Feline leukaemia virus is responsible for more deaths among cats than any other infectious disease. The virus affects domestic cats and occurs in feral/wild felines as well.
There are 3 main types of leukaemia virus, Felv-A, Felv-B and Felv-C. Felv positive cats can be infected with one, two, or all three types Felv-A – occurs in all Felv infected cats and causes severe immunosuppression (weakened immune system).
Felv-B – Occurs in about 50% of all Felv infected cats and causes more neoplastic disease (tumours) than cats infected with Felv-A
Felv-C- Occurs in about 1% of Felv infected cats and causes severe anaemia.
After the initial infection the virus replicates in the tonsils and lymph nodes in the neck, It then spreads via the bloodstream to other parts of the body
Felv is one of the most devastating feline diseases worldwide.
MALES are 1.7 times more likely to be infected than females, and younger cats are more susceptible to infection than older cats. Felv is found mostly in cats from 1-6 years old and the average age is about 3 years.
Outdoor cats are more likely to be infected than healthy well looked after indoor cats. Felv is more common in multi cat’s households than in single cat households.
TRANSMISSION OF THE VIRUS
Felv usually spreads through infected saliva, it can also be spread through mating, infected urine, tears, and faeces. It can also be spread by an infected mother to her kittens.
Methods of transmission include the following:
Bite wounds (common in un-neutered males)
Mouth and Nose ContactMutual grooming
Nose to nose contact
Shared food and water dishes
Shared litter trays
This is a DEADLY disease more than 50% of cats die within the first couple of
years of being infected.
Feline FIV (SIMILAR TO HIV IN HUMANS, THOUGH CANNOT BE SPREAD FROM CAT TO HUMAN) is a virus that slowly weakens the immune system of your cat. With lower immunity your cat becomes vulnerable to other diseases. Whilst there is no cure the main aim is to minimise your cat’s exposure to illness that can further weaken its health.
FIV is known as a lentivrus (slow virus), cats may appear perfectly healthy for years, eventually though the immune system begins to fail, and infected cats become unable to fight off bacterial, virus and other illnesses that most healthy cats are able to fight off.
FIV in cats is mainly spread through bite wounds and mating, which is why male cats are more likely to contract the disease as they bite more often than females, it may be spread from a mother cat to her kittens.
IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO GET YOUR CAT SPAYED/NEUTERED
Once the disease begins to affect the immune system, symptoms include:
Loss of appetite
Inflammation of the mouth and gums
Urinary tract infections
Persistent feverFIV is diagnosed with a blood test
THERE IS NO CURE FOR FIV
IT IS VITAL THAT YOUR CAT IS SPAYED/NEUTERED, KEPT UPTO DATE WITH VACCINATIONS ALONG WITH REGULAR FLEA & WORMING TREATMENTS.
IT IS BASIC CARE!!!!