Skip to content

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus: All You Have to Know


    Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is among the many commonest in addition to main infectious illnesses in cats. In contaminated cats, FIV weakens the immune system, leaving the cat vulnerable to different infections. Although there isn’t a remedy for FIV, present analysis means that cats with FIV can have lengthy life spans if they don’t even have Feline Leukemia Virus (FLV). Though cats with FIV would possibly seem regular for a number of years, they are going to be affected by immune system deficiency sooner or later. Which means ordinarily innocent microorganisms, viruses, micro organism, and fungi within the setting could cause extreme illnesses.

    How Does FIV Transmission Occur?

    tuxedo cat in a wooden patio

    The first transmission automobile for FIV has bitten accidents from an contaminated cat. Informal, non-aggressive encounters, comparable to sharing water bowls or on a regular basis grooming, don’t appear to be how the virus spreads. Due to this fact, cats in locations in safe social constructions the place housemates don’t struggle are at little danger of getting contaminated with FIV. 

    An essential factor to know is that sexual contact isn’t how FIV spreads amongst cats. Sporadic situations exist the place an contaminated mama cat might transmit the virus to her offspring. And if the mother turns into contaminated with FIV throughout being pregnant, the danger of transmission will increase.

    As a result of FIV is transmitted by way of deep chunk wounds, un-neutered male cats with entry out of doors have probably the most important danger of FIV an infection. It is because they’re more likely to struggle with different cats. There’s presently no vaccination out there in The US and Canada to guard towards FIV, so you must restrict contact with cats that is perhaps contaminated by maintaining your cats indoors in addition to checking your cats inside the residence.

    Three Phases of FIV An infection 

    three tabby cats looking at the camera

    There are three phases of FIV an infection in cats: acute, asymptomatic (or latent), and progressive.

    The acute section can usually occur 1-3 months after the preliminary an infection. Throughout this time, the virus is carried to lymph nodes, the place it reproduces in white blood cells referred to as T-lymphocytes. The an infection then spreads to different lymph nodes all through the physique, leading to a swollen lymph node often accompanied by fever, lethargy, and lack of urge for food. This section of an infection could also be extraordinarily gentle and is often attributed to different causes of the insanity.

    Following the acute section, the contaminated cat will enter an asymptomatic stage, which can final for months to a number of years. All through this time, the an infection replicates steadily inside the cells of the physique’s immune system, whereas the cat won’t present any outdoors indications of ailment. Some cats will keep on this section and by no means ever progress to the progressive stage. Contaminated cats often show abnormalities of their blood work, comparable to decrease leukocyte ranges or excessive blood proteins.

    Most disease-related FIV isn’t from the virus however from infections or troubles with the physique’s immune system. Because the an infection spreads out with the physique’s immune system, cats will enter an immuno-compromised state throughout which secondary infections would possibly occur. That is the progressive section that causes immunodeficiency syndrome. Cats would possibly endure from recurrent infections, comparable to pores and skin, eyes, urinary tract, or higher respiratory system infections. 

    Gingivostomatitis, an irritation of the gum and different extreme oral illnesses, can also be prevalent in cats contaminated with FIV. The extent of those diseases can differ considerably. Analysis additionally exhibits that they’re much more more likely to develop most cancers than wholesome cats. Weight reduction, seizures, conduct modifications, and neurological situations are all doable. Nonetheless, as soon as a cat contracts most cancers or different important infections, survival time is often no various months.

    Therapy and Administration of FIV

    tortoiseshell cat in the vet

    Sadly, there’s presently no definitive remedy for FIV. Nonetheless, it’s important to know that whereas it’s tough to foretell the survival of FIV-positive cats, they’ll nonetheless have high quality of life and might stay a number of years if appropriately managed.

    For a cat identified with FIV, the goals are to scale back the specter of secondary infections and forestall the unfold of FIV to different cats. Each targets are greatest met by maintaining cats indoors and separated from different pet cats. Spaying and neutering will considerably scale back the danger of different cats contracting the virus. Cats with FIV have to be fed a well-balanced eating regimen with nutritional vitamins and dietary supplements. Uncooked feeding also needs to be averted to reduce the specter of food-borne microbial and parasitic infections. Common checkups ought to be organized no less than each six months. 

    Care and monitoring of FIV-infected cats are way more crucial than uninfected cats.

    Sadly, most FIV-infected cats aren’t identified till they’ve lived with different cats for years. In such conditions, all cats within the residence should be evaluated. Ideally, all contaminated cats must be separated from the non-infected cat. Nonetheless, it’s important to notice that as a result of FIV is especially handed via chunk accidents, transmission is much less more likely to occur in houses with regular social constructions (i.e., households the place cats don’t struggle).

    Earlier than coming into the family, any new cat or kitten should be immunized towards different transmittable brokers. In most environments, the virus won’t stay for greater than a few hours. Nonetheless, FIV-infected cats are sometimes a number of contagious illnesses which will pose some hazard to a newcomer. For these causes, prudence dictates a radical cleaning and sanitation of meals bowls, bedding litter containers, and toys to reduce the mode of transmission of FIV and different infections. A diluted bleach (4 ounces of bleach in 1 gallon of water) makes an outstanding disinfectant. Vacuuming rugs and mopping flooring with an acceptable cleanser are additionally beneficial.