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Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Tuesday, January 1, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

Unlike human HIV, sexual contact is that the primary factor in transmitting feline  immunodeficiency virus (FIV).  It usually spreads through bite wounds.  Outdoor cats are the most susceptible to the infection.  Unlike Feline Leukemia, FIV is not spread through casual contact like sharing water bowls,  or food although a mother can pass the virus to her kittens but this happens rarely.

Once the virus enters the bloodstream, it can remain dormant until it progresses into an active disease. FIV is terminal because it targets the immune system. Cats that have the disease can have:

  • enlarged lymph nodes
  • ulcers of the tongue
  • inflamed gums
  • progressive weight loss
  • poor coat and skin disease
  • diarrhea,
  • anemia
  • eye disease
  • cancer

To prevent FIV, keep your cat indoors and up to date on vaccinations.

According to CatHealth.com, vaccinating for this virus after your cat is at least 8 weeks old can prevent infection about 60 to 80 percent of the time after three doses.

Remember, your pets count!

 

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