Each year, scores of pet owners receive the shocking news that their beloved cats have been diagnosed with FIV (also known as the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus). But there are many things veterinarians typically don’t tell these pet owners about the realities of this disease and the available treatment options. Here are a few examples.
1. A diagnosis of FIV is NOT an automatic death sentence: Cats with FIV can live for many years and enjoy a good quality of life. Even those felines showing symptoms often bounce back with proper treatment.
2. FIV can be treated: Veterinarians often tell pet owners there are no treatment options available for cats with FIV. This is simply NOT true. Natural treatments have proven remarkably effective in the treatment of the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. Holistic modalities like homeopathy and herbal medicine, used in concert with nutritional supplements and a quality diet, can support and revitalize a faltering immune system. Such therapies work well as preventative measures for cats not yet showing symptoms, and they can also be lifesaving for those in the advanced stages of the disease.
3. Cats with FIV do NOT always have to be isolated: Unlike other feline diseases, FIV is not wildly contagious. It is typically spread through deep, penetrating bite wounds like those exchanged by unneutered males during violent street fights. FIV is not spread through mutual grooming, shared bedding, food dishes, water bowls, or litter pans. FIV is rarely spread amongst cats living in the same house, and the isolation strategy recommended by so many vets is generally misguided.
The bottom line is that FIV+ cats can live long and healthy lives, and pet owners can adopt and keep these animals, secure in the knowledge that they’ve chosen well.