Info & Articles

Cat Flu / Upper respiratory infections

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A number of Veterinary Clinics have reported seeing an increasing amount of patients suffering from Cat Flu and Upper respiratory infections.

Cat Flu / Upper respiratory infections

Cat flu is the general name given to a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract in cats. It is a common disease in cats and although not usually fatal in previously healthy adult cats it can cause death in kittens and immuno-suppressed older cats.

Cat flu is most commonly caused by the Feline Herpes Virus-1 (FHV-1), or Feline Calicivirus (FCV)

Being an airborne virus (much like a human cold) cats can become infected wherever they gather, such as catteries, shows, vets and even in residential neighbourhoods. The cat transmitting the disease may not actually be sick; it may simply be “carrying” the virus. Exposed cats may or may not show symptoms. Even a vaccinated cat is at some risk, especially if under stress, old, very young or suffering from another illness.

Your cat has not shown any symptoms at this stage; however undue stress or excitement on arrival home may bring on these symptoms.

The most common symptoms

The Eyes:

The virus affects the membranes of the eyes. (Conjunctivitis) The eyes are swollen and red with a discharge that is often filled with pus when secondary bacterial infections invade.

The Nose:

Sneezing is one of the most common symptoms. The nasal linings are inflamed (Rhinitis). There is a discharge from the nose which begins as a clear fluid. The discharge then turns thick and green as the disease progresses. Cats can often lose their sense of smell.

Fever, Depression & Loss of Appetite:

Often the cat runs a fever and generally feels unwell. Cats will often lose their appetite and sometimes become dehydrated. Although they are dehydrated they may refuse to drink water.

Treatment

Urgent treatment is required if the cat goes off their food, develops conjunctivitis, develops a thick nasal discharge or has difficulty breathing. If these symptoms appear or you are at all concerned please phone for a time to see your vet as soon as possible.

What we do

Immediately any infected cat showing signs will be isolated in an attempt to prevent further exposure to other cats, along with a visit to a vet for treatment at the owners cost to be administered a course of antibiotics.

All our catteries are treated daily with F10 disinfectant through the use of a humidifier like machine that allows the disinfectant to cover all surfaces.

All of our cat units are private not allowing them to have direct contact with other cats. By doing this we can help reduce the risk of your cat coming in direct contact with another that may be harbouring the virus. All of our bowls are disinfected and cleaned daily.

Finally

No amount of supervision, sanitation or personalised care can prevent a cat from “catching” an airborne virus. All that a good pet care facility can do is to strongly recommend minimum F3 Vaccinations, refuse to board any obviously sick cats, listen and watch for any signs of sickness, and make sure that any cat requiring veterinary attention receives it as quickly as possible (Strangely, the cat with the virus alone may not appear ill, yet is contagious). Professional pet care facilities would justifiably expect owners to accept the financial responsibility for such care. Your PIAA member is devoted to your pet’s wellbeing. Look for their membership certificate proudly displayed.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Samford Pet Resort on (07) 3289 1600.