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    What is immunodeficiency??

    Feline immunodeficiency

    Feline immunodeficiency is a disease caused by the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). This virus is classified in the same family of the feline leukemia virus, but with a difference: FIV is not a retrovirus, but a lentivirus, the same type of causing AIDS in humans.

    There are worldwide infected with FIV cats. The only known form of contagion is by the bite of an infected animal to another healthy (and in some cases of blood transfusions). For this reason, cats that have not been emasculated are allowed to freely leave home, especially those more aggressive, they are those who become infected more frequently, While cats that always remain indoors are less prone to infection.

    How does this virus to the cat??

    Once the virus enters the body, After the initial infection, get to the lymph nodes where you can play in the white blood cells called lymphocytes. As a result, There is a generalized swelling of lymph nodes, Although this state of the disease usually goes unnoticed for the owner of the animal, unless said thickening is very visible and obvious.

    Some time later perhaps days, but usually weeks or months- the cat shows symptoms such as fever and a considerable decline of leukocytes. This leukopenia must, fundamentally, the lack of neutrophils, white blood cells that protect the cat against bacterial infections, and also to the loss of these lymphocytes or "help cells" that play an important role in the immune protection. Anemia (low red blood cell count) It can also manifest itself, especially when is the disease already very advanced.

    Infected cats may seem healthy years. But suddenly, When start to show signs of immunodeficiency, the ability of the cat for self-protection against infections will be committed. The same bacterium, virus, fungus or Protozoan that cats normally found each day in the atmosphere and that usually does not affect their health, It can cause a very serious disease in cats whose immune system has been damaged by the FIV. These secondary infections are responsible for the majority of clinical signs associated with FIV, and the leading cause of death in FIV positive cats


    They are not specific to the disease. Contact your veterinarian if your cat presents:

    • Loss of appetite and decay
    • Depleted fur, without brillo…
    • Infections and inflammation of gums (Gingivitis), excessive salivation, bad breath.
    • Chronic or recurrent infections of the skin, urinary tract and the respiratory system.
    • Persistent diarrhea.
    • Slow weight loss, but progressive, It ends in a severe stomachaches as it progresses the disease.
    • Abortion and reproductive problems in cats fertile infected.

    Living with a cat FIV

    If your cat has been diagnosed, most importantly, protect it to avoid exposure to any possible infectious agent that could cause a serious illness or even death, that is an animal whose immune system it suffers a fatal malfunction. Not let out the Cat House It is the only way of preventing that disease infected other animals (It could be bitten) and that any bacteria, virus, germ or pathogen element compromise the life of your cat.

    The use of antimicrobial drugs and treatments of support recommended by your veterinarian will help the animal to have a better quality of life, but all these measures not fighting the disease directly, they do not fight against the virus itself. We must bear in mind that all these drugs only attenuate the effects of the virus but does not destroy it.

    If you have several cats and has just discovered that you one of her cats has FIV, not enter into panic. Direct transmission, Gato-a - cat, in homes where several cats live, is highly unlikely If cats do not fight each other. There are many cats FIV + which are not diagnosed until after live for years with other cats. It is true that, in theory, any cat that suffers from an infectious disease should be isolated from the rest of the feline colony, but in reality there are no violent episodes (fights or fights) the risk of that the rest of her cats from contracting the disease (If that still does not have been infected) is very low.

    You, as owner, Although it has bitten it her cat You can not become infected with FIV. Although FIV is structurally similar to HIV (The human immunodeficiency virus, or AIDS) and cause a disease similar to the human AIDS in cats, is a specific agent and only affects cats.

    If your cat FIV has died, Don't be afraid of bringing a new cat home. FIV virus is highly unstable when it is out of its carrier and does not survive more than a few hours in normal environmental conditions. On the other hand, the disease is transmitted only through bites, so no quarantine is not necessary to prevent FIV infection if it has been decided to bring another cat home. In any case, as a preventive measure, you should:

    • Replace the troughs and feeders, bedding, toilet (sand tray) and toys of the cat that have died of FIV.
    • Clean and disinfect your home
    • Vaccinate the new cat or kitten before bringing it to his new home.

    To prevent FIV

    There is no vaccine against the FIV. Owners can protect their cats only avoiding contact with other infected animals. Pets living indoors and never freely leave abroad, to avoid contact with the colonies of street cats, they are generally safe for FIV. For this reason, is very important that spayed cat.

    The best way to prevent them is to avoid exposure to the virus, i.e., with cats sterilized at an early age and not leaving home.