Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm
BOOK ONLINE NOW!

Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Abscesses

Tuesday, June 18, 2019


Zac loves the great outdoors. Occasionally, despite copious marking of his territory someone invades his space. Usually they work it out, a growl here, a hiss there, but sometimes the
invader just doesn't take the hint.
Zac prefers not to fight, but if he has to he goes in with guns blazing.
Last week he came off second best. His carer noticed that he wasn't walking properly on his left front leg. When she looked closely his lower leg was swollen.
Zac wasn't interested in his breakfast and retired to bed while she phoned the vet. When she picked him up he cried and shook. Gently she brought him into Canberra Cat Vet.
Dr Georgia found tiny bite marks either side of his arm. His foe's tiny teeth had pierced the skin and left behind a bouquet of bacteria. The skin closed over almost immediately sealing out the oxygen that would kill these particular bacteria.
Pus had accumulated forming an abscess. The best treatment was to drain the pus and let some oxygen in to kill the bacteria. Zac woke from the anaesthetic feeling much better. 
After a few days of antibiotics and pain relief he was back to normal.
Dr Georgia advised Zac to stay indoors or in his outdoor enclosure to avoid further confrontations. 
Fortunately Zac is vaccinated against Feline AIDS with the FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) vaccine. Cat bites spread the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. Dr Georgia says that all cats with outdoor access should be vaccinated against FIV.

Feline FIV and AIDS

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Australia has one of the highest prevalences of FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) in the world BUT testing positive for FIV is not the same as having the disease feline AIDS.

Feline AIDS describes the terminal stages of disease which may not occur for many years – or at all! A positive FIV test means that your cat has been infected by the virus.

 Are my family at risk?No. Although FIV belongs to the same family of viruses as HIV in people, it only infects cats. There is no risk of cross infection of either virus between species.

 Are other cats in the household likely to be infected?

 The virus is shed in the saliva of infected cats and spread by biting. Cats with a history of cat bite abscesses are more likely to test positive for FIV. Spread between cats in a household is unlikely unless they fight. Normal social interactions such as grooming rarely transmit FIV. The best way to minimise the chances of FIV infection is to confine uninfected cats indoors away from aggressive cats.  How is FIV diagnosed?

FIV is diagnosed with a blood test at the surgery which detects an immune response (antibodies) to the virus. If this test is positive your cat is infected. Kittens with immunity passed on from their mother may test positive until 4 months of age. If a young kitten tests positive we retest them at six months of age. Will my cat recover?

Once a cat is infected with the virus it remains infected for the rest of its life but not all infected cats  become ill.  What diseases does FIV cause?

Like HIV, FIV suppresses the body’s defences so that the cat is vulnerable to diseases it would normally  defeat. The cat is vulnerable to chronic or recurrent infections that fail to respond to regular treatment. These include:
  1. Inflammation of the mouth and tongue leading to appetite loss, drooling and mouth pain
  2. Weight loss
  3. Poor appetite
  4. Fever
  5. Signs of brain dysfunction such as aggression, unequal pupils, convulsions and behavioural changes
  6. Swollen lymph glands
  7. Unusual infections like toxoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, chronic flu, pneumonia, skin disease
  8. Tumours especially those of the lymph system
The non specific signs of weight loss, poor appetite and fever occur in many diseases of cats and are usually unrelated to FIV. Cats with FIV are more likely to suffer from these signs and diseases more often and  be less able to throw them off even with treatment. FIV positive cats have a shorter life expectancy on average than FIV negative cats. Is there any treatment?

Secondary infections with bacteria or fungi are treated with antibiotics and anti-fungals but no specific treatment for the virus is available. Trials with anti-HIV drugs such as AZT have reduced mouth inflammation in affected cats but the cost and availability of AZT makes its use in general practice difficult at present. Anti-inflammatory treatment reduces mouth inflammation and peps up the appetite in many cats. Should I have my cat euthanased?

Certainly not on the basis of a positive FIV test!  Like humans with HIV, cats with FIV appear healthy and happy for a long time before getting sick. On the other hand if your cat has succumbed to multiple infections, is no longer responsive to treatment or is suffering from a chronically painful mouth then euthanasia is the kindest solution. How can I help my cat?

 Confinement indoors of an FIV positive cat  reduces the risk of infection with other agents. It also reduces the risk of transmission of the virus to other cats. A good quality, highly palatable diet as well as worming every 3 months and at least annual health checks will enhance the disease free period. Infections especially abscesses require prompt and aggressive treatment. How do we prevent FIV infection?  Desexing and confinement indoors, especially at night, reduces fighting and therefore the risk of infection. We recommend vaccination with FIV vaccine for all cats with access to the outdoors. Cats older than 6 months of age are tested for FIV before the first vaccination. A series of three primary vaccinations is given 2-4 weeks apart and then a booster is given annually.

 

 


Search Blog

Recent Posts


Tags

best cat clinic ulcer hyperthyroidism rub painful prey holes in teeth antiviral aspirin thirsty poisoning bump eye ulcer pet insurance best clinic eye infection overweight castration christmas marking body language depomedrol ribbon sudden blindness cat enclosure face rub decision to euthanase weight loss enclosure asthma kitten play introductions hairball aerokat conflict behaviour noisy breathing sick cat best vet Hill's Metabolic socialisation tick collapse mouth breathing twitching straining open day gasping corneal ulcer high blood pressure cat friendly allergy, enteritis sense of smell head anxiety heart disease spray strange behaviour feliway diarrhoea salivation cat history vaccination dementia kidneys inflammatory bowel disease vomiting lump tartar furball blood in urine hunter permethrin appointment panleukopaenia hearing worms adipokines off food ulcers flu blind teeth drinking a lot senses dilated pupils blood urine plants blood pressure xylitol petting cat yowling love snake bite cta fight examination dental blockage brown snake pain killer hunting snot cat flu cortisone skinny new year radioactive iodine advantage pet holiday hospital activity old litter feline herpesvirus flea prevention goodbye diet unsociable bite sensitive pain relief cage stress food puzzles cat enclosures blue bladder change fat diabetes sucking wool fabric echocardiography allergy heaing blood test outdoor cat panadol liver bed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy massage visit AIDS snakebite introducing antibiotics house call kitten exercise kidney disease desex hyperactive grooming pica pet meat urinating on curtains or carpet Canberra Cat Vet heavy breathing tradesmen enemies urinating outside litter fleas stiff rough play dymadon hiding paralysis tick grass cryptococcosis ulcerated nose weight eyes spey panadeine sore ears scratching paralysed bad breath dry food competition IBD skin cancer slow sneeze biopsy obesity new cat poisonous bladder stones return home eye sick cognitive dysfunction African wild cat rash introduction sensitive stomach fever runny eyes snakes runny nose anaemia discount cough diuretics learning cat rigid head odour foreign body kibble cat vet fits drinking more nails snake feline AIDS stare into space sore check-up FIV chlamydia pheromone arthritis ACT restless whiskers on heat cat behaviour mental health of cats attack lily blocked cat hard faeces vet visit joints intestine breathing difficult rolls groom hungry desexing worming unwell fear when to go to vet constipation health check vocal free aggressive tumour New Year's Eve pancreatitis signs of pain lymphoma plaque tablet skin mince FORLS home visit insulin birthday checkup weight control pain computer tapeworm vomit fluid pills cat containment RSPCA scratching post senior tooth holes thiamine deficiency home hole lilies calicivirus poisons in season hunched over carrier paralysis jumping panleukopenia cranky train poison vision polish renal disease training wet litter kidney cystitis catoberfest dental treatment kittens wobbles snuffles best veterinarian toxins breeder microchip Canberra information night itchy gifts touch thyroid new kitten seizures scale behaviour change headache meows a lot cancer paracetamol abscess blindness revolution poisonous plants crytococcosus lilly fight furballs comfortis spraying not eating pill scratch mycoplasma urinating toxic dental check holidays appetite mass string sun old cat litter box wool prednisolone panamax feline enteritis urination cat worms snuffle opening hours open night physical activity indoor cats kitten deaths sore eyes herpesvirus roundworm nose scabs introduce hunters obese changed lick client night cat fight moving euthanasia lame aggression award abscess,cat fight photo competition vaccine pred flea treatment annual check urine spraying fireworks hypertension virus

Archive

A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

Get Directions