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  •   Pet Health And Care >>  Cat Health >>  Feline calcivirus  
     

    Feline Calcivirus

    Feline calicivirus is a virus that causes respiratory infection in cats.



    This infection is a form of cat flu and is considered to be a rather mild form of the cat flu as compared to other infection such as the feline herpes virus; however, if this condition is not treated it can be fatal. It is very important to visit a vet as soon as possible as cats have a delicate constitution and infections can often prove to be fatal. Calicivirus in cats often causes drastic changes in the animal’s eating habits.



    This loss of appetite along with general malaise and lethargy are two of the most common feline calicivirus symptoms. While these symptoms are similar to other respiratory infections, feline calicivirus will also cause oral ulcers or ulcers around the nose. In severe cases, the cat may also develop nasal discharge, conjunctivitis, or fever.



    Feline bacterial pneumonia is one of the most common secondary infections that are caused by feline calcivirus. This generally occurs due to the weakening of the cat’s immune system as well as the vulnerability of the respiratory system. In order to confirm a diagnosis of feline calcivirus, a virus culture test may be necessary.

    Feline calicivirus is a viral infection and so it cannot be treated with antibiotics or any other medication. However, antibiotics may be necessary to treat secondary infections and immune modulators may be prescribed to boost the immune system and prevent secondary infections. Since calicivirus in cats causes a loss of appetite, it is important to make sure that the cat is well fed. You can coax the cat to eat soft food that is sufficiently warm as cats tend to prefer warm foods. It is better to prepare the cat’s meals as packaged food often contains preservatives and flavor enhancers that can be detrimental to the health of the weakened animal. You can steam fish and blend it to form a thick paste. Cook a little rice in a small saucepan along with a little extra water and add only the liquid to the fish paste. This liquid is rich in carbohydrates and will help to provide the cat with the energy it requires, while the fish pate will help to provide the cat with proteins, vitamins, and several types of healthy fats. You can use a small spoon to slowly feed your cat small amounts of this mixture. It is important to ensure that the cat does not get dehydrated and so you should also feed the cat small amounts of warm water from time to time.   

    Keep in mind that the cat’s immune system is able to fight off feline calicivirus and so you need to ensure that their immune system is well bolstered by the regular intake of food and fluids.

     
      Submitted on October 22, 2010