What is a feline rhinotracheitis?
Have you ever felt that your cat had a cold? In fact, cats suffer from a respiratory disease called rhinotracheitis that is frequently mistaken for a cold. Rhino, as it is nicknamed, commonly affects the respiratory system of our felines. Subjects whose immune system is less effective, such as the youngest and oldest cats, are the most affected, as well as immunosuppressed animals with AIDS or feline leukemia and during periods of stress.
The observable symptoms are clear fluid flows in the eyes and nose as well as sneezing. Cats can develop these signs acutely or more chronically. In addition, many of them remain carriers of rhino and can experience more or less severe symptoms during periods of stress or illness.
In healthy cats, rhinotracheitis does not usually require special treatment. However, products may be preventively administered or as a supplement to treatment when symptoms are mild, chronic or episodic. Animal probiotics help strengthen the immune system, while Lysine decreases the replication of the virus in the body. Vaccination is also very effective in preventing the clinical form of the disease and can be considered as a treatment aid in chronic forms.
So when should the veterinarian be consulted? If your cat has a clear ocular or nasal discharge or sneezing, but is still cheerful and has a good appetite, you can let your cat’s immune system do its job and supplement it with probiotics or Lysine if needed.
On the other hand, if your cat demonstrates the following signs: purulent eye and nasal discharge, fever, loss of appetite and / or oral ulcers, you should consult a veterinarian. An antibiotic treatment will probably be prescribed as well as any other medication deemed necessary depending on the condition of your pet.
What is important to remember about feline rhinotracheitis is that, in the majority of cases, affected cats show signs of episodic illness linked to periods of stress, but they remain carriers. Some cats are unfortunately less lucky and develop a chronic form of rhino that requires preventive or curative treatments more or less frequently.