Infectious rhinotracheitis in cats (“cat” herpes) is a dangerous disease that affects not only the respiratory system, but also the eyes. Although the pathogen in the external environment dies quite quickly (somewhere 12-18 hours). However, if the virus is in the pet’s body, the animal is still able to infect other cats for many months (up to 8-9).
How can an animal get sick
Often, a cat becomes infected by inhaling air with the pathogen. However, the alimentary method of infection is not excluded (this is when the virus enters the body with food). But the virus enters the air from the body of cats that are either clearly ill, or have already recovered and have been carriers for many months.
The rhinotracheitis virus enters the external environment with secretions from the nose, eyes, urine, feces and milk.
Your cat does not necessarily contact with the animal “culprit” could be you. Step on fresh cat secretions with the virus (agree, a puddle of urine on the sidewalk or on the ground is unlikely to notice), and then bring it home on your shoes.
Your pet will sniff or lick the shoes, and as a result, it will become infected. The first symptoms appear quite quickly, and they are quite specific.
Symptoms of rhinotracheitis in cats
The most frequently recorded acute course of the disease. Very rarely, it occurs chronically or almost imperceptibly. First of all, there is a loss of appetite and discharge from the nose and eyes. The runny nose is not strong at first, but literally before your eyes it will become purulent (yellow, with a greenish tinge).
Discharge from the eyes also becomes purulent, crusts appear in the corners. As soon as this stage begins, the body temperature rises very high.The pet becomes very sluggish, almost constantly lying down.
Since the virus “likes” the respiratory organs, the symptoms are more related to their defeat. A cough begins, and wheezing is often heard when breathing. Over time, shortness of breath appears.
The mucous membranes (visible) of the respiratory system (nose, larynx) are also affected, inflamed, reddened and strongly swollen, which is why the lumen of the respiratory tract is greatly reduced. There is also an inflamed mucosa in the oral cavity. Because of purulent discharge in the nostrils, the animal has to breathe through the mouth.
If you do not recognize the symptoms in time and do not start treatment in a timely manner, then pneumonia and bronchitis develop. As soon as the acute form becomes chronic, there are problems with digestion and constipation. Although the animal does not want to eat and drink at all, because of this, there is a General weakness and even dehydration. Because of weakness, the legs begin to tremble.
Pregnant cats do not have a sweet time. The virus penetrates the placental barrier, as a result, pregnancy is interrupted (either kittens are born prematurely and dead, or they completely dissolve if the term is very small). Sometimes ulcers appear on the skin and cornea.
Self-diagnosis may be incorrect because the symptoms of rhinotracheitis is very similar to calicivirus, chlamydia, rovirosa, a mycoplasmosis. As soon as you notice that your pet has become apathetic, pus appeared in the eyes and nose, immediately go to the clinic to the veterinarian.
He will not only examine the pet, but also make the necessary tests, conduct a differential diagnosis, excluding sores with similar symptoms.
Treatment of cats with rhinotracheitis
Rhinotracheitis in cats can not be completely eliminated. You probably know that almost all people are carriers of the herpes virus, and as soon as the immune system gives up, this infection is right there. The same applies to rhinotracheitis.
It seems that after treatment, the symptoms disappeared, but stress or weakened immunity re – “activate” the virus. Do not worry, the disease will not break out again, just your pet will become a carrier.
This is dangerous for susceptible animals around him, especially if there are kittens. For yourself, your children and dogs do not worry, ” cat ” herpes affects only cats. You can’t treat it yourself. Only the veterinarian will prescribe treatment. You will not find the necessary broad-spectrum antibiotics that will prevent pathogens from taking advantage of the cat’s weakened immune system. Be sure to use immune modulators to strengthen the body’s defenses.
Vitamins are also needed (in particular, C, A and E), which again strengthen the immune system and speed up the recovery process. And you must follow a diet. Antiviral drugs will significantly ease the condition of the animal. Eye and nose drops are often prescribed to fight infection and pain.
There will be no full recovery. Stress, weakened immunity, poor conditions of detention, crowding, contact with a sick animal-and again the symptoms of rhinotracheitis appear. Try to provide the sick animal with a quiet and happy life.
Prevention of rhinotracheitis
Prevention is simple: it is necessary to vaccinate small kittens. As soon as they were weaned from their mother, carried out preventive deworming, vaccinate with a complex drug (not only from rhinotracheitis). This will allow you to develop a stable immunity for a year. Repeat the procedure every year.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.