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What You Should Know About Feline AIDS

By: PetPlace Staff

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Treatment

There has been no proven effective treatment for FIV infection. If your cat has no clinical signs, no treatment may be recommended. In this situation, regular follow-up visits to your veterinarian are important to insure the condition does not progress. If immunodeficiency and secondary infections have developed, your veterinarian will choose treatments to combat them. These are likely to consist of antibiotics for bacterial infections, nutritional support, fluid therapy for dehydrated cats and parasite control.

Several therapies used to treat people with AIDS have been used in cats with FIV infection with the goal of boosting their immune systems and slowing the progress of the disease. These treatments include:

  • AZT, a well-known AIDS drug. Treatment with AZT may result in clinical improvement, immune function and quality of life, but AZT has some potentially serious adverse effects and should be administered to FIV-infected cats under the supervision of a veterinarian experienced with its use.

  • Alpha interferon. This drug may reduce viral replication in some infected cats. It is not licensed for use in cats, but some clinical studies found increased activity, increased appetite, improvement of blood abnormalities, increased clearance of virus and prolonged survival in treated cats.

  • Bone marrow transplantation. This procedure has been performed in a limited number of FIV-infected cats and is successful in restoring white blood cell counts in some instances. Infected cats, however, remain infected with FIV. This procedure is available only at a limited number of referral research institutions.

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