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Feline Immunodeficiency Virus: Where Are We Now?

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Vol 2 - Issue 3
Written by Helen Bolter BVSc MRCVS
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Feline Immunodeficiency Virus: Where Are We Now?

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a lentivirus that is most commonly transmitted between cats by biting. Many different strains of the virus exist and different mutations can occur even within one infected individual. FIV-infected cats can live symptom-free for years but, due to the virus attacking CD4 lymphocytes, there is a progressive decline in immunity; with some cats eventually developing Feline Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.

Clinical signs of FIV infection are often associated with secondary infections due to immunosuppression. However, primary effects of FIV include inflammatory ocular diseases, renal disease and haematology abnormalities.

There is no effective treatment for FIV that improves life expectancy, but there are treatment options that may improve clinical signs, along with treatment of secondary infections. There is a vaccine available for FIV in USA, Australia and New Zealand. Many cats with FIV can live long and happy lives if they are managed correctly and receive appropriate healthcare.

All our Tutored Online CPD Courses are written and taught by an expert in the relevant field. The tutor for this course is:

Helen Bolter BVSc MRCVS