Monday, February 08, 2016

Going Retro is Not Good for Cats

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Even though Sleuth is the Reporter Dog for VNN, he has many feline friends.   He wanted to make sure that all cat owners were aware of some pretty scary diseases.

1) Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline AIDS (FIV) are two very serious and deadly diseases of cats.

2) Both diseases disrupt the immune system, allowing other infections and even cancers to harm your cat.

3) These viruses can hide in your cat’s cells and avoid detection for months or years.   Your cat may not ever show signs!

4) About 3-4 million cats in North America are infected with one or both of these diseases.

5) FeLV is spread through mutual grooming and shared food/water bowls.  It is most often seen in multi-cat households.

6) FIV is most often spread through fighting and therefore is very common among outdoor, male cats.

7) Neither disease can be transmitted to people.   These viruses are related to the human AIDS virus, but they won’t infect you.

8) All cats should be tested for both diseases routinely.  If your cat is sick, you should expect another test, even if he was previously tested negative.

9) Vaccines are available, but very controversial.   Talk with your veterinarian and staff about how to keep your cat safe and how to avoid risk factors.

10) Bookmark as  your best source for credible, up-to-date pet health information.