DOES YOUR CAT HAVE FIV OR LEUKEMIA????
The problem is, you can't always tell! Here's what you need to know about Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and
Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV).
FIV and FeLV infections are major causes of illness and death in cats. Both viruses are spread contagiously from cat to cat and
surveys show 15% of sick cats are infected with one or both of the viruses.
But even healthy cats can harhor infection and spread viruses to other cats. Signs of disease may not become apparent for weeks,
months, and even years after they first become infected.
FIV is typically spread when one cat bites another - rarely does an infected mother infect her kittens.
FeLV is spread when the saliva
or urine from an infected cat comes in contact with another cat. This can happen when they groom each other or share food and water bowls
or litter boxes. Kittens born to these mothers are commonly infected as well. Research to date has shown that FIV and FeLV only effect cats.
We recommend testing for your cat which is a simple blood test with the result in minutes. You should have this done if:
- If your cat has never been tested before
- If your cat is sick
- When you adopt a new cat to avoid infecting others
- If your cat has recently been exposed to an infected cat
- If you cat spends a lot of time outdoors or co-mingles with other cats
FIV and FeLV affect cats in similar ways - primarily by interfering with the immune system's ability to ward off infections. Some symptoms would
Early Stages -
- Decreased appetite
- Decreased grooming
- Decreased energy
And the advanced symptoms might be:
- Marked loss of appetite
- Weight Loss
- Pale Gums
- Mouth Sores
- Enlarged lymph nodes