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Feline herpes virus or rhinotracheitis

Rhinotracheitis (or feline flu) It is a respiratory disease of the Airways top cats. It is very common and can become chronic. Signs that may arise are many and include colds, sneezing, conjunctivitis, loss of appetite, fever and decay. Occasionally, You can see also ulcers in the cornea and excessive drooling caused by ulcers in the mouth of the affected cats.

Influenza tends to be the result of several infectious agents Association, between them:

– Feline herpesvirus (FHV-1)

– Feline Calicivirus (FCV)

In general, feline Herpesvirus infection (FHV-1) generates most important clinical signs and greater severity of illness, and can lead to death. Although most infected cats get a full recovery, the course of the disease can take several weeks and some remain sequelae of infection, as pictures of chronic rhinitis. Cats with chronic rhinitis tend to be healthy, but they maintain a persistent nasal discharge and sneezing. Secondary bacterial infections of the affected tissues may cause conjunctivitis (inflammation of the layer that covers the eyeball), sinusitis and bronchitis. The treatment with antibiotics usually only temporarily improve symptoms.

Feline Calicivirus infection (FCV) It usually causes a moderate picture of feline flu, with less important nasal discharges. Often, the only clinical sign of FCV infection is the appearance of sores. Canker can be found in the language, on the palate or in the nose. On the other hand, some strains of the virus can cause fever and lameness in some young cats. Affected cats recover within a few days, Although they may need the help of painkillers while duration of symptoms.

  • Who affected the feline flu?

Cat flu is more common in environments where a large number of cats are concentrated, as breeding cats, protective associations and feline colonies, Although they may also suffer it home life cats.

Growing kittens, unvaccinated cats, mature cats older 10 years of age and immunosuppressed cats are the most exposed individuals to generate complications and more severe forms of the disease.

In some cases, the flu can cause severe, particularly in kittens. If they are not vaccinated kitties that live within a feline community, morbidity reaches quickly the 100% and mortality can reach to the 30%.

Although vaccination reduces the risk of feline flu, This disease may also have it vaccinated cats.

  • Contagion

Feline influenza viruses are contagious for three-way:

1. By direct contact with an infected cat showing clinical signs.

2. From contact with virus transmitted on clothes, feeders and other objects. There is a large amount of viruses in nasal secretions, tears and saliva of cats with flu. The virus can survive in the environment until a week.

3. From contact with a cat carrier of feline flu. Breeding cats that are carriers pose a risk for your puppies, Since the stress of parenting could precipitate the Elimination of large numbers of virus, so the kittens can become infected both FCV and FHV before the age to be vaccinated.

  • Diagnosis and treatment

From the point of view of the clinical veterinarian, the diagnosis is based on clinical and laboratory tests. The test for feline influenza viruses consist of obtaining a swab of the oral mucosa which will be sent to a laboratory of reference where to be cultivated and identified the virus.

Once diagnosed, the objective of the treatment is the relieve symptoms and prevent possible complications that may result in death. This includes antibiotics to control secondary infections, and drugs that stop the runny nose and help the cat to breathe without difficulty.

As affected cats of feline flu tend to be reluctant to eat, We offer warm meals, and very palatable. In case of severe illness, It may happen that the cat should be hospitalized to provide him food through a tube nasoesofagico or directly placed in the stomach.

The majority of cats recovering from feline flu become carriers. Cat carriers do not usually show signs of disease, but through their saliva, tears and nasal secretions, eliminate viruses that pose a source of infection to other cats.

Cats FHV carriers eliminated it by their secretions intermittently. The secretion of virus tends to occur from of stressful situations, as the permanence in a feline residence, and you can get to produce a relapse with clinical picture of sneezing and nasal discharge in the cat carrier.

  • Prevention

The risk of developing feline influenza decrease taking the following measures:

Vaccination programme proper against FCV and FHV

Vaccines stimulate the immune system of the cat and help fight the infection to prevent the emergence of the clinical picture.

However, Although vaccination is to prevent the onset of severe disease pictures, you never get a 100% effectiveness in the prevention of infection, and moderate infections may occur in some cats. In the case of the CWF, There are a lot of strains, so it is continually works on the research of more effective vaccines. This problem does not exist in the case of the FHV, Since only a strain that is capable of producing infection is known. Cats recovering from an infection by FCV or FHV can resist future infections (they are immune) at least for a year or more.

Recommended vaccination in all domestic cats, especially if you are living in semi-freedom regime, they come to a residence or a feline exhibition. If an individual develops a flu feline as a consequence of the stress involved in, for example, an exhibition, It should be isolated. In the case of nursing kittens, maternal antibodies protect them only up to the age of 4-8 weeks, after which the antibody levels decrease gradually. To make effective vaccination in kittens, It must be carried out once antibodies have disappeared, This is, to the 6-12 weeks of age.

Vaccination and worming plan should be established by the veterinarian since this may vary depending on the immune status of the kitten and the environment in which it operates.

  • Proper control and sanitary hygiene

To prevent the spread of infection in an environment where there are many cats will need to apply a series of health checks on infected animals.

The infected cat must be isolated from the rest of the colony cats, for example in a separate room, where can be treated without the risk of that spread the virus to other cats in the House. For this cat must have assigned a feeder and a tray health different to those of the rest. All this must be disinfected with products able to eliminate these viruses and are not dangerous for the cat.

The veterinarian shall indicate which products to use and how to do it.

The person in charge of overseeing the colony of cats will be responsible for monitoring the health of the sick cat and, After do it, the face and hands must be disinfected before touching the rest of the colony cats. Also, You must change clothes or the bata after having contacted the isolated animal. If one is which cares for all cats, the infected cat must be the last one who receives care at home, to prevent possible infection.

  • Supplementation with L-lysine

Recent research efforts have led to an important discovery of nutrition: L-lysine, an amino acid naturally present in proteins, You can have a key role in the management of the herpesvirosis. It has been shown that during replication of feline herpesvirus, the increase of the level of L-lysine has an effect inhibitory of the same, and also limits the intensity of viral excretion and clinical signs.

In the particular case of kittens, they are very sensitive to suffering infectious diseases throughout their growth. That is why, It is very important to provide the best care during this stage. Between the 4th. and the 12th week of life, maternal colostrum-mediated immunity, decreases progressively, While the kitten's own defenses are not fully developed. The veterinarian shall establish the vaccination that appropriate plan, taking into account all necessary aspects.

At the same time, a proper nutrition can help them develop and strengthen your immune system. This nutritional approach not a substitute for vaccination or medical treatment, but it is equally essential that kittens are healthy and healthy throughout their lives.

– Avoid overcrowding (large communities cat)

– Implement good practices of hygiene in the www.gaterio.com

– Not reproducing females showing signs of chronic disease. Isolate the pregnant cats, 2 a. 4 weeks prior to delivery

– Isolate the newborn kittens, until the vaccination is effective

– Vaccine measures, under the recommendation of veterinary professional: Implement the program of regular vaccination for all cats in general. Vaccinated females, before mating. Consider early vaccination, in the case of kittens.