The cat suffering from recurrent rhinitis and conjunctivitis: knowing and treating feline herpesvirus

It happens often to adopt a kitten, which in a short time begins to manifest sneezing, nasal and ocular discharge, and anorexia. The cause is most often found in the typical respiratory diseases of cats: feline calicivirus or feline herpesvirus.

Stomach pain in dogs and cats is often underestimated by owners because they do not know its typical signs and manifestations. The symptoms of gastric discomfort, on the other hand, are very similar to human ones: inappetence, nausea (manifested by sialorrhea), vomiting. Sometimes one can also observe the assumption of a “closing” or “protective” position (similar to a human walking bent over): this is an unconditional reflex that serves to preserve the abdomen from further damage.

What is feline herpesvirus

Feline herpesvirus (FHV) is a commonly encountered virus among cats, manifesting with ocular and respiratory symptoms such as fever, sneezing, nasal discharge, conjunctivitis with eye discharge, sialorrhea, and anorexia. Symptomatology mainly appears in young, immunocompromised, or stressed cats (e.g., due to separation from the mother and entering a new family). Contagion occurs through contact with cats that are healthy carriers or that show active infection, as well as through contact with objects contaminated with the virus (e.g., bowls or kennels shared among several cats).

The cat that recovers from the acute phase of the disease will be a carrier of the disease for a time that is still unknown. The carrier cat usually manifests periodic recurrences throughout life; therefore, it is important to recognize the symptoms and start treatment early.

How to help a cat with herpesvirus infection

The herpes virus also remains in the cat’s system for life, so it is a condition that the individual will necessarily have to live with.

At the onset of typical ocular and respiratory symptoms, it is important to administer supportive therapy (aerosols, decongestants, rehydration, eye drops), as well as to help the immune system in coping quickly with the acute phase, e.g., through lysine supplements.

Dr. Valentina Bregoli, Veterinary Physician

NUTRIGEN’s advice:

LEVOERP: pasta appetibile con Lisina, in grado di bloccare la replicazione del virus dell’Herpes. The combination with Echinacea stimulates a rapid response of the immune system in fighting acute infection. Also useful in all other infectious diseases of cats, such as FIV, FELV, Calicivirus.

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