrained in the back of trucks or trailers.
Special pet restrainers for dogs travelling in utes can restrain your dog safely.
Online Pamphlet about Dogs In Utes which is available from the Queensland DAF Website.