Saturday was Sassy’s 3rd Birthday and 1st Anniversary of her joining our family. The first thing we did to celebrate?! We took a trip to the vet! Don’t worry – she’s fine. It was just time for her yearly check up, and unfortunately for her it was scheduled on her birthday. I know, I know…. what were you thinking, MOM?!? Anyway, she did well for most of the time. She wasn’t fond of the car ride over there, but once she got into the exam room she had a good time exploring and getting treats from the vet.
This was just the second time I’ve been to this vet (the first time was with Caster when he had an entire nail sheath stuck in his eye). We switched vets recently, so I am still trying to get a feel for whether or not I like this one. Seeing how this vet would be with Sassy and what she would say about FIV was going to be a huge indicator of whether or not we would continue seeing her. I’ve already had one bad experience with a vet giving me terrible information about FIV, and I didn’t want another one. The visit got off to a shaky start. The vet tech came in to weigh Sassy and ask about how she was doing (she already knew she was FIV+ because I told them that when I made Sassy’s appointment). Then she asked me if I knew for sure if Sassy had FIV or if she had just been vaccinated against FIV, as vaccinated cats will test positive for life. If you’ve read our post about the FIV vaccine or if you’ve read anything about the vaccine at all, then you know that there is NO way to tell if a cat actually has the virus or if they have been vaccinated. I politely questioned her, and she confidently assured me that there was a blood test that could be done that would determine the difference. She left the room, and I was left thinking that it was time to find another vet… again!
*Begin rant: What is with vet techs being so uneducated and giving out bad information?! In this case, the incorrect information would only result in someone wasting $150 on a blood test that would just again tell them that their cat is FIV+. But a tech at the vet’s office I called when we first rescued Sassy told me that I should just put her down, and then an actual vet told me that Sassy had AIDS, would probably live a few years more, and should just be kept outside. Giving out bad information like this is so incredibly dangerous! Thankfully I didn’t listen to those people, but others might! This is why education and awareness about FIV and other diseases like this is so very important. It could literally mean the difference between life and death. The fact that there are veterinary professionals out there giving such terrible advice is just scary. I understand that there is so much to know and that one person can’t be expected to know everything, but if you don’t actually know about something then just admit it and refer the patient to someone who does! End rant*
Thankfully the vet came in a few minutes later and the first thing she said was, “There is no test that will tell you if Sassy has FIV or if she has been vaccinated.” Phew. At least the vet knows what she’s talking about. She then went on to say that none of the vets in or around where we live will even administer the FIV vaccine, and as Sassy was found as a stray here, chances are she really is FIV+ and wasn’t just vaccinated. Oh well, I wasn’t worried about that anyway. Moving on. Overall, the vet said Sassy is doing really well and is healthy. However, her back teeth have some tartar build up and there is some gum inflammation, so she recommended that Sassy have a dental cleaning done sometime within the next six months. I was afraid that would be the case – dental issues are very common with FIV+ kitties, so I wasn’t surprised. So after Christmas, we will be scheduling a dental for Sassy girl.
Okay, Sassy’s telling me that I need to get on to the good stuff. Okay, okay, okay…
When we got home, the real celebration began. Sassy got to open her present……
A BRAND NEW SCRATCHING POST!!!
The Ins & Outs of FIV
The FIV Vaccine: What You Need to Know
FIV+ Cats CAN Live with FIV- Cats: 7 Real-Life Stories of Peaceful, Happy, & Healthy Coexistence
Sassy would like to especially thank Dezi, Lexi, and Mom Audra from Deziz World for this beautiful birthday card. It really made her feel special. Thanks, girls.