Feline Calicivirus is a very serious infection and one of the main health problems that can affect cats. Also known by the acronym CVF, the disease has Calcivirus as its main agent and is highly contagious, being transmitted, mainly, through direct contact between a healthy pussy and a sick animal.
Regarded as one of the most common respiratory problems in cats (along with rhinotracheitis), Feline Calicivirus it can also be transmitted by fomites and, therefore, any type of toy or accessory used by contaminated animals must be discarded - as they can store Calcivirus for up to a week, facilitating the contagion of other pussies that come into contact with such objects.
Apart from a specific drug that kills the virus that triggers the disease, Calicivirus is considered to be without cure, and the only really safe way to avoid the problem is through multipurpose vaccination in cats - which must be administered from both. months of life of the animal, protecting it against Rhinotracheitis, and Panleukopenia, in addition to Calicivirus.
Young and unvaccinated cats (under the age of six months) are the most likely to die from the disease - as well as those with immunological problems - however, the mortality rate of Feline Calicivirus is relatively low and, although the feline is not cured, it can live without the worst symptoms of the disease. Find out below the main symptoms and consequences triggered by Calicivirus in cats, and learn how to proceed when you notice any of the signs on your pet's pussy.
Read More: Vaccination in Cats
Symptoms of Feline Calicivirus
Coughing, sneezing and runny nose are some of the most typical symptoms of the disease; however, depending on the level of progression of the disease, signs such as fever, lack of appetite, eye discharge and gingivitis can also manifest.
Another common complication of the disease are ulcers (lesions) in the oral region of the animal, which mainly affect the tongue, roof of the mouth and snout. Depression and diarrhea can also be seen in cats infected with Calicivirus, which can develop into pneumonia and even lead the animal to death.
Diagnosis and treatment of Calicivirus
As in any other case of illness, the first step to take when you notice the symptoms in your pet's pussy is to take it to a veterinarian who, through clinical and laboratory tests, will be able to define a correct diagnosis. Because there is no medicine that directly attacks Calcivirus, the treatment of the disease is supportive, and aims to alleviate and combat the symptoms of the problem, only.
Antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, special eye drops and a balanced diet are part of the set of measures to improve the complications of the disease, and the infected animal must be isolated from other cats as soon as it is sure of its diagnosis; since, although the signs of Calicivirus are treated, the virus remains in the animal, and can be transmitted to other pussies with which it has contact.