Updated Veterinary Guidelines for Cat Health: FIV and FeLV

The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) has updated their testing and management guidelines for the feline retroviruses FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) and FeLV (feline leukemia virus).

These two potentially life-threatening illnesses can be managed with proper owner education, testing, and vaccinations.  As the AAFP notes in an article on phys.org:

“Education and early testing can greatly assist in the treatment and management of feline retrovirus infections. Routine veterinary care, when cats are well and when they are sick, can lead to better care and decrease the spread of infection…with regular healthcare and reduced stress, cats infected with retroviruses, especially FIV, may live many healthy years.”

The new guidelines are designed for veterinarians in private practice, as well as those in shelter medicine, because these diseases can spread in multi-cat environments.

Testing is key to identifying infected cats, especially when they are in contact with other cats.  FIV is often spread via saliva in bite wounds, especially in adult males.  About 3-5% of cats in North America have FIV.  FeLV is commonly passed from the mother to her kittens, often through grooming and feeding.  4% of cats in North America are thought to have FeLV.

Vets can download the 2020 guidelines via the AAFP website HERE.  Cat owners interested in learning more about FIV and FeLV can download an electronic owner education brochure HERE.  You can learn more about how to spot an infected cat, testing and vaccinations, and how to care for a cat living with FIV or FeLV.

 

 

Meet FACE Success Story Harvey!

How adorable is Harvey?!

This cute 7 year old pup started experiencing weakness in his back legs.  An exam at San Diego’s Veterinary Speciality Hospital showed that Harvey was suffering from a herniated disc and needed spinal surgery.

“The cost was way beyond what we could afford,” said Harvey’s owner.  FACE Life Sponsor Ruggable provided financial assistance to help Harvey get his operation.

He is now on his way to a full recovery at home with his family!

 

Meet FACE Success Story Snuggles!

Poor little Snuggles had a rough start in life.  His mom Debra found him living on the streets.  Snuggles had a mangled leg and his veterinarian suspected that it was due to either a birth defect or a very early injury.

Snuggles needed a limb amputation to prevent infection and improve his overall quality of life.  Debra was unable to afford the full cost of the surgery, so she and her vet reached out to FACE for help.  We were able to provide them with the needed financial assistance.

“I would like to send a great big thank you to the FACE Foundation for donating towards Snuggles’ surgery. He is doing great after seeing Dr. Morris and Rancho Del Oro Veterinary Hospital for his first follow up visit.  Snuggles and I are so grateful.” – Debra

 

Ohio State’s “Honoring the Bond” Program Helps Grieving Pet Owners

The hardest part about sharing your life with a companion animal is when the time comes to say goodbye.  The loss of a beloved pet is difficult for all pet parents.  Luckily, there are some helpful support resources out there, including Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center’s Honoring the Bond program.

Honoring the Bond not only helps clients of the Veterinary Medical Center (providing on-site social work services) but also pet owners everywhere.

You can visit their website and download information resources on pet loss topics such as:

  • Deciding on when and why to consider euthanasia
  • Coping with the loss of a pet
  • Helping children handle the death of a family pet
  • Do other animals in the home grieve the loss of a companion?

Ohio State has also compiled a great suggested reading list on topics related to pet loss, including making end of life decisions and children’s books about the loss of a pet.  You can also find a list of hotlines and online sites that support grieving pet owners.