Calicivirus is a highly contagious disease of cats and can cause signs similar to those of feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR). Calicivirus is transmitted in the respiratory secretions of an infected cat.
Signs Of Calicivirus In Cats
Like FVR, signs of calicivirus include sneezing, coughing, runny eyes and nose, fever, lethargy, heavy drooling, and lack of appetite. If the eyes are involved, the cat squints and has a heavy mucous discharge from the eyes. Calicivirus can also cause sores on the mouth and tongue. Calicivirus is not so often fatal as FVR, but it is extremely contagious. Diagnosis is made on the basis of the clinical signs. The virus can be isolated in the laboratory, but this process is expensive and time-consuming.
Treatment For Calicivirus
Broad spectrum antibiotics that fight a variety of infections are used to treat secondary infection. Intensive supportive therapy is also necessary, and may include intravenous fluid therapy, forced feeding, and sometimes blood transfusions. Without this intensive care, a cat with severe calicivirus infection will not survive, but will die from starvation and dehydration.
Prevention Of Calicivirus
The calicivirus vaccine has proven very effective in controlling this serious disease. It's given as a 3-in-1 vaccination with the panleukopenia and FVR vaccines, first when the kitten is six to eight weeks old, then at three-weekly intervals until 14 to 16 weeks. Older cats must have yearly booster shots.
Calicivirus In Cats:
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