Your Cat’s War against Big, Bad, Infectious Diseases
Infectious illnesses are caused by a particular organism, such as viruses, bacteria, parasites, and so on. A lot of these diseases have decreased in severity in recent years. However, they are very contagious and can be deadly; hence, it is essential to be aware of them and keep them on the and watch out for them on our screens. None is likely more important to be considered by cat owners than the ones caused by two particular submicroscopic organisms
- Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
Other serious, dangerous, infectious diseases are FIP, feline heartworm, and feline distemper.
What makes FeLV and FIV both so bad and big?
If not detected, the virus that causes the illnesses can cause an animal’s premature death. In addition, FeLV and FIV cases aren’t uncommon. Cornell University says, “Recent estimates indicate that two percent to four percent of the 83 million or so cats in the U.S. harbor one or both of these two viruses.”
Why is it important to test your cat for FeLV and FIV?
A timely diagnosis can help keep your cat healthy and pet and help you avoid spreading the disease to other felines. The American Association of Feline Practitioners suggests that “All cats should be tested at appropriate intervals based on risk assessment,” and has released retrovirus management and testing guidelines.
When is the right time to be testing for FeLV or FIV?
Based on these AAFP rules, you can be able to test:
- Your cat may not have been tested previously; it is time to do so.
- When your cat’s sick, despite having been positive for infection previously. (Subsequent exposure isn’t eliminated.)
- If your cat has recently taken in (whether she is entering an apartment with another cat).
- If your cat has been exposed to a cat with an infection.
- Suppose your cat is exposed to cats, which could be infected (for instance, when your cat spends time outside without supervision or is living with other cats who could be affected). Your vet may recommend conducting tests periodically (yearly) if your cat has contact with potentially infected cats.
- If you’re considering vaccinating using FIV or FeLV, you should consider the FeLV and the FIV vaccine; you should do so.
What do you think about trying to test kittens??
Every kittens must be screened and vaccinated against FeLV, as the American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends. Consult your veterinarian for additional boosters.
If you are suffering from FeLV, meeting an age prerequisite for the test is unnecessary. It can be conducted at any point. The test will require the use of a small amount of blood. It can detect the presence of a virus in kittens that are just four to five weeks old. Kittens who test unconfirmed with FIV antibodies are probably not infected. However, taking a second test at least a couple of months after the adoption is recommended. The positive test results in kittens under six months old may be an incidental result of antibodies inherited from an infected mother or a sign of a natural infection. Testing over time may be necessary to discern the difference.
What is it that makes FIP so vast and dangerous?
The FIP, or feline infectious peritonitis virus, is part of the coronavirus family. The coronavirus that affects the intestinal tract is common among kittens in shelters or catteries and typically causes minor illnesses. FIP happens when the intestinal version of coronavirus evolves into a violent virus. This occurs in a small percentage of cats, but it is a fatal illness.
Crowding is a stress suggested to cause the most common intestinal virus to transform into an aggressive virus that can cause FIP in a handful of cats. FIP is a terrifying illness that causes chills in the back of pet kennels and cattery owners. It’s fatal and incurable, as per Cornell. A precise diagnosis is a part of the method to avoid other cats getting infected by the virus that’s passed through the stool.
Testing for FIP
Finding out if a cat has FIP is an ill cat is demanding due to various symptoms and complicated tests. Most cats suffering from FIP have elevated levels of antibodies; however, not all. Additionally, the standard blood test for feline coronavirus antibodies cannot differentiate the disease from the more widespread in the intestinal “enteric” form (FECV). Up until recently, biopsies, as well as special tissue tests, were required for the diagnosis of FIP. 1..
How to differentiate between the two forms of FIP
It is good news that a relatively new test called FIP virus RealPCR(tm) is used to differentiate between two types of viruses and verify that there is FIP on cats. Pet Health Network’s parent business, IDEXX Laboratories, provides the test. The launch of this brand new test to determine the presence of mutations in the FIP virus will aid vets in determining the cause of infection to allow cat owners to make informed choices about the treatment.
What is it that makes feline heartworm infections so significant and dangerous?
Heartworm infections are transmitted through mosquitoes and are a commonly neglected issue for cats. Even though testing for feline heartworm antigen isn’t definitive in all instances, the test is typically utilized when conducting tests to determine FeLV or FIV. The absence of a positive result doesn’t negate the possibility of infection. However, the positive test for heartworm antigen is highly accurate.
What are the reasons that feline distemper and respiratory illnesses are so significant and dangerous (FVRCP)?
These include Feline Panleukopenia (or distemper) and respiratory viral diseases (Herpesvirus and Calicivirus). Panleukopenia is a condition that usually has high mortality rates due to feline parvovirus (FPV). The clinical signs are:
Feline Herpesvirus can cause severe upper respiratory diseases that cause congestion, sneezing, and conjunctivitis. Feline Calicivirus is responsible for upper respiratory tract infections along with oral ulceration.
Utilizing vaccinations to combat significant destructive, harmful diseases
In the past, vets have recommended annual vaccinations for felines against most infectious illnesses. In recent years, there’s been a tendency to steer clear of vaccinations that aren’t necessary. Instead of giving a vaccination every year, some experts advocate using pre-vaccination tests to determine the amount of antibodies that protect. Serology (measuring the levels of specific antibodies to a particular disease) could be a substitute for administering FVRCP vaccines each year. Several studies have proven that measuring the levels of antibodies to this virus can accurately indicate the immunity status of the majority of cats as well as their capacity to fight the infection.
The decision to get vaccinated or check the titers of pre-vaccinal antibodies is based on various variables. Your physician is the best to recommend checking or vaccinating annually.