Calicivirus Feline

"Calicivirus feline is a viral infection that is prevalent in the cat population. Young kittens are particularly vulnerable if they no longer are protected by the mothers immunity and have not been vaccinated. Treatment involves addressing the symptoms and making sure that your cat is comfortable, fed and drinking enough."

Feline calicivirus (FCV)is highly contagious with a widespread distribution in the cat population. Humans cannot catch FCV infection from cats. Vaccination of all kittens and cats is the best defense against the virus.

The most vulnerable cats to feline calicivirus are those that live in shelters with 25% - 40% infected. The incubation period after exposure is 2 to 10 days.

The virus is primarily shed from oral and nasal secretions with infection generally spread through direct contact with very sick or cats that don't show symptoms, but are carrying the disease (carrier cats). It is possible to contract the virus from a surface in the environment. It can live at room temperatures for 1 month or longer in the cold.

After recovering from the virus a cat can still shed or transmit the virus to other cats for 30 days after infection. Some cats can shed virus for years.

Cats that have recovered from the virus are not protected from getting reinfected. In this case it is advisable to vaccinate cats after they recover.

Symptoms of Calicivirus Feline

The calicivirus can cause severe oral and upper respiratory problems. Other symptoms include severe inflammation, redness and bleeding from the mouth (chronic stomatitis) and an ulcer or eroded area on the tounge (dead tissue area).

Severe symptoms of calicivirus feline include:

* Respiratory disease
* Sneezing
* Fever
* Loss of appetite (anorexia)
* More salivation than usual (hypersalivation)
* Nasal discharge
* Pneumonia
* Labored breathing (dyspnea)
* Coughing
* Depression
* Gingivitis
* Lameness or limping

Diagnosis of Cat FCV Virus

The diagnosis of feline calicivirus is through observing your cat's clinical signs andthrough blood tests. It is also possible to test swabs from the nose, eyes and throat.

Treatment of Calicivirus Feline

Cats severely suffering from FCV are treated with therapy that addresses the symptoms of the illness. This includes overcoming dehydration through the administering of intravenous fluids (fluids provided through a tube under the skin).

Your cat may not eat if there is a loss of smell due to nasal congestion since cats do not eat what they cannot smell. To help with this problem, warming food or serving foods with a stronger smell such as fish may help.

Anti-inflammatory medications might be recommended if there are ulcers in the mouth. These drugs can also help to reduce fever and pain.

If your cat goes without food for three days then a feeding tube will be needed. Antibiotics will be prescribed if your cat with his or her weakened immune system develops a bacterial infection.

Nasal discharge should be cleaned away several times a day with .saline solution. Ointment applied in the area may help as well.

Severely affected cats have been treated with intensive caresupportive treatment (e.g. fluid therapy, antibiotics) plus steroids and interferon, and clinical improvement is anecdotal. Teeth cleaning may be recommended for severe gingivitis that may have formed.

Natural Medicine and Feline Calicivirus

Natural remedies have been developed with properties designed to temporarily relieve feline flu symptoms including sneezing, nasal congestion and fever. These products also help to provide your cat with systemic and immune system support. Typical ingredients include:

* Feline Calicivirus (30C): is a homeopathic form of the Calicivirus. Homeopathic ingredients support the body�s natural resilience to harmful agents.
* Borax (30C): Borax is a white crystalline mineral, mainly used for mouth ulcers and cold sores. Cats that would benefit from this remedy are usually impatient and easily. They are easily startled by noise, and their sleep is easily disturbed. Physical symptoms relate to the mucus membrane of the mouth, nose, gastric tract, and genitals.
* Phosphorus (30C): This remedy is mostly derived from North Africa in volcanic regions and is commonly known as calcium phosphate. It is commonly used for severe coughs and a sore throat.
* Pulsatilla (30C): The use of Pulsatilla for medicinal purposes dates back to Ancient Greece when it was used to cure weepy eyes. In Roman times it was used for eye conditions and tooth hygiene. It is also used for cough and colds, congested catarrh, and blocked noses.

One product to research is FCV Protect. This "homeopathic vaccine" temporarily relieves feline flu symptoms including sneezing, nasal congestion and fever. It is registered with the FDA and contains no gluten, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Vaccination for Feline FCV

All healthy cats should be vaccinated against FCV even though it does not protect against all viral strains. The vaccine is not 100% protection against future infection or against becoming a carrier of the virus.

Source for Calicivirus Feline

Feline Calicivirus
Guidelines on Feline Infectious Diseases
European Advisory Board on Cat Diseases


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