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Feline Viral Respiratory Disease Complex

Acute Viral Respiratory Infection continued...

Treatment: Cats suspected of having acute viral respiratory infection should be strictly isolated for three to four weeks so as not to infect others. It is important to disinfect any bedding, bowls, cages, or other items the sick cat has come into contact with by washing them thoroughly with a dilute solution of bleach and water. Human caretakers should change their clothing, wear disposable shoe covers, and wash their hands frequently.

For the patient, rest and proper humidification of the atmosphere are important. Confine your cat in a warm room and use a home vaporizer. A cool steam vaporizer offers some advantage over a warm vaporizer because it is less likely to cause additional breathing problems. At the very minimum, keeping the cat in the bathroom while you shower will help.

Clean secretions from the eyes, nose, and mouth with moist cotton balls as often as needed.

Chronic Carrier State

Almost all the cats who have been infected with FVR will become chronic carriers. FVR lives and multiplies in the cells lining the throat. During periods of stress (such as illness, anesthesia, surgery, lactation, medication with steroids, or even emotional stresses), the cat’s immunity breaks down and the virus is shed in mouth secretions. At this time, the cat may exhibit signs of a mild upper respiratory illness.

Prevention: The most effective step by far is to vaccinate all cats, but even then, control is not 100 percent. Vaccination will not eliminate the chronic carrier states.

 

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WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"

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