Cat flu is very similar to human cold. Fever accompanied by runny nose, sore throat, aches and pains are all a part of the flu.
Though not a very serious condition in adult cats, it could be fatal to kitten.
Having some background knowledge about cat flu symptoms and treatment can help the caregiver in attending to the pet on time.
Symptoms of Cat Flu
Cat flu is a disease of the upper respiratory tract and hence affects the eyes, nose and throat. Virus is the cause of this primary infection and affects the eye membranes resulting in redness and discharge from the eye. It also causes inflammation of the nasal lining leading to a runny nose. This turns thick as the condition worsens, affecting the sense of smell. All this is accompanied by fever, loss of appetite and even dehydration. Other lesser known symptoms are gingivitis, mouth and paw ulcers, limping due to pain in the joints, etc.
Causes of Cat Flu
Feline herpes virus, FHV-1 and feline Calicivirus, FCV are the most common causes of cat flu. Of the two, FHV-1 is more serious. It affects the membranes of the eye, nose and throat. It is contagious and spreads very quickly among cats. Many times though the primary infection is caused by the virus, the discharges lead to bacterial invasion and secondary infections. It is not just the ill cats who are sources of the infection. Healthy cats with stronger immune systems can also act as carriers and transmit the infection through their urine, feces, saliva and other bodily discharges.
Diagnosis of Cat Flu
As soon as you observe these symptoms take your cat to the vet’s office. On examining for clinical symptoms the vet will ask for swabs for lab tests. This will confirm the type of flu and the doctor can prescribe the mode of treatment to be followed.
Treatment of Cat Flu
Antiviral drugs are found to be ineffective in treating cat flu. Antibiotics are the second line of defense as in most cases the bacterial infection has set in. so, the vet will prescribe a course of antibiotics. In addition to medication, palliative care at home is important. Include your pet’s favorite food to its diet and ensure that it gets enough nutrition to recuperate. Intake of fluids is very important to flush out the toxins. Make sure that all the discharges are wiped clean from its body at least twice a day. Also make sure that it gets sufficient rest.
All these measures will help in recognizing cat flu symptoms and treatment to provide.