Feline viral rhinotracheitis, better known as coryza, is a common disease in cats. It is highly contagious and can spread quickly through the cat population, especially in cats used to going outside when not vaccinated. If left untreated, the common cold can be deadly in its most aggressive form.
What is feline coryza?
Coryza is not a single virus, but is most often the result of a combination of viral strains or bacteria that cause different symptoms.
The first, the cailcivirus , causes fever, runny eyes and nose, fatigue, canker sores. It is usually associated with loss of appetite. Canker sores are really very painful for your cat.
The second, called feline herpes virus (FeHV1), attacks the respiratory and nasal passages. It also causes a lot of fatigue and can progress to serious complications.
Finally, the third, from the reovirus family, causes much milder symptoms, such as tearing.
Caught in time, the cold, although it can become chronic, is well treated. On the other hand, it is dangerous for kittens and animals with reduced immunity - especially for cats with " feline AIDS ".
Coryza are spread by simple sneezing; it is therefore essential to isolate each individual carrier of the disease. Keep in mind that the disease can remain latent in the cat, even if cured, and reappear if the animal is subjected to significant stress . Although the common cold is not a zoonotic disease - it cannot be transmitted from cats to humans - it is possible to infect cats through contaminated clothing or shoes. It is therefore important to vaccinate cats living indoors to avoid any risk.
What are the symptoms of coryza?
Coryza is manifested by various easily recognizable symptoms. The sick animal presents with fever, general fatigue, loss of appetite. These signs are accompanied by runny nose, mouth and watery eyes. The cat coughs and in some cases has bad breath.
We also note the possible presence of mouth ulcers. Some cats stop drinking and become dehydrated. In the most extreme cases, damage to the airways leads to pneumonia or necrosis of the nasal bones. If left untreated, the lesion will eventually lead to the death of the animal.
The incubation period for coryza is two to four days. Once declared, the cat is exposed to outbreaks of the disease throughout its life, despite appropriate treatment. It is a chronic disease that will require treatment with each new appearance.
What are the ways to treat coryza?
Once in the body, the coryza virus will never completely disappear. Therefore, the treatment is aimed at putting it to sleep as soon as possible so that the cat can lead a completely normal life.
The vet can refer to a range of medications depending on the symptoms to be treated. Antibiotics will be used to fight secondary bacterial infections, while anti-inflammatories will help control pain and fever. Eye care will require eye drops or ointments.
In the most affected cats or in the case of chronic and recurrent lesions, the specialist will use antiviral drugs. In the most serious cases, hospitalization may be necessary, in particular to ensure that the cats are well hydrated. Once the disease is under control, the animal should be monitored for new outbreaks.
The vaccine against coryza is administered in 2 injections 1 month apart and is withdrawn every year.
It is active against calicivirus , rhinotracheitis and increasingly a vaccine against chlamydia, a bacterium that causes certain complications.
Our advice is to vaccinate your kitten against the disease as soon as possible, as this is the most effective way to reduce the risk of spreading the disease. Cats can be vaccinated as soon as they are weaned (from 12 weeks).
If you suspect a coryza in your pet, make an appointment with your veterinarian immediately.
Preventive natural care
Natural treatments, such as nutritional supplements to strengthen the immune system, can also prevent the onset of coryza, because a stronger immune system will be better able to fight off the attacks to which it is subjected.
On the other hand, a weakened system is always more likely to get sick.
CBD is one of the natural solutions that can boost the immune system. CBD is offered in the form of an oil to be given under the animal's tongue.
Using coconut oil in addition to CBD is also helpful due to its antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-infective properties that support the immune system.
To combine the benefits of CBD and coconut oil, Vetlab has created a natural oil based on these two ingredients. A real natural remedy, it strengthens the immune system of cats to help them fight against external aggressions.
Can my cat recover from coryza?
Cats infected with coryza usually show symptoms for 5 to 10 days in mild cases and up to six weeks in more severe cases.
Cats infected with coryza may suffer from persistent health problems and are more susceptible to secondary bacterial infections. It should be noted that cats with FHV are infected for life.
Respiratory illnesses caused by feline calicivirus are generally milder than feline herpes. However, there are many strains of calicivirus and some of them are more severe than others. In some cases, cats may show few or no symptoms, while in others they may develop pneumonia and painful canker sores.
Unlike FHV, cats diagnosed with FCV usually manage to clear the infection naturally within weeks or months.