URI – Upper Respiratory Infections in Cats

URI - Upper Respiratory Infections in Cats

HSV-1 is the major cause of cold sores, which are clusters of small blisters on the lips and mouth. Most cats are exposed to it from other cats, it’s in their system but most never show signs. Hands can become contaminated by having contact with infectious tears, eye discharge, fecal matter, or respiratory discharges. In humans as well as animals, the role of the visual system is to collect light and focuses it onto the retina, where specialized cells convert this light energy into nerve impulses. Cats that are regularly exposed to other cats with viral infections are more prone to develop the disease. Just like with our human colds, kitty colds are contagious to other cats, and it is common for multiple cats to be affected in a household. Feline herpesvirus (fhv, fhv-1) is a highly contagious virus that is one of the major causes of upper respiratory infections (uris) or cat flu in cats..Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease caused by toxoplasma gondii.

Whether conjunctivitis is contagious from cat to dog depends on the cause. Conjunctivitis in cats is typically of viral origin and usually that means a herpesvirus (feline herpesvirus-1 to be specific) infection. It could be feline herpes, also known as feline viral rhinopneumonitis (FVR), rhinotracheitis virus and feline herpesvirus type 1 (FHV-1), and one of the most common causes of upper respiratory infections in cats. IMPORTANT: Always administer medicine to its full term for it to be effective. Hold your cat sideways on your lap or place him on a table at a comfortable height (you may want someone to help restrain your cat if you choose the second option). The basic cat booster vaccine provides protection against some common respiratory infectious agents. As in the bonobo transmission scenario, the HSV-2 strain may have come into humans very recently, even within the past 100,000 years, while still having a 1.6-million-year divergence from the known ChHV sequence.

Rhinotracheitis is a feline herpes virus that can cause sneezing, conjunctivitis, and sinus congestion. [3] Inclusion (chlamydial) conjunctivitis — more common in newborns; includes redness of the eye(s), swelling of the eyelids, and discharge of pus, usually 5 to 12 days after birth. Visual acuity is the ability to see the detail of an object separately and clearly. Chlamydia is a type of bacteria that can cause conjunctivitis and other respiratory inflammation. Even consistently vaccinated cats are susceptible to these infections because the vaccines do not prevent infection; they only lessen the severity of clinical signs. The fact that one of the most common feline viruses that causes upper respiratory infections in cats is a herpes virus, makes dealing with kitty colds very frustrating. Bacterial infections are contagious, but only when the animal with the bacterial infection is in direct contact with the animal which is healthy.
URI - Upper Respiratory Infections in Cats

There are several treatment methods that can be combined in the treatment of feline herpes eye infections: Ocular infection with the feline herpesvirus is extremely common in cats. These ingredients support proper response of ocular mucosa in chronically infected feline herpes cats. What should you do if you suspect that your cat has an upper respiratory infection? Release the head and let your cat blink. If the discharges are clear and the cat is eating and drinking relatively normally, then wiping the eyes and nose clear may be all that is needed. Prior to this study, it has not been possible to resolve whether HSV-1 came into humans from a more distantly related primate, such as orangutans, whether HSV-2 came into humans later from chimpanzees, or whether both viruses may have diverged in the very distant common ancestors of humans, chimpanzees and gorillas. Cats that cannot smell may not eat well.

You can try to help open your kitty’s congested nose by placing him in a steamy bathroom or using a vaporizer. The conjunctiva is the membrane that lines the lids and covers the eyeball. Most of these products contain aspirin or acetaminophen that could be deadly to your cat. If you have a cat that is sick with an upper respiratory infection, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics, antihistamines, nasal sprays, interferon (a drug that stimulates the body’s own cells to fight infection), or even the amino acid L-lysine (another compound that works against herpes). Cats that get dehydrated may need to be supplemented with fluids. Answers are hard to come, or unavailable even in good books. Cats with recurrent FVR conjunctivitis infections will often require treatment with antiviral ophthalmic drops (see our handout on Conjunctivitis – Feline Herpes Viral).

Vaccination against feline herpes has been deemed helpful but one should understand that, in this case, the goal is not total prevention of infection but palliation. Unfortunately, there is not anything that you can give your cat to specifically stop it from sneezing. Since cats cannot blow their noses, they can build up a lot of mucous in their noses and sinuses, which can trigger sneezing. Sometimes veterinarians will use antihistamines to help relieve symptoms of congestion and sneezing in cats, but I have not had much luck with these products helping patients. Pediatric saline nasal sprays can be safely used to help with nasal congestion. The most important thing to remember if your cat has an upper respiratory infection is to be patient. Do not have unrealistic expectations on how long you think it should take for your cat to be 100%.

Whenever this symptom appears, a thorough ocular and systemic examination is warranted. Even though you felt better after a couple of days, you were probably blowing your nose for quite a while longer. The same can be true for cats, so try to keep your kitty as comfortable as possible and seek veterinary advice if signs progress.

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