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FIV vaccine-does it work?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
The cat that i rescued tested positive for FIV. I'm crushed. he is such a beautiful gentle sweet sweet soul...

does anyone know if the fiv vaccine is effective? i'm asking because we have 3 cats that do not have Fiv... and wondering wether they will get it even if they are vaccinated?
post #2 of 15
They will not get FIV even if they are not vaccinated. The virus only spreads from saliva to blood, through deep bites that puncture the skin. This kind of fighting happens pretty much exclusively between unneutered male cats fighting for territory and females. It's not at all comparable to the kind of hissy-spat fighting that takes place between spayed/neutered indoor cats.

The virus does not spread in any other way. Not through mutual grooming or shared litterboxes or shared food bowls or anything else. It rarely even spreads from mother to kitten.

I know a lot of people who have FIV positive cats living with their FIV negative cats, and their negative cats have remained negative.

I don't know if the vaccine works (vaccinated cats are going to already be at almost zero risk for the virus because presumably, they are already spayed and neutered), but one thing to be very aware of is the the FIV vaccine will cause the cat to test positive for FIV. This is because the test looks for the presence of antibodies, not the virus itself.

I say bring this guy into your home, supervise initial interactions to make sure he isn't seriously cat-aggressive, and then relax. Everyone will be just fine.
post #3 of 15
Sigh...he could very well get into a major spat with one of your other cats and cause a bite wound severe enough to transfer infection. If he has grown up with your cats this would not likely happen, but since he is new, and since he smells strange, they could get hostile with him and cause a war to start, or he could.

The best thing is to keep him away from your other cats in a room by himself, depending on how far along he is in the disease.It goes in three stages, and it is a very slow retrovirus so he could have a long life ahead of him. Making proper slow introductions to reduce the chance of a war would be also be wise. Again, he is a strange cat being introduced to other strange cats and he is ill, so he is going to smell off a bit anyway. Cats pick that up quickly-

I am sorry he did not turn out to be a healthy stray. Sometimes, they are either carriers or they are ill themselves. It just happens-

Here is an excellent website about it

http://www.lbah.com/Feline/fiv.htm
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
i really don't know what to do. he is a very very gentle cat but... even the vet sugested that we find him another home in case our cats get it. i'm scared that our cats will fight with him... not that an of them are agressive but they do like to rough house with each other a lot.

he is 2 years old. our cats are all about that age...
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
hissy i just read the website... ireally don't know... his teeth are not in good shape... i hope this is not a sign that he is in the advanced stages... he is only two and he can't have been on the street long enough for it to have developed this far...

i'm absolutely shattered by this. maybe i'm not hard enough... i just wish i knew what to do.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegansoprano
Roughhousing is okay. The kind of fighting that causes FIV transmission is the type that causes abscesses and other nasty wounds. It just doesn't happen among neutered indoor cats. Of course it's theoretically possible, but it's extremely, extremely unlikely.
I think this is a case where we must agree to disagree. I simply do not think you can make such a blanket, firm statement, and I would always choose to err a bit on the side of caution - while giving all the firm facts.

The article Hissy listed is simply and accurate, I see no agenda. But as much as I LOVE what BestFriends does and stands for, I see an agenda when I read the link you gave. It is one I am sure comes from frustration with the lack of information on FIV and what kind of life potential a cat with this has. But the way to combat the fears is not to minimize that these cats may have cycles of illness, may not have a long life, and one should be prepared for and expect at some point some "more than once a year" l vet bills, chronic health issues (which can be addressed but they should be prepared), nor to express exasperation with folks eyes glazing over as they give in to the fears.

It's not the tone I would suggest is most likely to educate and accomplish the goal.

Just my feeling...I'd say if you love this kitty and are willing to accept the up the road health issues of a cat with a compromised immune system, follow Hissy's advice re initial seperation and slow introduction - be informed, be careful, realize there is a risk, albeit hopefuly a small one.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
i have read both the sites...

i am happy that Fiv cats can live long healthy lives... i will just have to wait and see what happens. the plan that my husband and i had initially was that we would foster him until we found him a home. this was before the tests came back. i don't see why we need to change that plan as i am sure he will make anyone a beautiful pet... if there was a vaccine available here i would not be so hesitant but the vaccine is not available in dubai.

my cats do alot of mutual grooming, a lot of grooming of each other... a lot! i'm pretty good at introducing cats to each other BUT what if something happens? will i ever forgive myself?

honestly it has been a very big day for me... i wish these decisions were easier. all i can say for sure is that i will find him a good home no matter what happens.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
i know... i would be much more open to it if we were planning on getting a fourth cat anyway but we weren't. i volunteered to foster cats, not to keep them all he is essentially a foster kitty. i won't lie and say that the FIV is worrying me but we were not planning on a fourth cat...

anyway, i'm really nutts about him... i'll see what happens when my husband gets back. this is really not the kind of decision i can make without him. he was adamant that we would not take in another cat if we agreed to start fostering cats.

even if i do find a home for him it is inevitable that he will be here for a while... i'll just have to see what happens.

i may still be able to place him with another pilot and his family (my husband is a pilot for emirates)...
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat & Alix
I think this is a case where we must agree to disagree. I simply do not think you can make such a blanket, firm statement, and I would always choose to err a bit on the side of caution - while giving all the firm facts.

The article Hissy listed is simply and accurate, I see no agenda. But as much as I LOVE what BestFriends does and stands for, I see an agenda when I read the link you gave. It is one I am sure comes from frustration with the lack of information on FIV and what kind of life potential a cat with this has. But the way to combat the fears is not to minimize that these cats may have cycles of illness, may not have a long life, and one should be prepared for and expect at some point some "more than once a year" l vet bills, chronic health issues (which can be addressed but they should be prepared), nor to express exasperation with folks eyes glazing over as they give in to the fears.

It's not the tone I would suggest is most likely to educate and accomplish the goal.

Just my feeling...I'd say if you love this kitty and are willing to accept the up the road health issues of a cat with a compromised immune system, follow Hissy's advice re initial seperation and slow introduction - be informed, be careful, realize there is a risk, albeit hopefuly a small one.
post #10 of 15
I have had this disease pop up a couple of times in ferals that come here. Because of their ages, one was 3, one was around 2 and the other was 5, and because I have so many cats transitioning out of my home at any given time, I opted to just put the cats down. There is no cure, the cats will live with the disease for quite awhile, depending on what stage they are in, but as the vet told me, it increases the risk of the cats I can save. It helps to end the suffering of the cat afflicted, and it was in my circumstances the kindest thing to do. They can get this disease at any age. And yes, all the cats were males and intact when they came here.

I am not saying to put this cat down. I am just saying what I did for my circumstances. I do know there is a website that is dedicated to adopting FeLV and FIV cats and kittens, let me scare up the link
post #11 of 15
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
thanks hissy, we live in dubai so i guess i can't use this programme.
also there is a law in the nited arab emirates preventing people without a liscence from selling animals or pets so all animals do go free... fortunately due to the way society is structured in dubai it is unlikely that a pet will go to a bad home... i know that this is not a guarantee but ... i do feel confident that the people who will be interested in homing him will be above board. dubai is mostly made up of very rich locals, or expat families. there are single people but they are all by law, required to be employed. i know that this is not any sort of real guarantee... but i guess it keeps the probability of getting unsuitable people interested in adopting him down to minimum.

in any case, i am hoping we can get a pilot with a family to adopt him. they are all placed in fantastic accomodation and he will, i am sure be spoilt rotten.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegansoprano

The virus does not spread in any other way. Not through mutual grooming or shared litterboxes or shared food bowls or anything else. It rarely even spreads from mother to kitten.
i read this at:
http://www.vetinfo.com/cfiv.html#FIV%20and%20diet


FIV Transmission

Q: Hello. I live in a multi-cat household. One of our cats has recently been diagnosed with FIV but not FELV. He is not showing any symptoms. How easily is it transmitted through the same drinking water? Thanks.

Michele

A:

Michele-

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is not easily passed from cat to cat. Drinking the same water should not pose much threat to uninfected cats. Mutual grooming may be sufficient contact for the virus to be spread but bite wounds are still thought to be the primary method of transmission for this disease.

Mike Richards, DVM
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by zazi
i have read both the sites...

i am happy that Fiv cats can live long healthy lives... i will just have to wait and see what happens. the plan that my husband and i had initially was that we would foster him until we found him a home. this was before the tests came back. i don't see why we need to change that plan as i am sure he will make anyone a beautiful pet... if there was a vaccine available here i would not be so hesitant but the vaccine is not available in dubai.

my cats do alot of mutual grooming, a lot of grooming of each other... a lot! i'm pretty good at introducing cats to each other BUT what if something happens? will i ever forgive myself?

honestly it has been a very big day for me... i wish these decisions were easier. all i can say for sure is that i will find him a good home no matter what happens.
The cats can still bite each other, unfortunately. I have two neutered young male cats, and one of them apparently bit the other on the head. I saw two lesions and didn't know what it was, I had to take the cat to the vet, and the vet told me it looks like a bite wound. Well, my cats love each other but apparently one still bit the other to the extent that the bitten cat had two big sores on its head.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
yes... accidents can hapen. unfortunately it's not like we can tell them what will happen if they bite each other... we're going ahead with re-homing our foster kitty. he's very sweet and exceptionally handsome. i doubt we will have too much trouble....
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