These viral diseases in cats are incurableWhat diseases are there? How they are transmitted? How to protect your cat? We educate!
Infectious diseases are among the leading causes of death in cats. Diseases caused by viruses are particularly insidious, as they are often incurable. Even vaccinations are not available for all pathogens.
With appropriate preventive measures, you can increase the likelihood that your cat will stay healthy. But even in the case of a viral infection, prompt treatment of symptoms can ensure that your cat can still enjoy a long life. That's why it's important to spot the early signs of a potentially terminal illness.
Feline immunodeficiency syndrome (FIV)
The best-known and most feared incurable viral disease is FIV, colloquially known as "feline AIDS". In fact, FI viruses are also related to the viruses that cause the immunodeficiency disease AIDS in humans.
However, sick velvet paws do not pose a danger to their owners, as the viruses only affect cats. The FI virus is usually transmitted through bite wounds or during the mating act. This is why neutering is a sensible preventive measure, because it not only eliminates the need for mating – it can also reduce the risk of territorial fights.
If you keep your cat exclusively indoors, you can also significantly reduce the risk of infection. However, your cat may have been infected before you moved in.
Immediately after transmission FIV can cause fever in the cat, but usually the disease remains inconspicuous for a long time. Nonspecific symptoms such as rhinitis, diarrhea and ulcers appear only after a few years, due to secondary infections. FIV can only be reliably diagnosed by a blood test.
Treatment is also concentrated on these secondary diseases, as there is no effective remedy against the viruses themselves to date. Nevertheless, well kept cats can live for many years without suffering, even with FIV disease.
Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)
The transmission of the pathogens occurs in this viral disease mainly through saliva and nasal secretions in contact with sick cats, but also in the womb and through the milk. Therefore, even indoor cats can contract the disease.
The Feline Leukemia Virus also makes itself felt mainly through the secondary diseases. Affected cats often have a noticeably shaggy coat and poorly healing wounds. In the further course, malignant lymphomas, damage to the bone marrow as well as blood and metabolic diseases can occur.
With timely treatment of the diseases caused by the virus, cats infected with FeLV can also live to a ripe old age.
– Schroll, Sabine (Author)
Feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIP)
The virus is excreted by infected cats through saliva and feces. Healthy cats can become infected by inhaling or swallowing the virus.
Therefore, contact with infected cats is dangerous, as well as contact with contaminated objects such as food bowls, toys and transport baskets. (Extra tip: How your cat learns to love the transport box.)
The contagious peritonitis, which is caused by mutated coronaviruses, is usually also initially manifested by mild rhinitis or diarrhea. Between infection and outbreak of the viral disease are only a few weeks and months. It is possible to choose between a damp. Be distinguished from a dry form.
In particular, the wet form, which is characterized by strong fluid accumulation inside the body of the cat, can be easily diagnosed. In the dry form, on the other hand, nodular changes dominate.
While some animals only excrete viruses without becoming ill themselves, death usually occurs within a few weeks or months when clinical symptoms appear.
Effective treatment options do not exist yet. Only relief can be given to the sick animals. Since FIP occurs mainly in kittens, it is advisable to house pregnant dams separately shortly before the litter as a preventive measure.