Essay on Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

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Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
INTRODUCTION
Feline immunodeficiency virus, or also known as feline AIDS, is a lentivirus associated with an immunodeficiency disease in domestic cats (Summers, p. 233). This disease is host specific, only affecting cats that are mainly living outdoors and it mainly affects male, intact cats. There are many clinical signs that are associated with the FIV virus. The clinical signs range from mild to chronic symptoms, but some cats may remain asymptomatic by showing no symptoms for long periods of time. There are also a few ways to prevent cats from being exposed to the FIV virus. Clients who own a cat should be aware of what this virus is by being aware of the clinical signs, prevention methods, how to
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The prevalence in indoor pet cats in single-cat households is less than 1%. FIV affects cats of all ages (reported range is 2 months to 18 years); however, the incidence increases with age, and FIV is most prevalent in cats 6 years of age and older. (sherding, p. 126)
There are three stages of infection associated with the FIV virus. The stages of infection are acute phase, asymptomatic phase, chronic phase and a terminal phase. The acute phase begins within four to six weeks after the cat has been exposed to the virus. The effects are mild, and usually go unnoticed within the few weeks of infection. Symptoms of this phase include fever, anemia, diarrhea, stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth), conjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva), dermatitis (skin inflammation), and respiratory tract infections. (Sherding, p. 127). Respiratory disease may be observed in FIV-positive cats and can result from bacterial, fungal, and protozoal infections. Generalized lymph nodes are also common in this phase (Greene, p. 87). The asymptomatic phase occurs for a long period of time that usually persists for several years before any sign of having the feline immunodeficiency virus. The chronic phase is an advanced FIV infection that causes an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and predisposes the cat to chronic or recurrent infections and

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