Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm
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Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Calicivirus outbreak halted

Thursday, March 22, 2018


The virulent feline calicivirus outbreak has been halted. It was a very nasty strain of calicivirus, which our vets rapidly identified. It caused facial swelling, high fever, mouth ulcers and pain.
We are very happy that unlike other outbreaks in Queensland, Sydney and the United States we didn't lose any patients.
Dr Georgia was in touch with the experts at Sydney University for advice and we halted the spread of the virus and treated affected patients successfully. We also advised other ACT and southern NSW veterinarians and catteries on eradication and treatment.
We suspect that one of 3 possible cats introduced it into the ACT but won't know for certain until the virologists have analysed the viruses we have sent them.
Virologists at the University of Sydney are working on a vaccine for this calicivirus strain. We certainly hope we never see it again in our lifetime!

Calicivirus outbreak

Thursday, February 15, 2018


A virulent and atypical form of calicivirus has infected some cats in Canberra. Only 2 other outbreaks have ever occurred in Australia - in Sydney and in Ipswich, Queensland. Vaccination against the usual strains of calicivirus does not seem to protect cats
Affected cats go off their food, seem lame or sore, and hide. Most get over it with pain medication and TLC. Some go onto develop swollen noses, faces and paws, and need intensive care. If you suspect your cat is ill please phone us before coming down and then when you arrive.
To protect your cat from becoming infected wash your hands for at least 30 seconds when you get home from anywhere and before touching your cat.
We have instituted very strict disinfection procedures at Canberra Cat Vet. Do not be offended if we ask you to be a lot more careful with carriers, and in touching anything at the hospital! We have your cats' health as our top priority.

The unwell cat

Thursday, January 19, 2017

   Cats often don't give us many clues that they are ill. Perhaps they miss a meal or hide in the cupboard. Perhaps they look for a cuddle; or perhaps they want nothing to do with you. Some will vomit or have diarrhoea. The occasional one will show pain by hunching over or curling up and wanting to be left alone.

Many of these vaguely ill cats have pancreatitis, a painful inflammation of the pancreas. The pain and nausea put them off their food. As cats obtain most of their fluids through their food rather than from what they drink they become dehydrated very quickly. The dehydration exacerbates the pain and nausea and so a vicious downward spiral continues.

Fortunately most respond to a drip to rehydrate them, and pain relief and anti-nausea medication. Within 2 or 3 days they are back to their normal selves. 

Pancreatitis is a very common complaint in middle-aged to older cats. If your cat doesn't seem to be her or himself call us sooner rather than later as cats often suffer pancreatitis silently.

Curious cats and sore bellies

Friday, April 11, 2014

This week has been a busy one at Canberra Cat Vet - mainly fishing odd things out of cats' bellies!

On Monday Smitten the kitten was vomiting, hunched up and very dehydrated. We X-rayed her and saw a round object in her abdomen (see the X-ray below). We re-hydrated her on a drip, took her to surgery next morning and found a five cent coin stuck in a bend in her intestine.

Princess arrived on Tuesday. She wouldn't eat and was crying and jumping about intermittently. Her belly was painful but we couldn't see anything on X-ray. She went on a drip too and after a couple of days of force-feeding and pain relief (and scratching our heads - why wouldn't she eat? why did she have a sore belly?) she passed part of a tassel from a cushion - and started eating heartily!

On Tuesday afternoon  a ribbon went missing in prim Miss Mittens' apartment. Her frantic carer came down because the last time she had seen the ribbon was in  Miss Mittens' mouth. Meanwhile Miss Mittens was eating and grooming and seemed quite normal.

Ribbons and string can make the intestines accordion - like putting elastic through a waist band. Eventually they saw through the intestinal wall. Many cats die when the intestinal contents spill into the abdominal cavity and cause massive infection. Even with surgery to remove the ribbon and clean up the spill many cats perish.

Because Miss Mittens looked relaxed and normal her carers found it difficult to believe that she could get so ill. They were very glad they decided to let us take her to surgery when we found the ribbon already working its way through her intestines and causing trouble. Today Miss Mittens is home ruling the household with an iron paw again - but all ribbons have been banished from her kingdom!


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A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

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

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