Many people are unaware that animals can fall victim to many of the same illnesses that humans do, and the Acquired Immunodeficiency Virus is no exception. Although not harmful to humans, feline AIDS belongs in the same family as human AIDS. Just like the effects on humans, it attacks the feline's immune system. It is estimated that between 1 and 3% of cats suffer from Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) in the U.S. Read on to learn more.
What to know about FIV
This disease in cats is not necessarily a deadly one, you can expect a cat infected with FIV to live a relatively healthy, long life, as long as special care is taken. Unfortunately, there is no cure for FIV at this time, however. Here are a few tips on keeping your kitty as healthy as possible.
See the Vet: Regular veterinary care will become even more important for cats with FIV. Your vet may suggest a visit at least every 6 months or so. The vet will perform certain checks on your pet to help ascertain the progression of the disease, such as weighing, the presence of infections, urinalysis and blood counts. Vaccinations should not be delayed, it might save your cat's life since this disease tends to cause symptoms of diseases to be worse.
Keep Kitty In: Cats that roam outdoors tend to pick up infections and parasites more easily than indoor cats. A cat's natural instincts mean that they will seek prey, like rodents, birds, and squirrels, that can carry other diseases and bugs. Another issue is preventing the spread of the disease to other neighborhood cats. Cats can be extremely territorial which leads to fights. A minor scratch on your cat could turn into a life-threatening infection when dealing with FEV. If you cat is spayed or neutered, it's a lot easier to keep them from going out and endangering themselves.
Watch for Infections: Often cats can pick up eye or upper respiratory tract infections, much like we do. Watch for eye and nose drainage and seek treatment. Examine your cat's teeth every week or so for the presence of abscesses and tumors and consider a professional cleaning. A major sign of infection (and many other things) is diarrhea and loss of appetite.
Feed Carefully: Make sure to keep the feeding area nice and clean by using a bleach solution on the floor and keeping the food and water dishes fresh. Feed more often using smaller quantities of food to prevent bacteria growth on the food, and never allow your cat to eat raw meat.
To learn more about how FIV, contact clinics such as After Hours Veterinary Emergency Clinic Inc.