Coronavirus in cats: symptoms, treatment, prevention
Every owner knows how hard it is when Pets get sick. And the first thing in this case, you have to do is contact your veterinarian. Only a qualified specialist can make the correct diagnosis and time to carry out effective treatment. Today we want to talk about the coronavirus in cats. It is a severe disease annually claims the lives of tens of Pets. Especially among unvaccinated cats. However vaccination is not always 100% guarantee that your pet will not get sick. Therefore, it is important to know what is the disease, not to miss the first symptoms, when the animal can still be saved.
What is the disease
Coronavirus in cats is an infectious disease, which is the causative agent of Feline Coronavirus (FCoV). This is a very insidious and contagious virus that attacks almost all cats that encounter with him. That is why vaccination is the best assistant for each owner, especially if your pet freely on the street and can contact with other cats. Below we will elaborate on the peculiarities of the disease and first aid that you were fully prepared.
Coronavirus in cats is primarily characterized by serious lesions of the abdominal organs, which in some cases is fraught with complications and can lead to death. And his name got the disease because of the typical forms of the pathogen, which can be seen in the microscope. The shell is covered with protrusions that create a halo or crown. The coronaviruses cause not one but several diseases. Among them, feline infectious peritonitis, which is incurable and coronavirus enteritis. This is akin to strains of the same virus that is completely harmless to humans.
As usual, most of the coronavirus in cats manifests itself at a very young age, that is, exposed to him in the first place little kittens. Of course death in this case is accelerated by the fact that dehydration of a small calf can occur in a matter of hours. The virus infects the mucosa of the small intestine, which in result causes diarrhea, and diarrhea. However, the first symptom is vomiting, then it goes to diarrhea, which lasts for 2-4 days. After that comes either death or recovery. However, even after complete recovery, it remains a carrier of the virus, and thus is potentially dangerous for their relatives.
Different variants of the disease
We have already touched on a little bit of what Pets different tolerate even such a serious illness. It depends on many factors: age, vaccination status, condition of the body (weakening on the background of another disease, the depletion), and so on. In General, experts distinguish four variants of development of events.
1) In most cases (50%) of the infected cat perevalivaet with strong symptoms of diarrhea. Then comes the clinical recovery. However, there is still quite a long time the virus is excreted with faeces. The norm is 1-2 months, then formed the body's immune response. However, if the body is weakened, the process can take up to nine months.
2) About ten percent of Pets that were infected with the virus are condemned to death. That is, in the body of one of the ten cats due to a mutation relatively harmless virus in incurable form develops infectious enteritis coronavirus. The mutated virus out of the gut into the tissues of the body begin irreversible pathological processes. Almost 100% of cases, this turn of events, the animal will die. It is therefore necessary to think in advance about the prevention of disease, especially that of veterinary services in terms of vaccination are more affordable than treatment.
3) Chronic course of disease. Sometimes coronavirus infection enters the body and meets resistance of the immune system. This completely defeat the virus the animal. It is in this case remains healthy, except for chronic diarrhea (in rare cases) that the owners will treat all the means at hand with varying degrees of success. That is, throughout life, these cats are the disseminators of infection.
4) Coronavirus infection affects not all animals, there are some individuals who do not get sick from this disease at all, it is resistant to the media. Sorry, to identify this resistance gene and learn to pass it on to others not yet obtained.
The sources of the disease
Feline enteritis, as it is called, is passed from individual to individual. Sources of infection are feces sick cats or carriers. The danger is not only the trays. It sovochki and care items, and toys. We should not forget that only the home contents does not exclude the possibility of the disease. Caring people on their clothes and shoes to bring home fragments of wool or fine particles emissions. If you have multiple cats, you should always be alert. In the first days after infection the virus is in saliva, so feeding from the same bowl and love of these animals by licking each other can lead to tragic consequences.
But the coronavirus kittens with the disease adults is associated not so much. The fact that it does not penetrate through the placenta from mother to kittens, he's not in the milk. Up to 5-7 weeks of age in the blood of kids enough maternal antibodies, so they are not afraid of such a disease. However, after six months, the level of antibodies in the body starts to fall sharply, and is now required routine vaccination, otherwise your chance of getting the crumbs increases dramatically.
We'll leave it there for now, to better reveal the peculiarities of this disease. By the way, sometimes the clinical picture is not clear, as we have described above, and lubricated. For several days the animal may be lethargic, eat poorly, or completely give up food, but diarrhea and vomiting in cats is not observed, and hence, the suspected coronavirus is not falling. As a result, when the symptoms clear, it may already be too late. Therefore it is very important to veterinary services in a good clinic, staffed by experienced doctors.
Experts in the veterinary field for a very long time doing research of this disease. During them it was found that quite often in the intestines of cats find a coronavirus in a sleep state. If there are the right for the virus conditions, it takes an aggressive form and causes inflammation of the intestines, or even mutating. In most cases, the groups at risk are young animals and cats under the age of 11-12 years. Veterinary doctors are trying to figure out what is the trigger to start the disease, but the number one goal is to identify genetic or other characteristics of the organism that allow individuals to remain completely immune to the virus. This would open a new phase in the history of veterinary medicine.
Coronavirus in cats: symptoms
We have already slightly touched upon the manifestation of the disease, but now consider this question in more detail. Of course, the emergence of a variety of symptoms depends on the severity of the course of infection. Let us separately consider the expression enteritis virus and infectious peritonitis, which some veterinarians believe the complication of the underlying disease. In fact it is just a related strain of the same disease.
So, coronavirus enteritis. By the way, other Pets, in particular dogs, it is not transmitted. In dogs there is another form of enteritis, which flows with its own characteristics. It is characterized primarily by symptoms of disorders of the bowel. It is diarrhea, sometimes vomiting, possible disorders of appetite, but these symptoms may pass by themselves. Sometimes they are joined by watery eyes or a runny nose. However, the condition of the cat must be closely monitored. Prolonged diarrhea leads to the fact that the body is weakened, and therefore, there is every chance that the intestinal type of infection will become a chronic disease with a protracted course and may be fatal.
Much bigger picture, if there is a mutation of the virus. It is not absolutely clear why this happens, but feline infectious peritonitis is very familiar to veterinarians. By the way, this heavy, often incurable form of the disease is not transmitted from animal to animal, and develops in a particular organism. The virus itself can be transferred to another cat, but in most cases it will be softer, enterita form of the disease.
Peritonitis develops initially without striking symptoms. It could be fatigue or mild apathy, loss of appetite or mild vomiting. Gradually, however, the symptoms increase, increased depression, weight loss, pale mucous membranes, anemia appears, it may be ascites. The activity of the virus poisons the body, so the more it accumulates in the tissues, the more evident the violation of the kidneys and liver. The next symptom becomes the nervous system, develop seizures, and atonic muscles.
Two forms of feline infectious peritonitis
It is another feature of this disease. The acute form is moist peritonitis. In this case, seriously affects the blood vessels. This causes leakage of protein in the effusion in the body cavity. This usually leads to the accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal or pleural cavity. People call it dropsy. Ascitic form is most often seen in young animals and kittens, whose immune system reacts violently to the virus and are also quickly exhausted. As a result, in the cavities of the fluid accumulates, the abdomen begins to resemble a pear. The disease evolves fast enough.
The second form (dry) is a chronic viral disease. Some bodies appear nodules (granuleme education), and the severity of the disease depends on which organs and to what extent was amazed. This form is typical for adult animals with a strong immune system. Characteristic and a longer period. The animal loses weight much, but keeps the interest in life. It also happens that both forms of the disease are present simultaneously, and one can move on to another.
Any trouble is easier to prevent why from the first day of appearance of a kitten in your house be sure to choose a practicing veterinarian. Of course, it is very convenient to the point of admission was as close as possible to your home. It is also important work schedule, the help you may need at any time of the day or night. Today, almost every clinic there is a service "veterinary doctor". It is very convenient in the fact that your animal will not be in contact with native speakers of other infections, which lead to admission to hospital. This is extremely important at the time of vaccination, which is the first and important means of prevention of this viral disease.
A vaccine against coronavirus searched long enough, this is an unusual infection, so there is nothing surprising in this. As a result of lots of research, scientists were able to modify the virus so that he became afraid of high temperatures. That is, the natural body temperature of a cat (38.5 — 39) for it was disastrous. At the same time in the nose of the animal temperature is below approximately 36 degrees. Therefore, the medication is instilled into the nose, then changed the virus spreads through mucous, but can't get into the intestine, as high temperature kills them. And the body learns to produce antibodies. That is the best prevention of coronavirus vaccination. However, this method is not 100% reliable. Even vaccinated animal can become ill through close and prolonged contact. But the disease is likely to be easy. So the vaccine coronavirus does not completely rule out, but in most cases ensures that your pet is fine, it will survive and develop their own immunity.
Veterinary clinics of Moscow, most of them equipped with modern laboratories, specialists which have quite a wide range of research methods and detection of coronavirus infection. In the first place is the blood or plasma to determine the presence of antibodies to this virus. If present in the body analysis will give a positive result. However, this does not answer the question about where to find him in the gut or the soft tissue.
The second most popular is a stool sample. The analysis can be positive when excretion of virus in feces. However, a negative result does not guarantee that the virus is not present in the body. Therefore, the veterinary clinics of Moscow use this technique as an extra.
Finally, in modern laboratories can determine the titer of antibodies and coronavirus in cat serum. This analysis will help to conclude that the development of infection and its presence. While the number of antibodies the doctor can make predictions regarding the outcome of the disease.
Treatment of coronavirus
The important thing is not to run disease. With the first symptoms should immediately go to a clinic that are also necessary can help veterinary doctor at home called. The first tools used to combat this disease are anti-viral drugs. It is a source of interferon that makes treatment so expensive, and immunomodulators. What do they do? Their mission is to slow the replication of the virus in the cells and give the body a chance to cope with it. That is, they do not have a therapeutic impact, but only give you a little time. Additionally connect antibiotics and corticosteroids, they help neutralize inflammation and reduce the symptoms, but this is, again, not a full treatment.
Otherwise treatment is symptomatic. Doctors monitor the body temperature and pressure, if necessary adjust the indicators using medicines. If vomiting and diarrhea, these symptoms are removed by using intramuscular injection of levomicetina and shpy or other drugs. Loss of fluid with vomiting and lack of appetite should be a signal to connect the system with saline and glucose. In addition, it is recommended to maintain the body's with vitamin and mineral complexes. Needs nursing and care, symptomatic treatment all this together gives a good chance for recovery. Even when infectious peritonitis is the opportunity for months to maintain the life of your cat, periodically pumping out the accumulating fluid. So coronavirus is not a sentence, but do not delay contacting your veterinarian. Remember that the health of your pet in your hands. And the proper feeding and timely vaccination will reduce the risk of illness many times.