Common Cat Flu Treatments

In order to find an adequate treatment for a cat flu, you need to identify the symptoms of this cat virus and make sure that the signs do not correspond to another health problem. You can either establish a correlation between the symptoms of your cat and this ailment, or ask a qualified person to perform a diagnosis. This affliction is far from being uncommon and affects cats of all ages and breeds. Fatality occurs mostly in young kittens and in older cats that have a weak immune system. Previously healthy adult cats seem to be less susceptible to the disease.

Causes of Cat Flu

In the majority of the cases, two viruses, namely Feline Herpes Virus-1 (FHV-1) and Feline Calicivirus (FCV), represent the cause of cat flu. Both of them lead to an infection of the upper respiratory ways that precedes cat flu. Feline Herpes Virus, which is also known as Feline Virus Rhinotracheitis, features more symptoms of a greater gravity.

Symptoms of the Viral Infection

First of all, the symptoms of the viruses that cause cat flu need to be identified. Feline Herpes Virus is characterized by the infection of the:

  • Pharynx
  • Throat
  • Sinuses
  • Membrane of the eyes
  • Lining of the nose

During the early stages, the infection of the eyes may resume to conjunctivitis, but in some cats it may degenerate into corneal ulcers. If your pet contracts FHV-1 while being pregnant, she may abort the kittens because of the changes of the reproductive tract that occur during this viral infection. Otherwise, the kittens will catch the infection from their mother. Other FHV-1 symptoms that are also characteristic to cat flu include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Depression
  • Dehydration

Besides gingivitis, Feline Calicivirus is characterized by such signs as the ulceration of the:

  • Mouth
  • Palate
  • Tongue
  • Lips
  • Tip of the nose

Diagnosis of Cat Flu

Noticing the above symptoms is not enough to confirm the diagnosis, apparently. Your vet will need to collect with a swab some material from the throat of the cat for microscopic study.

Options to Treat the Cat Virus

After having the diagnosis confirmed, the vet will prescribe a treatment, depending on the number and the gravity of the symptoms. There is no universal treatment for this cat infection, so each symptom will need to be dealed with individually. Regardless of the treatment option that is prescribed, you need to keep away the cat from cold.

The treatments include the following options, according to the symptoms:

  • Ointments or eye drops for the conjunctivitis
  • Antibiotics for secondary bacterial infection
  • Warm salty water for discharging eyes and nose
  • Intravenous fluids for dehydrated cats

Corneal ulcers can only be treated after a thorough examination. Besides that, the vet may conclude whether a cat needs to be hospitalized or not depending on the size of the mouth ulcer. These can cause a lot of pain and may determine the cats to refuse eating. More than that, while having cat flu, the sense of smell may disappear. In such cases, cats lose interest in food, so serving strong smelling food such as sardines is highly recommended.

If you find out that your cat is sick and suspect cat flu, you need to keep her away from other cats, since the diseases can be transmitted easily. The viral infection does not last more than a fortnight, so you do not have to worry, considering the a proper treatment is followed.