Last time we talked, I talked about something pretty important, and that was Thanksgiving weight! Everyone here must think I’m really smart because I’m here today to talk about another important subject and that is combo testing! I’ll introduce myself again in case you’ve furrgotten, but I am Thresh! I enjoy large doses of catnip, sleeping, and binge eating! I am Finnick’s brother and I have been here at Twin Maples furr 4 years!

Have you ever heard of combo testing? If you haven’t, you’re in luck because I’ll explain everything and why the doctors here encourage doing the test! Furrst off, what exactly are we testing furr, you ask? Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency (FIV)! Both of these are only specific in cats! Feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency are found worldwide and the number one source of getting these infections is through a cat bite. They are both shed in saliva, nasal secretions, urine, and feces. Another source of infection can occur when a pregnant cat that has either of these infections gives birth. In that situation, the kittens might have been born with the disease, or may get it when the mother grooms them. 

When cats are diagnosed with feline leukemia, it simply means that their immune system is suppressed and those kitties are more likely to get an upper respiratory infections or other illnesses like cancer, inflammation of the intestines, and anemia. Sadly furr us cats, there is no treatment furr this disease. 80-90% of us cats that get infected will die within 3-4 years of us being diagnosed. However, if the test comes back positive furr feline leukemia, it is best to keep us indoors so that we cannot infect any other kitties that may be outside. Another reason to keep us indoors is so we can be protected against infectious diseases that may be outdoors!

Feline immunodeficiency virus reduces the ability of the cat’s immune system to respond to other infections that other cats would normally be able to overcome and clear. This also means that these infections could possibly become chronic, prolonged, or recurrent. Unlike feline leukemia, there is no vaccine to help prevent kitties from picking this virus up. You can minimize the risk of your kitty catching this by making sure they are spayed or neutered, and keeping them indoors if possible.

The test is simple! It is a small blood draw that takes 10 minutes to run. The doctors here like to test all kitties, starting when they weigh 2 pounds. This test will help us and you as owners prepare furr the rest of that kitties life! If you are just now bringing in your mature kitty furr an exam and vaccines, there are no worries, you can still get the combo test done! Sometimes us cats don’t show any symptoms that we have feline leukemia or immunodeficiency furr years, so it is always great to be sure that we don’t have it!

If the combo test comes back negative and your feline furriends ventures outdoors every now and then, there is a vaccine to help prevent them from catching feline leukemia virus! One of the lovely doctors at Twin Maples can help you decide if that vaccine is something your fur baby needs!

I hope that you will consider doing that combo test on your furr baby and understand the risks if they are not tested or vaccinated against this disease! Everyone at Twin Maples is more than happy to talk to you about this disease and how to take steps in order to ensure your kitty doesn’t have it! Us house cats love seeing other kitties come in here, we hope to see your cat in soon!

 

Bye for now!

-Thresh