SelectExotics Sandy Spots of Foothill Felines (Savannah queen)
|(PLEASE NOTE: We are NOT veterinarians!! However, we want to share our personal research and experiences regarding these important feline health issues with other cat-lovers!! We will be updating this page often!! Send us your ideas and any comments!!)|
What is "FIV"?? FIV, or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (also referred to as "Feline Aids"), is often confused with FELV, (Feline Leukemia Virus). FIV is a virus that has been around for centuries of time, and been passed through both wild and domestic breeds of cats, and having a diagnosis of FIV positive for your cat is most often not considered as life-threatening as an FELV-positive diagnosis. The more you know, the better care you can provide to your cat. The FIV virus for felines is in the same family of viruses as those from which HIV in humans are derived; HOWEVER, HUMANS CANNOT BECOME INFECTED WITH HIV FROM A CAT WITH FIV!! And, A CAT CANNOT BECOME INFECTED WITH FIV FROM A HUMAN WITH HIV!!
What are the symptoms of FIV?? Symptoms may vary, but the most common appear to be severe gingivitis (gum disease); frequent and recurring skin infections; weight loss; fatigue, and frequent and/or recurring infections of the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, and uro-genital tract.
How is FIV transmitted and how does the virus replicate?? The most recent research all points to the necessity of intimate physical contact between an infected cat to the second cat in order to transmit FIV. When body secretions are shared, there is a risk of your cat contracting FIV from an infected cat; this would include fighting among male cats, bite wounds, and the bites/scratches between two cats that are breeding. Nursing queens can, but don't always, pass the FIV virus to their kittens.
What happens when a cat becomes infected with the FIV virus?? Usually, the first indication of an FIV infection is that the cat's T-lymphocyte cells (or, white blood cells) become infected. These cells then travel to other parts of the body where they're stored, or they replicate to make new white blood cells. Somehow, the FIV virus can insert its own DNA into the cat's normal white blood cells' DNA, and this virus can also mutate, which is extremely challenging to the animal, whose immune system is now having to constantly create new antibodies to each new mutation. This ultimately causes a decrease in the number of white blood cells, which are the cat's major defense system against fungi, yeast and bacteria, which allows these other viral organisms to reproduce freely. These "secondary infections" are almost always what prove to be the most deadly to the animal.
What can I do for my FIV-positive cat?? Keep in mind that when a cat is tested positive for FIV, there are other factors that may be involved. The best way to manager your cattery or protect your animals is to have any cat or kitten tested BEFORE you bring them into your household and put them in with your other cats. If a kitten or cat tests positive for FIV in these circumstances, the vet will look to see how high the FIV antibodies are, and check to see what other illnesses the animal may have had or be trying to fight. It does happen that some FIV positive cats are able to fight back and completely rid themselves of the FIV virus; yet they will still have the FIV antibodies in their system. If your cat is FIV positive and ill, you will be working closely with your veterinarian to treat all the secondary infections, and to provide a diligent plan for care for your kitty.
Many FIV positive cats live long and healthy lives!! What you'll need to do is commit yourself to the following areas:
1) Diet and Nutrition: You must be sure your cat is eating the best, most high-protein diet possible. The immune system depends on protein to function. Your vet can help advise you how to supplement your cat's diet.
2) Keeping Stress Under Control. Try to avoid or at least minimize the events that you know are stressful to your cat. Stress causes a release of the hormone "cortisol" by the adrenal gland, and cortisol has a strong immunosuppressive effect on the body, which could allow the FIV virus to get a strong hold in your cat's body.
3) Work Closely with Your Veterinarian! Together, you will come up with a routine plan for follow up visits, bloodwork, vaccinations, dental care and fecal and other testing.
4) Watch Your Cat Closely! You will need to become very observant for things like appetite and prevention of weight loss, and to watch for the early signs of secondary infections. You must keep your cat indoors, and provide separate, very clean litterboxes, sleeping beds, toys, and food and water dishes for your cat. You may also want to do some research yourself and talk to your vet about supplementing your cat's diet with such natural compounds as Vitamin E, fatty acids, trace minerals, and herbs.
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NUVET PLUS FELINE SUPPLEMENT
~ Give your kitty the energy, great health and desire to enjoy life to the fullest! Used and recommended by Foothill Felines, click on image above to order this uniquely powerful nutritional supplement for felines at our Foothill Felines breeder discount. Just a pinch a day, sprinkled onto wet and/or dry food, energizes and supports all ages, weights and breeds of cats. Developed by scientists, veterinarians and formulators to enhance the health and lives of cats, this unique Nu- Vet supplement contains many important minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and vitamins especially needed by active felines' metabolisms INCLUDING taurine, calcium, blue green algae, brewer's yeast, and much more.
FELIWAY PLUG-INS & SPRAY
~ Click on links above for more information and to order these exceptionally calming Feliway products for felines. Used and recommended by Foothill Felines! Wonderful for cats of all ages, weights, and breeds. Contains natural cat pheromones for extremely effective stress relief and eliminating need for cats and kittens to mark or exhibit other unwanted behaviors. Every multi-cat household should know about these plug-ins; they are odorless to people, yet they are especially helpful to kittens/cats during a move, any change in your household routine, periods of stress of any kind, and queening.
~ Click on image above to learn about the incredible new exercise wheels for cats; the Toy-Go-Round wheels!! They're simply the best designed, best built and best priced wheels we've found anywhere!!
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