FeLV/FIV Test (Idexx snap test)

Description: This ELISA test identifies the presence of the feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and exposure to feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) in an infected cat. The test is run using a small blood sample taken from the suspect animal. See page F228 for additional information on FeLV, and page F224 for information on FIV.

Diagnostic Value: High, but specific for FeLV/FIV. In most cases this test can directly identify an animal infected with FeLV or one that has been exposed to FIV.

Risks to Patient: Virtually none, provided the blood sample is collected by a trained professional.

Relative Cost: Low.

Test Procedure: Two to three drops of blood are mixed with the appropriate amount of the provided conjugate. Once combined, the sample is lightly mixed and then placed on the snap test. The test is then placed on a flat surface and the results are read in 10 minutes.

Interpretation of Results: The test has four colored dots that may appear after the test has been performed. Depending on the dots that appear, different results may be interpreted. If only the top dot appears, the test is negative and the cat probably does not have FeLV/FIV. If the dot on the right side appears, the test is positive for FeLV and the cat is infected with that virus. If the dot on the left side appears, the test is positive for FIV and the cat has been exposed to that virus. If both the left and right dots appear, the test is positive for both FeLV and FIV. The fourth dot on the bottom is a "negative control" dot. If the left and/or right dot appears and is darker than the negative control dot, it is further confirmation of a positive result. If the negative control dot is darker than either the left or right dot, then the test is invalid for that dot only. The cat may need to be retested to confirm a result.

Treatment: Any positive animal should receive prompt veterinary medical attention. Currently, there is no cure for these viruses.