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Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Virus update

Thursday, September 12, 2019
                                               The common strain of Calicivirus is active in the ACT this spring. Kittens with sore mouths, sneezes and runny noses suffer like humans with colds.
Unvaccinated kittens and cats fall victim to Calicivirus and take longer to get over it than vaccinated cats.
Vaccines stimulate the cat's natural immune system to produce defences to viruses.
The two viruses that cause 'cat flu' are calicivirus and herpesvirus. Most cats come into contact with them at some time in their lives.
Owners can bring calicivirus and parvovirus, which causes Feline Panleukopenia or Enteritis, home on their hands and shoes so even indoor cats are at risk of illness.
The vaccine for panleukopaenia is very effective and in adults immunity lasts for 3 years.
The vaccine for the 'cat flu' reduces the severity of flu symptoms and vaccinated cats recover more rapidly.

Sore eyes

Thursday, November 22, 2018
                        Poor Mali's eye started running within days of arriving in his new home. His carers noticed that he was squinting and sad so they brought him in for a check.
It is very common for kittens and even adult cats to get one or two sore eyes when they are stressed. Mali had left his mum and brothers and sisters as well as his first home. Despite lots of love and care his new home was strange to him and he was understandably a bit stressed. Cats don't like change!
The feline herpesvirus behaves a bit like the human herpesvirus except that it hides out in the nerve to the eye. When the cat is stressed the virus is activated and moves to the window of the eye, the cornea. Human herpesvirus usually moves to the lips causing cold sores. Both human and feline herpesvirus lesions cause a lot of pain.
The feline herpesvirus produces ulcers on the surface of the cornea. The eye becomes red and watery, and the cat squints in pain. With veterinary care the ulcers usually resolve but occasionally they may rupture the eyeball or produce brown scabs on the cornea disrupting vision.
Mali's eye responded to treatment and he settled into his new home very well. Occasionally if something new comes into his environment his eye runs again but his carers know what to do and the virus rarely gets out of hand.

Sneezes and runny eyes

Thursday, July 20, 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                  Many cats are suffering from cat flu this winter. Mali's runny eye and sneezing are typical of the type we are seeing. He has been picky with his food and inclined to go off on his own instead of playing these last few days too.
The swab revealed that he has herpesvirus, a common cause of cat flu and widespread in the cat population. Mali was vaccinated against herpesvirus so he should only have a mild dose of flu of short duration.
Vaccination against herpesvirus and calicivirus doesn't necessarily prevent cats from getting some signs but the disease is much less severe and prolonged than if they'd had no vaccination.
Severe cat flu in unvaccinated cats can lead to runny nose, chronic sinusitis, mouth ulcers, coughing, pneumonia and even death in young or elderly cats.
Confirmed herpesvirus infections respond to a special antiviral which your vet may prescribe.
Mycoplasma, chlamydia and other bacteria may complicate the viral disease. Antibiotics help control these infections.
Nursing is the most important therapy for cats with flu. To keep their appetite up feed strong smelling foods. If the nose is blocked half an hour in a steamy bathroom helps loosen the secretions up. Wipe mucky eyes and nose with a moist cotton wool or makeup pad.
Purr therapy is crucial to recovery! Lots of gentle petting and coddling will help your sad cat through this difficult patch.

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Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

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