If there is a disease that is especially dangerous for cats, that is the one caused by the feline immunideficiency virus or FIV. And it is that if you never have to let time pass to “see if it heals itself”, with this not only is it not something that should be done, but it is that if we think that the animal is going to recover we are very wrong . In fact, what could happen is that we lose it.
The feline is resistant, but it is a living being that becomes ill and that, sometimes, needs veterinary help. That is why I am going to tell you what are the causes of the feline immundeficiency virus.
What is the VIF?
The feline immunodeficiency virus is a lentivirus that only affects cats; In other words, it is not contagious to humans since the feline AIDS virus is different from the one that attacks people. But otherwise they are very similar: FIV destroys the animal’s immune system , making it vulnerable to other diseases or infections.
In addition, it is chronic and causes the progressive deterioration of the feline’s immune function . But if it is detected early it can be well controlled.
What are the causes?
A healthy cat can end up sick if it is infected, but only if it has not been vaccinated and / or if it already has a weak immune system . For this reason, it is important to ensure that the vaccine is given as a puppy.
How is it spread?
Feline AIDS is transmitted from cat to cat through bites , but also from mother cats to their children who are pregnant or nursing. It is not known whether parasites such as fleas or ticks act as transmitters, although this possibility is not ruled out.
What are the symptoms and how is it diagnosed?
The symptoms are as follows :
- Loss of appetite
- Recurrent infections
- Mental impairment
- Abortions and fertility problems
- Dull coat
- Inflammation of the connective tissue
Once we suspect that the cat is sick, it must be taken to the veterinarian for an immunodeficiency test and a blood test.
How is it treated?
There is no cure, so the treatment is based on strengthening the animal’s defenses with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory drugs. In addition, he should be given a high-calorie diet to avoid weight loss.
Can it be prevented?
Not 100%, but giving it the FIV vaccine as a puppy (and its boosters a year), preventing it from going out on the street and castrating it reduces the risk of infection.