The Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)

The Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is a serious and incurable viral disease that affects our cats. Closely related to the HIV virus that harms humans, FIV’s danger lies in its ability to make the immune system vulnerable to other diseases. Luckily, cats with the virus can be kept comfortable and live a relatively normal life. Learn more below from your veterinarian Southside, FL.

How do cats get FIV?

Most cats get FIV by fighting with infected cats. It’s possible for infected mother cats to pass the virus to their kittens during pregnancy or nursing, but this isn’t common. Ask your vet Southside, FL for more insight into the transmission of FIV amongst cats.

FIV is not spread on standard cat items like food bowls or beds. The virus can’t survive outside of your cat’s body, so there’s no risk of transmission from simple contact. Additionally, FIV is not zoonotic—it can’t be transmitted to humans, so you don’t have to worry about catching it yourself. Talk to your vet clinic Southside, FL to learn about diseases that you could catch from a cat.

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What are the common symptoms?

A cat infected with FIV probably won’t show symptoms at first, possibly for many years, in fact. However, the virus will eventually attack Fluffy’s immune system, which makes them vulnerable to infections, illnesses, and parasites. Even diseases that your cat’s system would usually fight off present a threat. Possible symptoms include loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, skin infections, respiratory issues, and much more. Tell the professionals at your animal hospital Southside, FL right away if you spot these symptoms.

How is FIV managed?

FIV can’t be cured. You’ll need to manage it for the rest of your cat’s life. Fortunately, this isn’t as difficult as it may sound. The first step is to keep Fluffy indoors at all times. This prevents any possibility of transmission to other cats and keeps your cat away from possible sources of infection. Talk to your pet clinic Southside, FL for tips on making sure your pet stays inside.

It’s also important to make sure your cat sees their veterinarian regularly and stays updated with all essential vaccinations. Your cat should be seeing your veterinary clinic Southside, FL every six months at a minimum if they’re FIV-positive.

Can FIV be prevented?

You can take steps to make it very unlikely that your cat will contract FIV. Keeping your cat indoors is the best preventative measure. This greatly reduces the risk of exposure. If your cat does go outdoors, have them spayed or neutered to reduce the risk of fighting. Call your veterinarians Southside, FL if your cat needs spayed or neutered.

There is a vaccine that protects against FIV, but it’s not a core vaccine that most cats receive. And it may not protect against the various subtypes of the virus. Talk with your vet clinic Southside, FL to determine whether or not the FIV vaccination is right for your cat.

Would you like to learn more about the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus? Call your vet Southside, FL for more information on FIV and other serious diseases that can harm your pet.

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