What is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus? - Cats - Pet health conditions - Vetster

What is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus? - Vetster

What is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus?

Posted on in Cats

Cat FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus)

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a virus of the retrovirus family called lentiviruses. It affects cats worldwide and infected cats may not show symptoms for a long period of time after the initial infection occurred. The virus affects cats slowly and infected cats may remain healthy for many years. The virus primarily attacks the cat’s immune system. The virus can be transmitted to another cat if through close cat contacted including via infected cat bites. 

What Are the Symptoms of FIV?

An FIV-infected cat may take years to show any symptoms and the symptoms of infection may be similar to those of other diseases. Once an infected cat becomes clinically ill with an FIV infection it is described as Feline AIDS. It is important to test your cat if you notice any of the following symptoms. These symptoms may include: 

  • Fever
  • Anemia
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Sneezing
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Dishevelled coat
  • Poor appetite
  • Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and mouth (stomatitis)
  • Skin redness or hair loss
  • Discharge from eyes or nose
  • Behaviour change

How Is FIV Treated?

Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment available for FIV presently. Treatment mainly focuses on secondary effects of the virus.  Your vet may prescribe antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections associated with feline AIDS. And recommend medications to boost your cat's immune system.

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