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lets talk kitten testing

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
With the recent adoption of one of our rescued kittens the topic of FIV, FIP and Feline lukemia testing has once again arrisen.
When I adopted chester he was 4 months old, and it seemed natural to get the inhouse tests done (which came up negative) when he had his first shots.
When I went in with Dynah I was surprised to find out that she was too young to test (8 weeks). The vet said she could have DNA testing done for double the price of the inhouse tests ($200). She also pointed out that the only way Dynah could have gotten any of the above would have been through her mom since we rescued them at about 1 weeks age (eyes opened that night, last kitten 4 days later).
I've pretty much decided to not get the tests done, but am nervous that I'm making the wrong decision. Dynah will be indoor only (as is Chester) and will not be getting the lukemia shots.
I've taken some time and read some posts about different points of view regarding the tests. I thought maybe we could talk about the reasons why one should or should not get the tests so I could make the best decision for myself and for her.
If this should be in IMO please move it, oh mods of ours...I just figured it was health related and not provoking an argument.
SO! Did/do you get your cats tested? What for? Why do you/don't you?
post #2 of 6
I'd say it's best to test the mom for FeLV. If she's negative, it's virtually certain the kittens are negative too. You can test her for FIV too but even if she tests positive, the kittens are virtually certain to test negative by 6 months of age.

An "FIP test" is not useful because it only tests for the virus that can potentially mutate and causes FIP. Up to 80% of cats will "test positive" for FIP. Only 5% of cats ever actually get FIP. So I'd consider the test a waste of money since it doesn't give you any information that is actually useful or reliable.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
unfortunately these guys don't have a mom and are bottle fed...otherwise that'd be the best method, for sure!
post #4 of 6
I'm not sure I understand why you're not waiting a few weeks to get Dynah tested for FeLV and FIV. I agree the FIP test is a waste of time, unless you're going to be vaccinating her against that, and have to establish no exposure to corona viruses before the vaccination.
It's not usual to test cats for FIV in my area, as there's an extremely low incidence of it here. That's not the case with FeLV, so the test is performed at over 16 weeks.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
well, I suppose I could wait a couple months to get the test done. The vet said something about chester having played with them and how it wouldn't make a big difference at this point anyway.
Good to know about the FIP test though, of course she advertised the one with all three in the DNA lab as being the most "comprehensive".
I don't know the stats regarding how common either FIV or FELV are in my area, although like I said, I've never actually heard of either of them happening (doesn't mean it doesn't, I know).
post #6 of 6
In that case, I'd suggest running a FeLV/FIV combo "snap" test at 4-6 months. At this age the test is as reliable as it will ever be - it's never 100% but it's pretty close. It's also a relatively inexpensive diagnostic, usually costing around $50. Since it's so easy to get this information, it's worth having.
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