The term feline immunodeficiency virus shot (FIV shot) may be new to some people. If you are a cat lover, you will definitely want to know what this term means. This is a vaccine that can protect your cat from a fatal disease. If your cat is an outdoor cat, you definitely will want to know more about this vaccine.
Although the feline immunodeficiency virus shot has the potential to protect your cat from a fatal disease, and many veterinarians recommend it for outdoor cats, there is a great deal of controversy whether a cat should have these shots or not.
The reason for this controversy is that the FIV shot wipes out the immune system so if a cat is exposed to a secondary infection, it will not be able to fight this infection. The argument is, although a cat owner may immunize a cat so it won’t contact a deadly disease, what chances are there that the cat will die from another infection because of a weak immune system? A cat that has not been immunized with the FIV shot will have a greater chance of survival from another disease.
The most common infections usually involve the skin, mouth, gums, upper respiratory tract (nose and sinuses) and urinary tract.
The only way to protect your cat from FIV is to keep your cats indoors to keep them from being exposed from this virus. This infection is mainly transmitted by being bitten from another cat. Therefore, it is wise to keep your cat indoors so it won’t be exposed to FIV.
You may feel that you know that your cat does not wander off too far, and therefore, you feel safe to let your pet run outdoors for a short while. Many vets still believe that it is wise to get the FIV shots along with the FeLV, which is the feline leukemia vaccine, if a cat is going to be outdoors even if it is a short period. According to the article in the magazine, “Natural Health, Ask the Experts,” Feline leukemia and FIV are the most common infectious diseases in cats.
In the article, “Ask the Experts,” there is this statement: “There are always risks associated with vaccines. A tumor at the injection site can occur.”
It is also suggested that cats that have been vaccinated should be tattooed or implanted with a microchip or other permanent identifier. Also important, is to remember that a cat owner should see a vet to treat any cuts or infections as quickly as possible.
Source: Magazine, Natural Health, article: Ask the Experts by Cheryl Cross, D.V.M., DACP, a holistic veterinarian in Knoxville, Tenn.