Common Feline Viruses
I truly feel the more feline medical knowledge a feline owner has, the healthier and longer their cat’s life will be. Therefore, I pass along important information pertaining to the health of felines over to our clients and inquiries. I feel that all feline owners should learn about the most common feline viruses and what to expect from them.
Through a lot of study and Vet consultations we have learned that there are many types of feline viruses, some of which are unavoidable in Catteries and multi cat households. The two most common viruses are, the Feline Herpes Virus & the Feline Corona Virus. 70 to 90% of all felines have either been exposed to one or both of these viruses. Because viruses can't be killed, cats who have them deal with bouts of the virus's symptoms throughout their life span. Usually viral bouts happen when a feline is under some kind of stress, either mental or physical or both. Rarely do these viruses cause death. But if they do, it is usually a kitten under the age of 3 weeks old.
The first virus I’m about to mention is the Feline Herpes Virus. It is not the same as human herpes, so we can't catch it. The Feline Herpes virus is thought to be more active in the winter and colder weather then it is in the warmer summer months. Just like the human cold viruses are for us. In fact, the feline herpes virus for a feline is very much like one of the cold viruses are for us. For felines, the Feline Herpes symptoms often come in the form of cat colds or eye inflammation. Antibiotics won't kill or stop these bouts. But there is a essential amino acid called L-Lysine which helps to control the symptoms and lessen the occurrences. If ever a client would like to try it, they are more then welcome to email me for more information. Once in a while these colds or eye irritations do turn into secondary infections, at which point an antibiotic is needed to cure the infection. We recommend an antibiotic call Zithromax for nasal or sinus infections and Terramycin for eye infections. The signs of infection will be either yellow or green discharge from either their nostrils or eyes.
The second virus a feline owner should learn about is the Feline Corona Virus. This virus will cause intestinal issues such as short bouts of soft poop or diarrhea. Again, these bouts often occur if the cat is under mental or physical stress. For cats who suffer from bouts of soft poop and or diarrhea there is a product called Fortiflora that I recommend using to help regulate a feline's digestive tract.
Although the Corona Virus is common and not fatal, there is something about the Feline Corona Virus that all feline owners need to be aware of. In a small number of felines, the corona virus will mutate into another type of virus called FIP, which is fatal. This mutation is very rare and is thought to occur in less then one percent of the felines exposed to the corona virus. Because FIP is fatal, and the corona virus is extremely common, owners need to be aware of FIP and what it is. Science has not figured out why this mutation occurs. It will be a huge relief for all feline enthusiasts, when science unravels the mysteries of it in order to find a cure.
All Feline Owners Need to be aware that There is No test for FIP.
Often times a Vet will offer to administer a Corona Virus test if a cat or kitten has suffered an illness and antibiotics have not cured them. They administer this test as a process of elimination. If the cat has not been exposed to the Corona Virus then the Cat cannot have FIP. If the cat has been exposed to the Corona Virus, It tells the Vet that there is a chance that the Corona Virus may have mutated into the FIP Virus.
Therefore this test is only used as a guide for the Vet, and not as definitive result. The only way to know if a cat was FIP positive, is to biopsy the body after the animal has passed away.
Medical vocabulary can sometimes confuse or complicate the explanation of FIP. Many times if an owner agrees to have the Corona Virus test administered and if the test comes back positive, the owner may think their cat has FIP, when in fact it does not, it only means the cat has been exposed to the corona virus.