Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or FIV infection can be defined as a complex retrovirus. It causes the immunodeficiency disease and restricted only to domestic cats. The term immunodeficiency describes the inability of the body to develop its normal immune response. The affected cat does not exhibit any symptoms and may have a normal life expectancy. These cats, however, are prone to develop other infections and also different kinds of cancer.Symptoms
A range of symptoms due to decreased ability for developing any normal immune response. The associated immunodeficiencies are impossible to be clinically distinguished from the feline leukemia virus (FeLV).
- Moderately expanded lymph nodes.
- Recurrent minor illnesses like the upper respiratory and also gastrointestinal signs.
- Inflammation of gums of mouth and also the surrounding tissues and supporting tooth. This is seen among 50 percent of the total cases.
- Disease of the upper respiratory tract is observed in about 30 percent of the cases- like inflammation of nose and moist tissues of eye. The cornea will also suffer inflammation. The last is frequently linked with calicivirus and herpes virus infections.
- Eye disease like front part inflammation occurs. The iris gets affected and pressure within eye also gets increased.
- Persistent diarrhea is observed in about 20 percent of the cases.
- Later stages come with fever and wasting.
- Cancer is seen.
- Nervous system develops abnormalities. Sleep patterns are disturbed and there are also the behavioral changes, along with hearing and vision.
The following drugs and methods can be used.Antibiotics
The sickness signs in your cat are due to its much reduced capability to fight infection. Your cat will rebound quickly when you give it the correct medication. This improvement, however, will not persist for a long time. Antibiotics
should be given during setback times and not continuously.Nutritional support
Weight loss is seen in cats suffering from advanced FIV. You should encourage your cat to eat more as it will have a poor appetite. There will also be intestinal problems. The affected cat should be given foods having greater vitamin levels, protein and calorie dense diets that can be digested easily. These diets are made for cats making recovery.If you make such a diet at home, ensure that they are nutritionally balanced. Encourage the feline to eat more by preparing any savory dressing spread on top to accompany its regular food. A rich broth of beef or chicken can be spread on top. A few cats may find tuna addictive. Use it as a stock base if that is the only way to tempt your pet.Medicines to treat FIV affected cats are similar to those given to human AIDS patients. These includes PMEA and AZT (Retrovir). Do note that AZT may beget toxic complications in cats.