The diagnosis is devastating: Your cat has Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (VIF), often incorrectly referred to as feline AIDS. IVF is a lentivirus, a slow-acting organism in the same viral family as HIV. Like HIV, which compromises the immune system. But that's where the similarity ends. Cats with IVF can live a long life. And since it is transmitted primarily by deep bite wounds, infected cats that do not fight can live with infected cats without threatening their health. IVF is not transmitted to humans or other animals. Here are some suggestions for caring for your cat with
IVF Things you will need
Quality Western Blot TestHigh moist foodBuffered vitamin C, lysine and other supplementsInterferon A, especially if the cat has herpes
caring for your cat VIF
Confirm test results. If the SNAP test done at your veterinarian's office is positive, ask your veterinarian to send the blood to a laboratory for a Western Blot test. SNAP tests can return false positives.
Feed your cat well. A cat with a compromised immune system needs the best diet you can afford. Cats are carnivores and need animal protein and moderate amounts of fat. Wet food, which contains mostly meat, is better for all cats. That is especially true for cats with IVF.
Add supplements Buffered Vitamin C stimulates the immune system and eliminates bacteria. Bone meal helps recover bone mass as IVF harmful to the system's calcium. And a probiotic like acidophilus restores the healthy bacteria present in the cat's intestine. Most health food stores and pet supplies sell probiotics.
Treat any disease immediately. Remember, your VIF cat does not have the resources to fight the infection, so never take a "wait and see" approach if it shows signs of illness. Upper respiratory tract infections and stomatitis, which affects the gums of the cat, are especially common in VIF cats.
Be careful with herpes. Many VIF cats are prone to herpes infections. Lysine can give your cat's immune system a boost and keep the herpes virus under control. Most health food stores sell lysine. Crush the tablets in a coffee grinder and mix the powder with your cat's wet food. Or ask your veterinarian for "Rx Immuno Liquid Pet Vitamins", which contains lysine and other supplements.
Ask your veterinarian about Interferon A. The low dose protocol used for cats stimulates the immune system. In a cat prone to herpes, you can avoid flares.
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Commonly known as AIDS or cat HIV, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a disease that affects cats, in addition to their relatives such as lions and tigers. Those who have cats in their home should be very alert since there is no cure. The best way to deal with this threat is prevention, so it is worth knowing some details that can help you.
In many ways it is similar to human AIDS: it is spread by body fluids such as saliva and blood. It is common to be infected in fights by territory or a female in jealousy and a bite carries high probabilities of transferring the virus. Another route of transmission is from the infected mother to the children through the placenta or feeding, although this is not always the case. There has been a higher incidence in cats aged 5 to 10 years.
How does this virus affect cats?
The virus is installed in white blood cells and acts by destroying the body's defenses, just like human AIDS. In the long term this means that the cat will not have the ability to face a single cold. Basically, what it does is leave the door open for all kinds of infections, transforming a slight aggression into a deadly threat to your pet.
Sometimes it is difficult to identify since all its symptoms can be associated with other diseases. However, some main stages have been identified since incubation:
- The first phase can last between 4 to 16 weeks presenting some changes in the upper respiratory tract, diarrhea and fever.
- In the second phase the symptoms disappear and their duration is unknown. It may be months or years when the cat appears to be completely healthy.
- In the final phase the feline may present with anorexia, anemia, fever, weight loss and swollen lymph nodes, which are important for the immune system. Behavioral disturbances, chronic diarrhea, inflammation of the oral mucosa can also be perceived. The fact that the gums, tongue and tissues surrounding the tooth are inflamed are common manifestations of IFV.
How to check or rule out the virus
VIF is detected just like human AIDS, with a blood sample. It is a quick test, although depending on the progress of the virus, the results may not be correct, so it is necessary to repeat it over time. The above can happen, for example, with a cat that is still breastfeeding because it can give it a positive (infected) result because the mother passed her antibodies. Once finished breastfeeding, the cat can be healthy.
It is also possible that at an early stage of incubation the test yields a negative result that does not correspond to reality.
Because there is no known way to eliminate this virus from the body or completely neutralize its effects, the most effective way to take care of your cat is to prevent it from becoming infected. This can be achieved by worrying about the following factors:
- Castration and sterilization: As mentioned earlier, contagion is common in disputes over territory and females in jealousy. If your cat or cat no longer participates in the reproductive process, it will be free of these fights, greatly reducing their chances of contracting the virus.
- Avoid bringing infected cats to your home: If you already have cats in your home and want to adopt another, it is recommended that you find out everything you can about the health status of his mother and his. Preferably do an exam before it comes into contact with your pussycat.
While it is not possible to eliminate the virus, your cat can still have a good and long life. You should help him fight the associated secondary diseases or other infections that occur. If the VIF is detected in time, treatment can be carried out to strengthen defenses. Some things you can do while you find the time to see a veterinarian if you suspect your cat is infected are:
- Feed it with quality protein. Buy a good concentrated food or prepare your meat and fish yourself.
- Administer supplements of Omegas 3 and 6, in addition to vitamins B1, B6 and B12.
- Keep your cat free of fleas since they can carry diseases or cause infections.
VIF is undoubtedly a complicated disease and the best way to fight it is to prevent its spread. Castrating and sterilizing your cats and cats will help you in this mission, in addition to preventing a series of diseases such as breast cancer in females. It is also scientifically proven that this operation increases the life expectancy of pets, being a good alternative in several ways.