Viral, fungal, parasitic and non-infectious - our beloved pets are threatened by an army of diseases, even if they live at home and see the street only through the window. To protect your cat, wear the armor of your knowledge on it. In this material in detail - about coronavirus in cats.
What is coronavirus in cats?
Coronavirus is an infectious peritonitis. Most of us haven’t explained anything definite. You will be surprised, but for most specialists, coronavirus is a mysterious disease. More precisely, it is a virus from the Coronaviriadea family, one of the least studied. It becomes pathogenic as a result of an inexplicable mutation of a non-pathogenic strain into a highly virulent type.
Veterinarians conditionally divide coronavirus infections into two groups:
1. Highly pathogenic strains - infectious peritonitis virus
2. Intestinal coronaviruses of cats, easily tolerated by animals and often safe for health - this is 80% of all cases of infection. Often this form is even asymptomatic, but it is important to understand that a cat becomes a carrier of a dangerous virus for life and it is highly undesirable to let it live with other cats.
How is coronavirus transmitted in cats?
The disease is transmitted by the anal-fecal route. The virus is not transmitted by airborne droplets or from cat-mother to babies.
It would seem that scientists know enough about coronavirus in cats to successfully defeat it - structure, life cycle, and infection conditions. But at the same time, it is still not possible to trace his outbreaks. It is believed that every cat is a potential carrier of the virus!
Which animal can get coronavirus?
Disease statistics show that most often, the appearance of mutated strains is prone to:
- inherited cats
- kittens under the age of one year (mortality - 90%)
- older individuals over 10 years old
- cats in contact with diseased animals
- cats living in close contact with their own kind. Very often, outbreaks of the virus are observed in nurseries, even if the conditions in them are at the highest level
- cats kept in poor or unsanitary conditions
- stress surviving cats. Nervousness weakens the immunity of a cat and purr is at risk
There are cats that are completely immune to this virus, but it is not yet possible to understand their protective mechanism.
The incubation period is 3 months.
IMPORTANT! Cats and cats become infected with each other by coronavirus only through prolonged contact. Short-term contact is not dangerous.
For humans, coronavirus poses no danger!
The clinical picture of the disease
The clinical signs of coronavirus disease differ in two forms of the disease: dry and wet.
The wet form is characterized by the accumulation of a yellowish fluid containing a large amount of protein in the peritonial and pleural regions. The wet form gives the greatest complications and is rightly considered the most dangerous.
The dry form is characterized by the formation of chronic piogranulomas (their appearance is possible even in the nervous system).
Symptoms and signs of coronavirus disease
- bowel disorder
- the presence in the stool of blood and mucus
- lack of appetite
- general lethargy
- temperature changes
- loss of coordination
- angiopathy of the vessels of the eyeball
- red gums begin to fade over time
- fungal diseases
- discharge from the eyes
- runny nose
Symptoms alone are not enough to make a diagnosis. The course of the disease is outwardly similar to a few diseases, so you need to rely only on a correctly made analysis.
Laboratory tests for coronavirus in cats include histology, serological tests, immunofluorescence tests, and PCR (proliferation chain reaction). In the latter case, the material for the study is feces, blood plasma, ascites and pleural fluids. PCR allows the recognition of minimal amounts of the viral genome.
IMPORTANT! Remember that even a positive coronavirus test is not a sentence! Do not euthanize the animal immediately, it is quite possible that you were able to identify the initial stage of the disease and the cat can be saved.
Coronavirus treatment in cats
There is no treatment of coronavirus as such, mainly veterinary medicine alleviates the consequences.
Doctors have not yet figured out how to treat coronavirus in cats, since the answer to the question - how to kill the virus does not exist. After all, the virus, getting into the cell, destroys it completely, then to move to another cell. And the only way to stop it is to destroy the cell itself.
Effective treatment of coronavirus in cats comes down to the removal of ascites fluid (with a wet form of the disease), symptomatic treatment, the use of sorbents and intensely good care.
As such, a treatment regimen has not been developed, antibiotics and corticosteroids (Polyferrin-A, Roncoleukin, canine Globkan-5, Likopid, Glycopin) relieve or alleviate clinical symptoms.
The duration of treatment depends on the clinical picture and is determined by the veterinarian.
How to feed a cat during treatment?
Since in most cases, coronavirus in cats affects the gastrointestinal tract, during treatment it is necessary to transfer the animal to an adequate diet.
It is recommended to transfer completely to natural nutrition, excluding obviously not healthy products, offal, food from the host table.
Prevention should be done only by purchasing a kitten!
Take a stool test for coronavirus. If you purchased a kitten in the nursery, ask for a certificate of the analysis for this virus and anyway, retake it again just in case. Pay attention to the fact that a negative test result for coronavirus in a cat-mother does not automatically mean the same result in a kitten. Therefore, reinsurance will not be superfluous.
As for vaccination, to date, a guaranteed effective vaccine against coronavirus in cats has not been invented.
In some countries, vaccination against this virus is carried out, but there is no evidence of its real effectiveness! In particular, this vaccine is used in the United States. But European veterinarians were faced with the fact that the introduction of such a drug and cats carrying the virus causes an infectious process in a severe form.
To minimize the effects of coronavirus infection, it is recommended:
- good care;
- permanent hygiene;
- high protein content in feed;
- regular deworming;
- the use of courses, under the supervision of a doctor, antioxidants, vitamins such as: A, C and E and zinc.
May your cat be healthy!