VeggieBoards banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,648 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm considering adopting a cat from a rescue, and I've been browsing Petfinder.org. A rescue in my area has a lovely siamese mix that is FIV+. In the adoption information for this cat, they state that she should be in a home with no other pets, or possibly another FIV+ cat.<br><br><br><br>
This isn't a problem, but I'm wondering if there are special needs that I may not know about? Veterinary costs beyond the normal spay/neuter/vaccination/check-up? The need for special medications or a particular feeding regimen to promote optimum health?<br><br><br><br>
I'm planning to discuss this with the rescue, but I'd like to hear some opinions here, if anyone would like to provide one.<br><br><br><br>
Thanks. ^_^
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
From petservice.com:<br><br><br><br>
-----------------------------------------------------------<br><br><br><br>
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)<br><br>
By Dr. Kelly Brodnik<br><br><br><br>
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a virus that infects and destroys white blood cells-specifically T-lymphocytes. There is a prolonged, asymptomatic period in which the cat will show no clinical signs or symptoms of being infected, but will eventually be plagued with chronic and recurring bacterial infections that can be lifelong or fatal. The disease is worldwide and other wild animals of the cat family can be infected such as lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, panthers and bobcats, etc. Transmission is via saliva and bitewounds from an infected cat. It is believed that close contact with another cat (such as a housemate) is unlikely to cause disease but is not impossible.<br><br><br><br>
Clinical Signs<br><br><br><br>
Clinical signs and symptoms of FIV (with the first and second stages being asymptomatic that can last 1 month to years post exposure) are: progressive weight loss, chronic bacterial infections, recurrent fevers of unknown origin, swollen lymph nodes, anemia, oral infections of the gums and teeth, respiratory problems, diarrhea, chronic skin abcesses, chronic ear infections, and recurrent urinary tract infections. Infected cats are more susceptible to other viruses such as feline leukemia virus, calicivirus, herpesvirus, etc. They are also more susceptible to fungal infections and those caused by protozoans such as Giardia, Toxoplasmosis, Coccidia, etc. Parasitic infections are also more common in affected cats.<br><br><br><br>
Diagnosis<br><br><br><br>
Diagnosis is based on blood testing, medical history, exposure to other infected cats, and physical examination findings, especially recurrent chronic bacterial infections anywhere in the body.<br><br><br><br>
Treatment<br><br><br><br>
There is no current treatment for this viral infection in cats and the cat will be infected for life. Antiviral drugs that are used in human HIV/AIDS patients are being experimentally tried in cats. Supportive therapy is given to cats that are infected sucha as antibiotics, fluid therapy, nutritional support, etc. Some infected cats will respond dramatically to antibiotic therapy and can be treated on an episode-by-episode basis until chronic, non-responsive disease sets in.<br><br><br><br>
Prevention<br><br><br><br>
Isolation is recommended as the exact mode of transmission is unclear as to whether or not cohabitation will cause disease in uninfected cats. Not allowing your cat to roam free will also reduce exposure. Vaccination is not available as yet because the strain variation in this type of virus is very large. More needs to be learned about this disease in cats.<br><br><br><br>
-----------------------------------------------------------<br><br><br><br>
From this article it sounds like your cat would probably be sick very frequently, not because of the virus itself, but because of other diseases. This virus is similar to the AIDS virus - it isn't actually harmful, but it removes all defense to other diseases. You wouldn't have to pay vet bills to treat the virus, but you would have to pay very heavy bills to try and control other diseases that your cat will have no defense for.<br><br><br><br>
You might want to think very seriously about this before you decide to take the cat. Their life will probably be dramatically shortened by this. Also, if you want to get another cat afterwards, you would have to worry about transmitting the virus to that cat. It hasn't been determined how exactly the disease is transferred from cat to cat yet, so if you had the FIV+ cat all over your house, the new cat could get it from the carpet, furniture, etc in your house.<br><br><br><br>
It would be great if you could give this cat a new home, but keep in mind that it's not going to be easy and make sure you are prepared for that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,648 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not so much worried about the amount of the vet bills, not because I have a secret stash of cash laying about, but because realistically, any animal can potentially have high vet bills, and one of the things to consider before adopting is how you'll handle those bills, should they come up.<br><br><br><br>
That being said, I don't know if I could handle the frequent illness. I'd be worried constantly, because that's just how I am. I think it'd be wonderful for this cat to have a loving home, even if she only gets to experience it for a short time, but I have to consider how it will feel to know that my beloved kitty is feeling ill all the time.<br><br><br><br>
I'm going to have to think very carefully on this.<br><br><br><br>
Thanks for taking the time to help. ^_^
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,648 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, Michael, I appreciate it. XD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
Hi Ceryna,<br><br><br><br>
FIV is one of those diseases that sounds a whole lot scarier than it's likely to actually be. I'm typing this from the office, and our resident FIV+ guy, Coo, is actually sitting on my desk "supervising" me. Coo is about 10 years old and when the folks here got him, he was not only FIV+ but also had a thyroid condition and a tumor in his ear (which cost him his hearing). Now, Coo is happy and healthy. He shows zero sign of illness and interacts freely with the two other office cats and whatever fosters are around at the time. None of the other cats has ever tested positive for FIV. I've been bringing my now-10-month-old cats to the office every day since they were little kittens, and I've never feared for their health or well-being.<br><br><br><br>
FIV is spread exclusively from saliva to blood - in other words, from severe puncture wounds, the kind that are most often sustained by unneutered free-roaming males fighting over females. It is not spread through ordinary hissy-spat squabbling or shared beds, litterboxes, or food. There is no need to worry about mixing an FIV+ cat with FIV- cats.<br><br><br><br>
There is no guarantee whatsoever that a cat with FIV will ever actually get sick from it. It has a very long incubation period - similar to the length of incubation for HIV infection, except that it's against the backdrop of the lifespan of a cat. In other words, a hypothetical 10-year incubation period in a cat who is infected at age 5 means that the cat will be 15 when symptoms appear. The youngest I have ever heard of a cat dying from complications of FIV is 11. Most live the 15-20 years that can be expected of a healthy cat.<br><br><br><br>
As for what to realistically expect on a day to day basis, basically you will be doing what you can to support the cat's immune system and general health. He should have very nutritious (and NOT vegan) food, both canned and dry. Nutro is probably the highest quality brand, and it's available in stores like PETsMART. The vet will probably give you vitamin drops to mix in his canned food.<br><br><br><br>
It's not unusual for FIV+ cats to experience transient flulike symptoms (lethargy, not eating much, and low-grade fever) when under stress. The first few days after you bring him home will be a stressful time for him and he might feel sick then. Or he might not. Under any circumstances, it won't last long.<br><br><br><br>
I've said a mouthful here, but the point is that I think you should adopt this cat. You won't regret it. One last story - this fall I placed a very sweet former stray cat in a foster home, not knowing that he had FIV. His foster human took him to the vet and he tested positive for FIV. She was very worried about his health, and worried that he was suffering. It's been four months now, and Bart couldn't be healthier. After years on the streets (he's about 8), he's re-learning about sleeping on humans' faces and playing with toys. His foster mother is in love with him, and will adopt him.<br><br><br><br>
I hope this helps. You might also want to check out the health section at cats.about.com. And feel free to email me privately with any further questions - mjohnson at alleycat dot org.<br><br><br><br>
Peace,<br><br>
Maggie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,648 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you so much for taking the time to give me such a detailed and thoughtful reply, Maggie.<br><br><br><br>
I've emailed the rescue operator to request permission to visit and meet the cats she is currently caring for at her facility, to see how I get along with the one I am interested in, so hopefully he/she will give me a call soon. In the meantime, I'm going to continue my research.<br><br><br><br>
I've found some clinical information, but insight about day-to-day life with a FIV+ cat is also very helpful.<br><br><br><br>
Thanks again. ^_^
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
19,873 Posts
Check with the person that has the cats too. I'm sure if she has any concerns that the cats will be more than you can handle she'll voice them. If you have a vet I'm sure they'd give you some advice as well. And if you haven't already checked there's probably info online.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top