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Feline HIV
06-03-2016, 01:35 AM,
#1
remnant Offline
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Feline HIV
If you own a cat, you might want to get it tested for the feline equivalent of HIV. Scientists now say that your beloved pet could be carrying the infectious disease. The Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) was detected in 1986 and manifests in much the same way as the HIV virus in human beings. It lowers immunity leaving the cat vulnerable to opportunistic diseases. Ultimately, it degenerates into a full blown version of feline Aids and kills the cat through opportunistic infections. The virus can't be transmitted to human beings. Cats should be protected from the virus by keeping them indoors to prevent them from coming into contact with free roaming cats that carry the virus. Casual non aggressive contact between cats has not been found to transmit the virus.
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07-27-2016, 02:56 AM,
#2
Novelangel Offline
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RE: Feline HIV
I had two cats die from this several years back. The first was a kitten whom we acquired from the vet's office. He already had the condition but he needed a home so we took him in. The adult female cat we already had eventually got the disease as well, but back then we weren't as aware as we are now about how dangerous this disease really is. We were told that the kitten might get the full-blown disease by the age of 1 and then he would die. Or... he would survive and if he didn't show symptoms by the age of 4, he would be a carrier of the condition but wouldn't actually die from it himself. This is why he wasn't immediately put to sleep by the vet, because he had a chance. He should have been given to a family that had no other cats at home.

Anyway, he turned 1 and immediately began falling ill from this disease, going blind in one eye, losing control over his limbs, and many other problems. It wasn't long before he had to be put down, and by then, our other cat also had it. She was older, so she survived much longer, but she went completely blind and stayed that way for years. Oddly enough, you couldn't even tell that she couldn't see, except that her eyes were grayed over and the blindness was apparent. She used her ears as if they were eyes and never missed a trick. She would even track a hand movement with her face as if watching. She died younger than usual for cats, but managed to live a full life regardless.

Feline HIV is a painful disease, and a horrible way to die. It's probably kinder to just put the animal to sleep before he begins to suffer from it, but when he has a 50/50 chance of living normally, albeit as a singleton, you kind of want to give him that option. Actually, what my cats had was called Feline Leukemia or at least that's what the vet called it. She told us that name and then told us it was the feline equivalent of AIDS. Not sure if she called it that just to make it sound a little less horrible, or what, but that's what we were told our kitten had.
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08-02-2016, 02:23 AM,
#3
CatCuddler57 Offline
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RE: Feline HIV
Thank you for posting this, I didn't even know cats could get something equivalent to HIV.  Is there a way to guard against it?  Most of my cats died of old age but the last one was quite sickly, I wonder if he had it. My vet didn't say anything about the possibility that he could have caught something like this.
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08-02-2016, 11:48 PM,
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TheaR Offline
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RE: Feline HIV
I remember this making headlines in my country a few years ago when a young child died from a HIV type illness after being scratched by a cat. His deterioration was rapid. The nation was shocked because we had no idea there was such a cat to human disease. I am mindful of myself, my niece or nephews being scratched by the cat, but I would never go to the extent of trying to keep my pets indoors.
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