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FIV in cats, do you own an FIV+ cat?

My FIV+ kitty Thomas

My rescue kitty Thomas

I adopted my FIV positive cat named Thomas in 2008 when he became an orphan after the death of his owner. Thomas’ veterinarian agreed to take him in and find him a forever home. Or at least a foster in the mean time. Being an adult cat with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, finding him a home was going to be a challenge. Many FIV+ cats in this type of predicament are euthanized. Caring for an immune deficient cat involves a little more time and money than caring for a healthy cat. I’ve learned a lot about FIV in cats along the way.

So what symptoms does an FIV+ cat have? Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine has an article which thoroughly covers the feline immunodeficiency virus:  “An infected cat’s health may deteriorate progressively or be characterized by recurrent illness interspersed with periods of relative health. Sometimes not appearing for years after infection, signs of immunodeficiency can appear anywhere throughout the body…”

Symptoms of FIV in cats (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus):

  • Diverse symptoms owing to the decreased ability to develop a normal immune response. Associated immunodeficiencies cannot be distinguished clinically from feline leukemia virus (FeLV)
  • Recurrent minor illnesses, especially with upper respiratory and gastrointestinal signs
  • Mild to moderately enlarged lymph nodes
  • Inflammation of the gums of the mouth and/or the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth is seen in 25 percent to 50 percent of cases
  • Upper respiratory tract disease is seen in 30 percent of cases – inflammation of the nose; inflammation of the moist tissues of the eye; inflammation of the cornea (the clear part of the eye, located in the front of the eyeball); often associated with feline herpes virus and calicivirus infections
  • Eye disease – inflammation of the front part of the eye, including the iris; disease of the eye in which the pressure within the eye is increased (glaucoma)
  • Long-term (chronic) kidney insufficiency (see more)

Next Article :Exercising Your Pets

What’s In Your Dog’s DNA?

If you have a full breed dog, you probably have AKC registration papers listing the long line of full bred champions in your fur baby’s genetic history. However, if you are like tens of thousands of other dog owners, you own a mixed breed “mutt” with no clue who their ancestors are.

Now you can have your dog’s DNA analyzed and compared with a data base of genes from several different breeds. I did this with my dog Sandy and was amazed at the results, they were not what I thought they would be. Obvious traits that have long been described as “lab cross” or “Chow cross” were not necessarily reflected in the actual DNA sequence. At the same time, the actual DNA contained codes for traits that one would never guess were there. Your shepherd cross rescue pup may not have any shepherd genes at all!

I was pretty sure my dog Sandy was a Chow/Aussie cattle dog mix. It turns out she does have some Chow in her along with Miniature Poodle, Cocker Spaniel, and a slight possibility of Pomeranian. I never would have guessed! It just goes to show the variety of canine genes that make up the companions we consider family. Dogs are considerably more genetically diverse then most other animals due to hundreds of years of selective breeding. One thing that never seems to change however, are the puppy dog eyes that melt our hearts when we look into our fur kids’ faces!

DNA

My Dog Sandy

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