Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) is one of the most common infectious diseases in cats.
Feline immunodeficiency disease is caused by a retrovirus of the lentivirus genus, and is sometimes called cat AIDS. The disease in cats assumes characteristics similar to HIV/AIDS in humans, however it does not affect people.
FIV is a poorly resistant virus in the environment, but it seriously affects the immune system of infected cats - leaving them more susceptible to infections and secondary diseases.
Cats become infected with the feline immunodeficiency virus through physical contact and secretions such as saliva - biting, scratching, sharing drinking fountains and toys, fighting or sexual contact. Infected females can transmit the virus to offspring during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
At an early stage, clinical signs of FIV can be manifested by fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, behavior changes, diarrhea and skin problems, but it is possible that cats with FIV do not show signs of illness for long periods of time. time.
With advancing age, immune failures, blood disorders, opportunistic infections, neoplasms and various chronic diseases appear, often resulting in the death of animals.
Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for FIV and medical treatment is symptomatic. Therefore, the best way to prevent the spread of the disease between animals is through an early diagnosis.
FIV positive animals should be isolated from other healthy animals in order to limit the spread of the virus between animals. Despite the seriousness of the disease, it is possible to offer comfort and a stable life to these cats.