Immunodeficiency in cats (feline AIDS and HIV) is a latent infection caused by the FIV / VIC / Feline immunodeficiency virus, which infects a cat's immune system. Geographic centers for this disease do not exist, immunodeficiency of cats is found in all countries of the world.
All about the virus. The enemy needs to know in person
Most often, the immunodeficiency virus of cats infects elderly or stray animals.
Since the main route of transmission of FIV is through bites, the risk of infection is high in those schools where there is a struggle for the territory of a street or apartment.
FIV is a retrovirus. What does it mean? This means that the virus embeds its DNA in the DNA of a cat or cat cell and this affected cell begins to send defective genes through the body and eventually breaks down, affecting other healthy cells.
This process is very slow and viral immunodeficiency in cats may not show signs of presence in the body for many years.
Development and symptoms
Feline immunodeficiency develops in four phases:
Symptoms appear three weeks after infection. During this time, the FIV integrated into the lymphoid tissue and began its destructive activity. The cat may have a fever, there may be an increase in lymph nodes, general weakness. After a while, even without treatment, the symptoms go away on their own.
Please note that sometimes the primary phase passes without any symptoms.
It can stretch for several years (from 2 to 5), the animal feels well, the virus circulates in the body, but its concentration is still low.
The virus is activated and its active replication (reproduction) begins. Symptoms of the primary phase return.
Immunity of a cat is suppressed, secondary infections join, repeated infectious diseases are observed. The overall picture is as follows:
- Weight loss;
- Digestive system disorders;
- Diseases of the oral cavity;
- Neurological problems;
- Skin diseases;
In almost any veterinary clinic, today you can pass tests for the presence of FIV in the cat's body. For this, a general blood test is taken, a blood test for antibodies to the virus. Usually these tests are enough.
In rare cases, Western blotting can be investigated to identify specific proteins and polymerase chain reactions to search for specific DNA fragments.
In case you need to check the kitten, tests are done twice - in newborns and in six-month-old kittens.
Cat Immunodeficiency Treatment
It is impossible to rid a cat of this virus.
Treatment boils down to maintaining the quality of life of the pet and preventing the transmission of the virus to other animals.
- Sterilization / castration;
- Overexposure and isolation from other cats, since we must not forget that the virus is transmitted by bites or, less commonly, by mutual licking;
- Exclusion from the menu of products that could infect a cat with worms (raw meat products, raw dairy products, raw eggs);
- Routine vaccinations;
- Anti-cloud measures;
- Timely diagnosis of concomitant diseases.
Good results were shown by such drugs as:
- Recombinant Feline Interferon;
To date, 100% protection against cat immunodeficiency in cats does not exist. In many countries, prophylactic vaccination against VIC is done, but the vaccine, alas, does not give a full guarantee.
Owners of several animals should definitely check each new pet before introducing it to the team, and in case of positive tests, isolate the cat and repeat the tests after six months.
We guess that by the end of the article you are tormented by one question - is the VIC transmitted to a person or not?
For cats, VIC is very dangerous and not dangerous for humans at all!