Ranting - vets 'knowledge' of FIV - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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Ranting - vets 'knowledge' of FIV

I'm a member - albeit a rather inactive one - of a online FIV+ cat group. I wanted to share a part of one posting with you all if thats ok.

"Last week we placed a young FIV+ male, Chuck, into a home with a
negative cat on Sunday. On Monday the new owner took Chuck to
an "old School" vet in the area for a bath. I've had interactions
with this vet before, he told me when I adopted my first 2 cats that
if I brought them in he would euthanize them for free. The vet
totally freaked the adopter out that Chuck was going to die in a few
weeks and that her other cat was going to die a painful horrible
death shortly after. (We do give all adopters of FIV+ cats several
handouts on the disease and we give all adopters information on
properly introducing cats.)"

This made my blood boil. Not the part about FIV+ and FIV- cats being together but the complete lack of knowledge on the part of the vet regarding FIV+ cats. Not only did his reaction prevent a needy cat having a new home but I cant quite believe there are still vets out there that believe that FIV equals PTS.

I fully understand that in some circumstances there is no choice in the matter even if the cat in question is perfectly healthy at the time. But this disease has been recognised since the mid eighties ad yet we still have vets that think cats like Toby should not be given a chance at life.

The disease is not easily transmitted and FIV+ cats can have a near normal lifespan. There are some special requirements to consider of course but, in my view, thats not a good enough reason to deny them a potentially long and happy life.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 10:32 AM
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It's very sad too.

I know that vets are required to do mandatory continuing Education hours to keep their licenses. There are two things I would love to see:

1. Mandatory participation in a free/low cost spay program that requires 4 hours a month of donated time. Equipment and supplies provided by the local SPCA or Animal Control facility. This would require either a huge fund raising effort or a local tax assessment of some sort.

2. Every two years, a return to a vet school for updating on current issues and solutions. This would include some clinical time, which can do more to change ideas than sitting in a classroom.

Nether are likely to occur, but it would be a good start.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 04:26 PM
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the problem with continuing education is that they choose what they want to learn.

My vet pays for us to go to these CE seminars. Some are just a course over the weekend locally... the two big ones are weekend long seminars in either Charleston or Myrtle Beach and include hotel stays and most meals.

The one I went to had some classes that wouldn't do me any good - like a cytology class on the differences seen in certain blood cells... I never look at blood films and wouldn't remember anything I learned. I did attent a few classes I liked but the one I was really excited about was on homeopathic medication.

The speaker discussed the benefits of raw diets, holistic and homeopathic medication, etc. He could have been better, but I really thought it would get some ideas out there and into the heads of my two coworkers I dragged into it. All they did was argue at how "crazy" what he said was.

But they still went.

The other problem is that even though the vets and staff might be learning what is becoming more main stream (like less vaccines) its a matter of putting it into practice. And a lot of times that might mean making less money.

My vets will admit that they know vaccines don't "expire" every year but they also say that they will continue to vaccinate EVERY pet EVERY year until they can get them in the door without vaccinating.

So its not that they don't know or don't have the opportunity to learn... they just don't want to open their eyes. Its sad really.

Jessie

"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast."
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Its very frustrating.

Toby goes to a vet surgery that specialises in cat care - all the vets have trained in feline care over and above the requirement. They treat other animals but its obviously geared mostly at cats. This is of course why I took Toby there - there is actually another vet much nearer - just down the road but its not a 'cat specialist' one.

I was at one point considering trying the closer vet surgery anyway just to see. But I only had to look in the window when it was shut to be put off. There was a huge poster which said something like 'Beat Cat AIDS - get your cat tested today'. And I thought - huh, huh - I don't know why but I didn't like the tone of the poster. Its a one man show that surgery and for some reason I just felt 'bad vibes' - like he would be the sort of vet that would try to convince me to put Toby to sleep.

There are three FIV+ cats - including Toby - at the vets I am at. The other cats are a good deal older and are on interferon which apparently is doing them both the power of good. I try to avoid the 'head vet' however as he tends to be a bit fatalistic towards FIV cats. Toby is currently being treated by a younger vet at the surgery who I feel is much more aware of Tobys special needs - and doesn't need much convincing that anti-inflammatories, for example, are not a good idea. On a less positive note, Tobys vet (I think) is very inexperienced (he replaced the vet I was originally taking Toby to see to avoid 'Mr Fatalistic' - a lady vet who is now on maternity leave) - but I guess you can't have it all ways.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 06:48 PM
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I took Greg to two different vets (an emergency one and a regular one) during his recent abscess drama, which is how I got the FIV+ test result. But I'm happy to say that they were both really reassuring. The idea of PTS was never even broached.

The emergency vet said that he is young and healthy overall and will probably live a relatively long and happy life.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-17-2007, 01:40 AM
 
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That's really sad to read, and I'm sorry people still feel this way. I remember a couple of years back, the county shelter got in a litter of youngish kittens that were positive for FIV. They were gorgeous cats and would not have had problems getting homes, even, I think, with the FIV diagnosis, but the shelter euthanized them. I went around with them for awhile - offering to adopt them all (I couldn't keep them all, but I know of rescues in my area that would have taken them), but they wouldn't let me. They told me that if I wanted a cat, there were plenty of healthy ones to chose from. I just think it's so sad. I see cats that are FIV+ in my area on Petfinder all the time, and since they go through no kill rescues, and disappear later, obviously, there are people out there who don't mind and will adopt them. While I realize that the county shelter may have to euthanize some cats, I think it's ridiculous to put down an otherwise adoptable kitten with no other health problems just because it's FIV+. So sad.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-17-2007, 01:43 AM
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FIV is the same as HIV in humans and they aren't PTS, they take medication for it and are fine. I don't know why the vet would want to PTS cats with FIV .
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-17-2007, 03:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OsnobunnieO
the problem with continuing education is that they choose what they want to learn.
I assume that DVM are under requirements similar to what doctors and nurses face. Our state board of nursing has over the last several years made a couple of courses mandatory for each nurse. When/if I get auditted, I had better be able to show proof of the classes or face possible loss of my license.
I think we should start a write in campaign to change the requirements.

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Skin kids - Jason, Kevin, Allison
Canine kids - Bennett & Bailey (always in our hearts), Riley, Banker, Rogue and Boz
Feline kids - Zoey, Talley and Abra
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-17-2007, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessamica8
I remember a couple of years back, the county shelter got in a litter of youngish kittens that were positive for FIV. They were gorgeous cats and would not have had problems getting homes, even, I think, with the FIV diagnosis, but the shelter euthanized them. I went around with them for awhile - offering to adopt them all (I couldn't keep them all, but I know of rescues in my area that would have taken them), but they wouldn't let me. They told me that if I wanted a cat, there were plenty of healthy ones to chose from.
Not defending this practice at all, but just trying to understand why they would do this -- from the perspective of a kill shelter, they have to euthanize so many cats, all the time, because they don't have room or resources to care for them. FIV+ is an easy criterion they can use to decide which ones to eliminate. From their perspective, there are only so many homes that cats can go to. Adopting out an FIV+ cat probably means that somewhere down the line, a healthy cat will have to be PTS in its place. So it's lifeboat math to them.
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