Feline AIDS, also known as FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus), is a viral disease that affects the immune system of cats. Although often compared to HIV in humans, FIV is specific to felines and cannot be transmitted to humans. A Vaucluse veterinarian explains the symptoms, mode of transmission and treatment options for this complex disease.
What are the symptoms?
A cat affected by FIV will gradually lose weight. Your body temperature will be higher than normal and you will experience a drop in energy or activity. The feline will show less interest in food. “Skin sores or infections may be more common and take longer to heal.“adds the veterinarian.
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An infected cat will also experience respiratory symptoms such as coughing, sniffling, or sneezing. The animal will also suffer diarrhea or vomiting as well as eye or nasal discharge, conjunctivitis, etc. Cats with FIV may eventually have coat that appears unkempt, which is often a sign of illness in cats.
How is FIV transmitted?
The main mode of transmission of IVF is the bite. The virus is usually present in the saliva of infected cats and a deep bite can transmit the virus from one cat to another. “This is why FIV transmission is more common in unsterilized male cats that fight frequently.“, specifies the veterinarian. FIV can be transmitted from the infected mother to her kittens during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. Finally, the feline immunodeficiency virus can also be transmitted during sexual relations between cats.
Is IVF fatal? What life expectancy does my cat have?
The life expectancy of a cat infected with the FIV virus can vary greatly depending on various factors such as the quality of veterinary care received, the presence of other diseases or infections, the age of the cat at the time of diagnosis and its health status. general.
FIV is generally not a rapidly fatal disease for cats. “Many cats with FIV can live relatively normal lives for several years after diagnosis.“, estimates the doctor, “especially if they stay healthy and protected from other possible infections“On the other hand, some cats develop secondary complications that can reduce their life expectancy.”The infected cat will tend to develop other diseases more easily. But IVF does not justify euthanasia in any case“insists the vet.
To control symptoms, it is necessary to have regular check-ups with the veterinarian to test for secondary infections, perform dental work and other treatments to keep the cat’s quality of life as high as possible. ““A healthy cat should be examined once a year, a cat with FIV should be examined every 6 months.”estimates the vet.
With proper care, many cats with FIV can live long, relatively healthy lives. If you have a cat with FIV, consult your veterinarian for advice on how to best manage the disease and maintain a good quality of life for your pet.
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