Feline Herpes What Is It?
Feline Herpes is yet another very serious virus that can affect cats of all ages. It causes a viral infection in the animal’s upper respiratory system. As with so many of these types of infection the feline herpes virus is specific only to cats. This means of course that it cannot be passed onto humans or other family pets. Its full title is Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis which alludes somewhat to its infection of the windpipe or trachea. The Feline herpes virus is also one of the most common causes of eye infections such as conjunctivitis in cats as well. The eyes lids and third eyelid can all become infected. Infection is usually caused by either contact with another cat that carries the feline herpes virus or even objects the other animal may have been in contact with and left particles of the virus on. The good news is that because most of is secreted in saliva it will only survive outside the cats body whilst it remains moist. Watering bowls and food containers are most susceptible but the virus is easily destroyed by cleaning with household disinfectants.
Feline Herpes What To Look Out For
The symptoms of infection are mainly in the nose eyes and throat. Excessive blinking with puss from the nose and eyes. However the secretions may often be clear and accompanied by bouts of sneezing. In extreme cases the eyes may ulcerate and chronically dry eyes is yet another manifestation. Other associated symptoms including anorexia and enlarged lymph nodes are often displayed in the sick animal as well. Of course, there are many other conditions that can cause any or all of the above symptoms so you should always seek professional diagnosis from a qualified vet. Apart from very sophisticated DNA testing and eye staining to check for corneal ulcers there is no sure way to ascertain that an animal is actually infected. However, when the virus is dormant and the subject is none symptomatic (showing no signs of the infection) diagnostic testing can often be inconclusive.
Feline Herpes Treatment Options
As with most infectious diseases prevention is better than cure. Inoculation vaccinations should always be the front line defense against Feline herpes or any other viral agents. It is worth bearing in mind that in many cases following the 2-4 day incubation period of the virus a cat may not show any symptoms at all. Unfortunately however as a carrier it would be at liberty to infect other cats. It is always advisable to quarantine any new cat introduced into the home away from others for about two weeks. This is usually sufficient time for any latent viruses or infections to become manifest and this goes a long way towards keeping the other cat’s virus free. Owners should be aware that bowls, litter trays and other places should be kept well cleaned and disinfected to minimize any risk of viral infections. There is no actual cure for Feline Herpes but provided an infected animal is well cared for and infections are kept at bay they can lead a long healthy life. Bear in mind of course that the best line of defence is always regular vaccinations against infections of all kinds. If you want to read a more in depth article on Feline Herpes why not take a look here.