This disease is not nearly as dangerous as FVR or Calicivirus, but it does cause a disturbing upper respiratory infection, especially in cats that are housed together with a lot of other cats. Pneumonitis is not caused by a virus but by a chlamydial organism (something between a bacterium and a virus). It's transmitted through respiratory tract secretions - sneezing, for example.
Signs Of Feline Pneumonitis
Signs of pneumonitis are usually limited to sneezing and a mild watering of the eyes. The veterinarian diagnoses peneumonitis by observing the clinical signs. A cat with a mild respiratory infection that has no fever and continues to eat is usually assumed to have pneumonitis.
Treatment Of Feline Pneumonitis
Because this is not a viral condition, antibiotics are often useful in treating pneumonitis. Supportive therapy may include eye drops to treat eye infection, antibiotics to try to destroy the organism and control secondary bacterial invaders, forced feeding if necessary, and, occasionally, intravenous fluid therapy if signs of dehydration are present.
Feline Pneumonitis Prevention
Routine vaccination against pneumonitis is not generally necessary for house cats. However, if you've got a number of cats, if your cat goes outside, or if you exhibit your cat in breed shows, you should discuss the advisability of vaccination with your veterinarian. The cat is vaccinated at eight to ten weeks, again at 14 to 16 weeks, and will need annual boosters.
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