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There are several feline respiratory viruses, which tend to resemble one and another. They belong to a group of viruses called Feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) also known as feline influenza. Feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) is a primary viral infection of the upper respiratory system. The herpes virus causes it. It is a contagious virus spread through contact with the secretions of a diseased cat and through the air.
The virus will embed itself in the nasal cavity; nose, nasopharynx (the structure found directly behind the nose and before the palate) and the tonsils. The virus spreads through nasal, saliva and eye secretions. The virus can also be spread through the sharing of eating bowls, litter boxes, cat beds, anything that the cat will come in contact with. The virus will appear after two to five days from the time it entered the body. The Feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) will then last up to three weeks before it disappears.
Runny nose, sneezing and coughing
Loss of appetite
Empyema (pus in the lungs)
Ulcers in the eyes
Diagnoses is usually done to insolent the disease by using
In serious cases the veterinarian will use oxygen therapy, intravenous fluid (IV) feeding tube and vaccines.
This virus accounts for about half of all reported respiratory infections. It is contagious and if not treated can turn into pneumonia and cause death in young kittens.
Feline calicivirus (FCV) is the other most common virus found among cats. This disease of the upper respiratory system manifests in different strains. Feline calicivirus is usually a mild flu-like virus characterized by runny nose, and weeping eyes. However treatment of the disease will also depend upon the strain your cat has contracted. It is very hard to develop a vaccine because the virus continues to mutate. Although vaccines have been successful in treating the disease, the disease itself is spreading. The virus spreads through saliva, eye and nose secretions, and feces of a cat which has already contracted the virus.
The causes of Feline calicivirus will depend upon the strain. Some strains cause ulcerations on the cat's paw, as well as in the oral and nasal cavities. The virus can also affect the intestines and the lungs. Feline calicivirus can occur alone or in combination with other viruses or bacterial infection such as chlamydiosis.
Feline calicivirus can live outside the cat, in its environment, such as cat litter box, for about eight to ten days. Cats can be carriers of the virus without ever showing any symptoms. They also can remain contagious for most of their lives. This virus is more prevalent in kittens, homes with several cats, shelters and pet shops, dirty environments and places where their physical needs are not met. If the cat is stressed out because of a new cat addition to the house, moving etc, it can also become susceptible to an outbreak.
Runny nose and eyes
Painful limbs and accompanying lameness
Pneumonia (and labored breathing)
Immunoflorescence assays (injecting the lungs with a florescent material to determine antigens, proteins and other material)
It is always wise to seek a veterinarian when your cat shows flu-like symptoms. Although the virus may run its course, you would not want the virus to develop into something more serious. Your veterinarian will conduct a complete physical, administer the proper diagnostic testing then prescribe the appropriate treatment. Your cat will feel better in no time.
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