The herpes virus causes many problems for your cat, with one of them being the development of rhinotracheitis. This condition mainly causes upper respiratory infections in your cat, and can also lead to eye problems like conjunctivitis.
Feline rhinotracheitis is mainly a problem for young kittens. However, young ones can harbor the virus for years without showing an outward signs in the meantime. Cats that are infected with the leukemia or immunodeficiency viruses have a major risk of being infected with this one. If your cat frequently displays signs of this condition, then it may be a sign that something more serious is wrong.
The virus that causes rhinotracheitis in cats doesn’t prompt symptoms right away. The incubation period, the time in which cats don’t display signs, typically lasts for a few days up to a couple of weeks. This can prove problematic for households with multiple cats, since felines can infect others despite not showing signs themselves.
The signs of feline rhinotracheitis are quite similar to those of other upper respiratory infections. Cats will start coughing, sneezing, and producing discharge from their nose. The nasal lining and the eyelid lining may also become inflamed. The former is referred to as rhinitis, while the later is called conjunctivitis.
Cats commonly have a fever while battling this condition too. Others will lose their appetite until they start feeling a little better. Rhinotracheitis in felines can cause cats to display just a few of these symptoms or all of them at once.
There isn’t an exact testing method to diagnose feline rhinotracheitis. Your vet will simply need to look at the signs that your cat is displaying while taking his medical history into account. It isn’t always easy to identify this condition accurately.
Even if rhinotracheitis in cats were diagnosed, there is no way for vets to treat your cat. The disease usually runs its course after a week or so. In the meantime, supportive measures can be provided for your pet.
Since cats with rhinotracheitis have nasal discharge that can make it difficult to breathe, nasal decongestants are usually provided. Keeping your cat in a room with a humidifier or vaporizer going will also help him breathe better. Owners need to wipe away secretions from the eyes and nose to help minimize the risk of their cats getting reinfected.
Once feline rhinotracheitis compromises the immune system, secondary bacterial infections can easily set in. Your cat may need to take antibiotics to keep these infections from causing additional problems.
This condition is highly contagious. If you have one cat that has been infected, it’s best to keep him away from other felines for a while. If not, you will likely be dealing with multiple sick cats at once.
There is a vaccine to protect against feline rhinotracheitis. However, it doesn’t always keep cats from being infected entirely. Those that have been vaccinated though likely won’t experience serious stages of the disease.