Feline Calicivirus

The Feline Calicivirus is a terrible condition that cats can contract. There are a number of different strains of this virus that can affect cats, and the majority of all feline respiratory disease complex is caused by either feline calicivirus or feline rhinotracheitis virus.

The good news is that the mortality rate with this condition is quite low in adult cats that are otherwise healthy. However, it can be far more serious in young cats and kittens as well as in cats that are older. This condition can develop anywhere although it is often in crowded environments such as shelters.

How It Can Affect Your Cat

There are a number of symptoms that you cat may display if it has this virus, and it can have a number of different effects. It can affect the nose, eyes, mouth, and nasal cavity of the cat, and could also affect the lungs and intestines. One form has a mortality rate of 67 percent, and this is called 'virulent systemic Feline Calicivirus'.

The symptoms of this condition in cats can be similar to those that humans can get if they had a health cold. This includes inflammation of the nasal membranes, nasal discharge, fever, sneezing, salivation, runny eyes, ulcers on the tongue and palate. In more serious cases can result in the victim of the condition getting pneumonia.

How Can Your Cat Get This Condition?

There are a number of ways which which your cat can become infected with this virus, which include the following:

  • In cases where the infection is passed onto the animal via a carrier, and is passed on discharges from the eyes, mouth, or nose. This is known as direct contact.
  • Where food bows, bedding, etc is used, and this virus can withstand some disinfectants, which means that it can live in environments for long periods. This is known as indirect contact.
  • Through cats that have already had the condition, have recovered, but still have the infection which they then carry and dispatch in things such as their bodily fluids and excretions.

It is important to bear in mind that humans do not get infected by this condition from their cat, but other animals can get infected from cats that have or even have recovered from the condition.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Feline Calicivirus

In most cases the vet will assess clinical signs in the cat in order to determine whether it has this virus, and with the virus accounting for up to 90 percent of all respiratory disease complex in cats this is often an effective way to diagnose.

With regards to treatment antibiotics will not be given, as this is a viral infection and therefore they will not work. Treatment by antibiotic may, however, be administered for any related health issues that have occurred as a result of the infection.

The cat can be made more comfortable through removal of fluid from the eyes and nose. It may also be necessary for fluids to be administered to avoid dehydration, and force feeding may have to be used if the cat has developed anorexia, which can be a secondary side effect of the condition.

Prevent This Disease

If you want to save yourself time, money, and inconvenience, but most importantly save your cat the misery of being infected and the stress of related problems that may occur, you should make sure that your pet is protected against this infection by getting the cat vaccinated and keeping up with boosters, so that he or she is always protected.

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