Feline AIDS - Contagion, symptoms and treatment

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If you have a cat, you know that these pets are very special. As pets, felines are faithful companions and if you want to take care of them as much as they do you, it is important that you know the diseases they can suffer to prevent and treat them.

AIDS in cats It is one of these diseases and together with feline leukemia, it is one of those that most affects the cat population. However, even though it does not have a vaccine, it can be treated effectively. Take care and consent to your pet, do not be scared and know in detail this disease, the ways of contagion, symptoms and treatment for aids in cats from the hand of AnimalWised.

You may also be interested in: Canine Coronavirus - Symptoms, treatment and contagion Index
  1. FIV - Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
  2. Transmission and contagion of AIDS in cats
  3. Symptoms of feline AIDS
  4. Diagnosis of AIDS in cats
  5. Treatment for immunodeficient cats
  6. What else should I know about feline AIDS?
  7. Caring for an immunodeficient cat

FIV - Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Known by the acronym FIV, the immunodeficiency virus in cats is a lentivirus that only attacks cats. Although it is the same disease that affects humans, it is caused by a different virus, so what AIDS in cats is not spread to humans.

FIV directly attacks the immune system, destroying T-lymphocytes, which makes the animal vulnerable to other less important diseases or infections, but with this condition they can lead to death. It is a chronic disease and by affecting the cells of the immune system, it damages and destroys them causing a progressive deterioration of the cat's immune function.

Detected early, feline AIDS is a disease that can be controlled. An infected cat, who follows the appropriate treatment, can have a long and dignified life.

Transmission and contagion of AIDS in cats

For our pet to be infected with AIDS, it needs to be in contact with the saliva or blood of another infected cat. In principle, it is known that feline AIDS is transmitted through bites, so stray cats are the most likely to carry the virus.

Unlike the disease in humans, it has not been proven that AIDS in cats is transmitted sexually and even if pets share a drinking fountain or feeder. Of course, pregnant cats infected by FIV can transmit the disease to her puppies during pregnancy or lactation. It is unknown if blood-sucking parasites (fleas, ticks ...) can act as a means of transmission of this disease.

If your cat has always been at home you do not have to worry, but if it is not neutered and comes out at night, it is best to do A blood test to check that everything is alright. Remember that cats are territorial, which can cause the occasional bite fight..

Symptoms of feline AIDS

As in humans, a cat infected with the AIDS virus can live for years without characteristic symptoms or until the disease can be detected.

However, when the destruction of T-lymphocytes begins to reduce the capacity of the feline's immune system, small bacteria and viruses that our pets face daily and without any problem, will begin to wreak havoc on the animal's health and is then when the first symptoms may appear.

Symptoms of AIDS in Cats The most common ones that can appear months after infection are:

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dull coat
  • Gingivitis
  • Stomatitis
  • Recurrent infections
  • Diarrhea
  • Inflammation of the connective tissue
  • Progressive weight loss
  • Abortions and fertility problems
  • Mental impairment

In general, the main symptom of a cat with AIDS is the appearance of recurrent diseases. So it is important to keep an eye on the sudden onset of common illnesses that it is difficult for them to disappear or if your cat constantly relapses into health problems that seem unimportant.

Diagnosis of AIDS in cats

The veterinarian will take into account all the symptoms that the cat presents as well as its medical history but to verify the feline immunodeficiency diagnosis You can use several tests that will indicate the presence of specific antibodies against FIV.

These tests can be performed at the veterinary clinic although sometimes its reliability is not 100%, so it may be common to repeat the test or use more complex tests in the laboratory, as well as use techniques that allow the virus to be isolated.

Treatment for immunodeficient cats

The best cure is prevention, However, although the AIDS disease in cats does not have a vaccine, with proper care an infected pet can have a happy life.

To prevent your cat from being infected with the AIDS virus, remember to control its outings and avoid fights with stray cats, as well as to check it at least once a year and more if you see that it comes home with a scratch or bite. If this was not enough and your cat is infected you have to work on the strengthening of defenses and the immune system.

exist antimicrobial drugs that can help control infections or bacteria that attack the animal. It is important that we bear in mind that these treatments must be regular, because otherwise our feline friend may relapse with new infections. Also exist anti-inflammatory that will help control derived diseases such as gingivitis and stomatitis.

Apart from medicines, the feeding of cats with AIDS must be special. It is recommended that the diet be high in calories, so cans and wet food are a perfect ally to fight against the deterioration of the infected animal.

No treatment acts directly on the FIV In itself, what we can do to help our pet and give him a decent life is to keep at bay all opportunistic diseases that can attack him while his immune system is weak.

What else should I know about feline AIDS?

Here are some other doubts about AIDS in cats:

Life expectancy in feline AIDS

It is important that you bear in mind that the life expectancy of a cat with AIDS not easy to predict, It will all depend on how your immune system responds to the attack of opportunistic diseases. When we talk about a dignified life, we mean that a pet with feline AIDS can live with dignity by taking a series of minimal care. Even when your health seems to be picking up, you should be very attentive to things like weight and fever. For this reason, it is not possible to know with certainty how long a cat lives with AIDS..

One of my cats has AIDS but the others do not

If cats don't fight each other, there is no chance of contagion. Remember that feline AIDS is only transmitted through bites. However, as this is difficult to control, we recommend that you isolate the infected cat, just as if it were any other infectious disease.

My cat has died of AIDS, ¿it's safe to wear a new one?

Without the carrier, feline FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) is very unstable and does not survive for more than a few hours. Furthermore, feline AIDS is only transmitted through saliva and blood, and without an infected cat to bite, contagion to a new pet is highly unlikely..

However, as with any other infectious disease, we recommend some preventive measures:

  • Disinfect or replace all belongings of the deceased cat.
  • Disinfect rugs and carpets.
  • Vaccinate the new pet against the most common infectious diseases.

¿A cat with AIDS can infect me?

No, feline AIDS does not attack humans. A cat infected with AIDS will never be able to infect a human even by biting him. Although it is the same disease, FIV is not the same virus that infects humans, in this case we are talking about HIV, which is the human immunodeficiency virus. If you want to know what are the diseases transmitted by cats, we encourage you to read this other article on Diseases transmitted by cats and their symptoms.

Caring for an immunodeficient cat

If our cat has been diagnosed with feline immunodeficiency, we can take various measures to try that our pet enjoys a good quality of life:

  • Offer you good quality, nutritious and appetizing food.
  • Subject it to regular deworming, both internal and external.
  • Keep it indoors to prevent it from getting other infections.
  • Continue with the stipulated vaccination program.
  • Offer homeopathy for cats as a preventive tool against secondary infections.

Although it is possible that the cat with AIDS can live with some normality, prevent feline immunodeficiency It can be more complex, since to achieve this we must make sure that our cat does not make any contact with the outside.

This article is merely informative, at AnimalWised.com we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.

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