Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is comparable to AIDS in humans and is often found simultaneously occurring in cats with feline leukemia virus (FeLV). Similar to AIDS, FIV is present in blood, cerebrospinal fluid, and saliva. The most common transmission of the virus is through a cat fight or during pregnancy as an infected mother passes it to her offspring. In very rare cases, a cat may contract FIV through saliva. Feline immunodeficiency virus is a slowly progressing virus and cannot survive outside its host.

FIV is species-specific, meaning it cannot be acquired from another species, nor can it be passed to another species; it only occurs within cats. Male cats are almost twice as likely to acquire feline immunodeficiency virus, reflecting their propensity to roam as well as quarrel with other cats.

Common illnesses that may occur simultaneously: 

  • Diarrhea. 
  • Eye disease. 
  • Fever.
  • Neurological problems. 
  • Pneumonia. 
  • Sinus infection. 
  • Skin disease.
  • Swollen lymph nodes.

Diagnosing and treating FIV

The veterinarian can diagnose feline immunodeficiency virus using a blood test that can detect specific antibodies within the bloodstream. Likely, a second test will be performed called a Western Blot Test to confirm the diagnosis.

After a positive diagnosis is established, there is not much that can be done by means of treatment. Treatment is focused on keeping the cat indoors and away from other cats, preventing the pet from contracting secondary illness and acquiring any sort of infection. FIV-positive cats are capable of living somewhat normal lives when kept in good health and when FIV is detected in earlier stages.

Currently there is a non-core vaccine available for FIV; however, there is controversy surrounding the vaccine due to the fact that inoculated cats test positive with FIV because current FIV antibody tests cannot distinguish between the disease and the vaccination antibodies. Be sure to inform your veterinarian if your cat has obtained the FIV vaccine.

If you have any questions about feline immunodeficiency virus or the FIV vaccine, please contact our office.


Read what people are saying about us.

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We took our 5 month old puppy in to get neutered today and had a great experience. They educate you on expenses without making you feel guilty if you decide against extra options. We were able to pick him up 5 hours after dropping him off which was also amazing. Would highly recommend to anyone looking for a vet.

Chelsea G.'s

Dr. Genova has been my 4 legged daughter's doctor for her whole life (10 years). He is very personable, informative and kind. I seriously cannot say enough positive things about him.. Why else would I trust him to take care of my baby girl?

The rest of the staff is also very kind. Most of them have changed throughout the years but one thing that hasn't is that you can immediately tell how much they all love animals.

This is definitely one of this places that I wish I could give more than 5 stars to.

John L.

We had our first experience at Village at Main Veterinary Hospital today and I couldn't wait to write a review because of how pleased I was with the entire staff and environment. I arrived way early for my appointment but they took me anyway since it was open with no problem at all. As soon as we walked in the door my puppy and I were greeted with smiles and even staff that didn't run the counter came out and greeted and loved on my puppy as well which really put her at ease. Every staff member acknowledged our presence at some point. We were taken back to an exam room and we saw Dr. Tran who was warm and loving toward my puppy, she really took her time and you could easily see that she loves what she does. Dr. Tran covered all of my questions I had planned to ask as well as asked if I had any others. I would highly recommend this clinic to anybody who has had a bad experience at another clinic because it will totally make up for it as it did in our case. Thank you so much again for making us feel right at home and loving what you guys do, I will continue to drive 30 minutes just to have my pooch continue to see you guys :)

Tiffany B.

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