FELINE RESPIRATORY VIRUSES

cat1

This is cold and flu season for humans for sure but our feline friends can suffer from respiratory viruses all year long.  There are two main culprits that affect our kitties: Feline Calici Virus (FCV) and Rhinotracheitis, which is a feline herpes virus infection.  Both can present with lethargy, sneezing, runny eyes and loss of appetite.  Calici virus is the more serious of the two syndromes and presents with mouth sores and aching joints.  The care is largely supportive for both viruses but antibiotics may be needed if there is a secondary bacterial infection of the eyes or lungs.  These two viruses are highly contagious and present serious problems in a shelter environment.  At St. Francis, we isolate the cat at the first sign of symptoms in our infirmary and maintain strict contact and sanitation protocols.  In a home with other cats it is more difficult but hand washing and isolation should help protect your other pets.  The good news is that these viruses are not transmitted to humans and are easily preventable with immunizations.

Advertisements