Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
What is FIV?
FIV, also called feline AIDS, is a classified lentivirus or ‘slow virus’. This means that infected cats may show no symptoms for years after becoming infected. Transmission is mainly through bites from infected cats. Cats who are allowed outdoors are at serious risk of exposure. The feline AIDS vaccination is the best way to protect your cat against infection.
What are the symptoms?
Infection with FIV leads to eventual immunodeficiency. Compromised immune systems can’t protect against other infections. This means that bacteria or viruses found in the cat’s normal environment that would otherwise not affect them can cause severe illness. It’s these secondary infections that cause many of the symptoms seen in FIV-infected cats. With this in mind, the symptoms of FIV can vary. Some common symptoms include:
- persistent fever
- recurring gum/mouth infections
- recurring skin infections
- respiratory tract infections
- persistent diarrhoea
- weight loss
Infected cats are also more prone to certain types of cancers and blood diseases along with neurological diseases.
Feline AIDS vaccination
If your feline friend is exposed to the outdoors or neighbourhood cats, consider incorporating the FIV vaccine into your cat’s program. This can be given from eight weeks of age. Speak to your local Greencross Vets today about the FIV vaccine.