FIV-FeLV Diagnostics More Vital Than Ever as Vaccination Rates Fall
Alarmingly low vaccination rates among UK cats mean that early detection and screening, with a separate or combination FIV and FeLV diagnostic test kit, is more important than ever.
Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) are two of the most serious cat diseases and among the most infectious. Although there is an effective and economical vaccine against FeLV, a recent survey shows that almost half of UK cat owners skip their cat’s annual vaccination.
A survey by Merial Animal Health of 2000 UK cat owners found that 48% of don’t take their cats for their annual vaccination, while almost a third don’t have their cats vaccinated at all.
Female cat owners between 18 and 35 were least well informed
The survey uncovered that 60% of cat owners were unaware of or knew very little about the diseases that pose a life-threatening risk to their cats. Further questioning showed that female cat owners between 18 and 35 were least well informed. 35% of the women polled said they didn’t believe vaccination necessary, with 25% of men holding the same opinion.
Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) undermines the immune system of infected cats leaving them open to secondary infections. Some cats, testing FeLV positive, stay healthy but may infect other cats through their saliva.
At present, there is no proven effective treatment or vaccine against Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). Because FIV infected cats might live normally but still transmit the infection to other cats, it’s important to test for the virus.
FIV and FeLV diagnosis is vital to the health and wellbeing of the wider cat population
Veterinary testing for FIV and FeLV diagnosis is vital to the health and wellbeing of the wider cat population. With the fall-off in protection rates generally, it’s also important to quickly diagnose individual cats showing the diverse symptoms that might indicate FeLV-FIV weakened immunity.
Saving time for both the veterinary laboratory and worried cat owners, FASTest FeLV-FIV is a combination FeLV and FIV diagnostic test. Simple, convenient and clear-cut, the test kit’s long shelf life and room temperature storage make it a practical lab-based or field test for individual cats or screening commercial catteries, cat breeders and animal charities on-site.
Sadly, it’s not just cat owners who are skipping their pet’s annual vaccination. A survey by pet charity PDSA found that the proportion of UK dogs not protected from dog diseases such as parvovirus fell from 82% in 2011 to only 75% today.
Reassuringly, 50% of women and 36% of men said they’d welcome more information about their cat’s health. Although 53% named social media and online as their main source of FIV-FeLV and other pet health information, 75% still sought out their local vet as the first point of call for advice on their cat’s health.