Responsible for about 45% of feline respiratory infections, feline rhinotracheitis is a disease caused by a virus (feline herpesvirus type 1, or just FeHV-1) and that affects the upper tract of cats, usually manifesting in the first year of life , not being contagious to humans.
THE feline rhinotracheitis is a disease that affects both wild and domestic cats. It is transmitted by direct contact, much like our flu, through contact with secretions from the nose or eyes, and can also be transmitted indirectly by sneezing.
Females infected with the virus can undergo abortions and although there is treatment and disappearance of symptoms between one and three weeks, once infected, the cat will always be a carrier of the virus, and may return to show symptoms during other stages of life in situations of stress. for the cat, which can range from a trip to some other disease that is more debilitating.
Read More: Vaccination in Cats
Main symptoms of rhinotracheitis in cats
The main symptoms of feline rhinotracheitis follow the symptoms of the flu, including sneezing, nasal discharge, breathing difficulties, fever and dehydration. Because of the way the virus reproduces, cats can also have secretion in their eyes and stay with them longer, as well as weight loss.
Some kittens can develop inflammation in the skin around their eyes and cough, but these symptoms are not as common as others. Secretions in the eyes can become purulent due to secondary bacterial infections, which take advantage of the more fragile condition caused by rhinotracheitis.
Diagnosis and treatment
The diagnosis can be made by a veterinarian, who performs laboratory tests to detect the virus, along with the identification of symptoms. It is important that at the first symptoms the cat is taken directly to the veterinarian and that the treatment is not attempted at home, which could aggravate the condition and infect other cats that live with it.
When the virus is detected, the veterinarian will prescribe remedies for the treatment of the feline, based on the symptoms presented, which may include eye drops to treat or prevent the eyes from being compromised and anti-inflammatory to reduce fever and pain.
THE feline rhinotracheitis it is transmitted mainly by cats that have the virus latently, that is, they are only carriers of the disease. This transmission can only be done at times when the cat has the disease reactivated, no matter the reason. That is why it is important to avoid places with agglomeration of animals where there may be contaminated cats, individual treatment in quarantine of the animals that present the active symptoms, thus avoiding contaminating the other animals in their coexistence and especially good hygiene in the environment and belongings of the cat.
The vaccine also exists and, in Brazil, the vaccine against herpevirus is included in the feline vaccination plan.