Is Your Cat FIV Positive? Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV): Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) belongs to the family of retrovirus that severely compromises the immune system of the cats rendering it vulnerable to bacterial, viral or parasitical infections. The virus stays in the body of cats for years and can go completely unnoticed until it reaches more advanced stages.
What Causes FIV?
Feline immunodeficiency is caused when the virus attacks the white blood cells of the body that are mainly responsible for providing immunity. CD4, a type of WBC which protects the body against various infections is damaged and killed as the virus fixes its roots firmly in the body.
Being a virus, FIV is highly contagious and is transferred from one cat to the other when they come in contact with each other while fighting or, biting each other. It doesn’t spread through daily activities like sharing litter boxes or food, sneezing or grooming. Other than this, feline mothers are the main source of transmitting the disease in their offspring.
Although this virus is asymptomatic, as the disease progresses to the advanced stage, some cats may show symptoms like:
- Weight Loss
- Hair Loss
- Redness Of Skin
- Excessive Urination
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Behavioral changes
- Inflammation of mouth and gums
- Periodontal Diseases
Treatment And Prevention
FIV cannot be treated just like HIV in humans. Felines can only be vaccinated with Fel-O-Vax that boosts the immune system against the virus. However, there is no cure if the kitty is already infected. Maintaining a good health of your furry feline by providing nutritious food and necessary supplements can greatly reduce the risk of contracting the virus in healthy cats. Therefore, prevent your cat from contracting this deadly virus by taking care of her and the food she eats. Make sure you keep her indoors most of the times if she is fidgety and picks up the fight easily.
Use these tips to prevent the disease and stay alert if the cat shows any symptoms related to this viral infection. Check with the vet immediately if you find one. Your alertness can help save a life.