Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Feline viral rhinotracheitis Symptoms

Cats that are not vaccinated for the prevention of feline viral rhinotracheitis are at risk every time they interact with cats outdoors, at the groomers or at kennel.  

If you cat is permitted to socialize with neighborhood cats they may become infected when they groom another cat or if they inhale the virus from a cat that is coughing.

Healthy adult cats that are infected with feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) that  receive medical care from their veterinarian usually do not have complications and will recover however mature cats age 8 or older, kittens and cats with a weakened immune system and cats with Feline Leukemia or AIDS could become seriously ill and some may die.  

You can prevent your cat from getting infected by getting your cat vaccinated and keeping up with the annual shots.  Keep all appointments for preventative wellness exams by your veterinarian. 

If you think your cat has been exposed then get a journal and document any symptoms that may indicate illness.  From the time a cat is exposed to the virus it takes five days for the cat to show symptom.  

The first symptoms of  feline viral rhinotracheitisare is similar to that of a cat cold; however as the virus progress the symptoms will get worse.  If you suspect that your cats is infected with this form of feline influenza then make an appointment with your veterinarian for a wellness check-up.  

Take your journal with you when you take your cat to their appointment.  The journal will help you to discuss your cat’s health with the veterinarian it will also allow you to make notes in regard to your cats diagnosis and treatments.

Watch for these Symptoms:
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Swollen and irritated eyes with excessive tearing; clear discharge that becomes thick and turns a greenish color as the virus gets worse.  (see image above) 
  • Nose membranes and sinuses will become inflamed (red and swollen) Your cat will develop a clear nasal drip.  As the virus gets worse the clear nasal drip will become thicker and turn the color of green.
  • Fever
  • Behavior changes, not using litter box, withdrawn 
  • Dehydration
  • Drooling
  • Pain and signs of stiffness in joints

There is no cure for Feline viral rhinotracheitis, all you can do is provide your cat with comfort, keep your cat warm and treat the symptoms.  Your veterinarian may give you a prescription for antiviral medication. 

Administer the medication according to the directions given by your veterinarian, do not miss a dose and do not stop the medication unless your veterinarian tells you to stop.

To prevent your cat from getting infected with feline influenza you should get your cat vaccinated.

Another way to prevent your cat from becoming ill is to keep your cat indoors.  A cat that is permitted to go outdoors may easily come in contact with a cat that has an infections feline disease:  Feline leukemiafeline immunodeficiency virus and feline viral rhinotracheitis  .

Notes from Susan:

Even if your cat is not exposed to other cats, you must provide them with vaccines because they may come in contact with a infected cat when they go to groomers or to veterinarian for medical care.  Take steps to prevent your cat from becoming ill.

Image credit: Wikipedia Creative Commons 

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