Jefferson Animal Hospital Seeks to Raise Awareness About FIV and FeLV

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, UNITED STATES

BATON ROUGE, La., Aug. 23, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Jefferson Animal Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is on a mission to raise awareness about feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV). Both conditions are retroviruses that have similar symptoms. Despite these similarities, though, they are both very different diseases. FIV has many similarities to the disease HIV in humans. One similarity is that cats can live relatively healthy lives with this condition for many years. They can also infect healthy cats with it during this time. FeLV-positive cats, by contrast, generally live no longer than three years after being infected.

Baton Rouge area pet owners want their cats to lead healthy lives. That's why Dr. Frederic Michaelson of Jefferson Animal Hospital wants to educate area cat owners about FIV and FeLV, two conditions that can be devastating for cats and their owners.

FIV, short for feline immunodeficiency virus, is a condition that's very similar to the HIV in humans. The similarities lie in the fact that cats can lead remarkably healthy lives for many years before displaying symptoms of the disease.

During this time, though, the cat is carrying the disease and may pass it on to other cats through bite wounds (or from a mother cat to kittens). Once the cats become symptomatic, though, their immune systems become weak, making them vulnerable to other illnesses, conditions, and diseases.

Dr. Michaelson warns that cats who spend time outdoors and those under the age of one are most vulnerable to this condition.

FeLV stands for feline leukemia virus. This too may show few symptoms at first. However, it will eventually lead to a massive breakdown of overall cat health. It is likely to develop into full leukemia – a condition for which there is no cure. The virus is passed through bodily fluids which can be transmitted via shared litter boxes, bites, grooming one another, scratching, or sharing food or drink.

Prevention is the best cure for FeLV by keeping cats under the age of three months old inside and away from other cats and by vaccinating kittens as soon as possible.

"The better cat owners understand these conditions, the more likely they are to take preventative measures to avoid having them happen to their pets. That is why we want to educate area cat owners about them," says Dr. Michaelson.

Area residents with questions or concerns about these conditions are encouraged to call Jefferson Animal Hospital at (225) 927-2344 to learn more or to schedule a consultation.

About Jefferson Animal Hospital

Located on Jefferson Highway in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Jefferson Animal Hospital is committed to helping area pet owners care for and raise healthy pets. They offer vaccinations, preventative treatments, microchipping, pet wellness visits, laser therapy, pet acupuncture, dental cleanings, pet surgeries, pet internal medicine and senior wellness care for pets.


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