AIDS in cats is contagious
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is a virus similar to Feline Leukemia and directly affects the functioning of the cat’s immune system. It is popularly known as Feline AIDS and is a chronic, infectious disease that is relatively common among domestic cats, especially those that have access to the outdoors.
Virologists have classified Feline Immunodeficiency Virus within the same family as Feline Leukemia Virus. Although the two are very similar, they have a difference: FIV is not a retrovirus, but a lentivirus, of the type that causes progressive pneumonia in sheep, infectious anemia in horses, arthritis and encephalitis in goats, and AIDS in humans.
There is no clear symptomatology to detect FIV because, in reality, what this virus does is to cause a lowering of the cat’s defenses and leave it defenseless against the threat of viruses and bacteria. Therefore, any disease can be associated with FIV. It is very similar to what happens with AIDS in humans. In any case, some of the frequent symptoms are fever, loss of appetite and weight, deterioration of the coat, gum infections or chronic or recurrent infections of the skin, urinary tract and respiratory system. Some FIV-infected cats have recurrent illnesses followed by periods when they appear completely healthy. Be vigilant and see your veterinarian immediately.
AIDS in cats spreads to humans
If you recognize some of these symptoms in your cat, do not hesitate to take him to the veterinarian because, by the time they appear, the immune system has already begun to weaken. The longer it is allowed to go on, the weaker our friend will be and, therefore, the more difficult it will be for him to have a more or less good quality of life.
The treatment of AIDS will be symptomatic, that is to say, the symptoms will be treated so that the animal can return to its routine. The main objective will be to strengthen its defenses with antimicrobial drugs and giving it a high quality food, with a high caloric content.
There is no cure for this disease, so the best thing to do is to prevent it, which consists of giving him all the mandatory vaccinations, and avoiding going outside, especially at night, which is when there is a higher percentage of cats fighting over a female, causing wounds that are like the door to the cat’s bloodstream. For that reason, if you want him to go outside, it will always be much more advisable that he does it during the day, since he will meet less cats.
AIDS in cats treatment
When we talk about serious diseases in our pets, it is a subject that scares us and we think that it will never happen, but it is important as parents to know them in order to know how to act in case our feline presents some symptoms.
In some cases the feline does not present any symptomatology, in others it is noticed when the cat has lost weight, its coat falls constantly and becomes opaque, it presents loss of appetite, fever, lesions in the mouth, dental problems of stomatitis, also recurrent skin infections, diarrhea and even alterations in breathing. When they are in advanced stages, they suffer from extreme anorexia and even behavioral alterations. To take into account is that the symptoms can present individually, all or it can be asymptomatic.
In the general appointment with the veterinarian an immunodeficiency test is performed, it is a blood test that determines if the patient is diagnosed positive or negative, in addition to an ELISA or PCR type test.
What happens if I am bitten by a cat with AIDS?
Because of the slow acting nature of the virus, cats can become infected with feline immunodeficiency virus without showing symptoms of the disease. Symptoms of feline immunodeficiency virus are non-specific and include fever, low activity level and appetite, gum disease (presenting as mouth sores), weight loss and swollen lymph nodes.
To reduce the spread of the virus, all uninfected cats should be kept separate from infected cats. Spaying and neutering can also reduce a cat’s need to go outside or participate in other activities that may increase its risk of coming into contact with an infected cat when outdoors.