Feline Herpesvirus: An Overview

Definition

Feline herpesvirus (FHV) infection, also called feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), is an acute and highly contagious viral upper respiratory tract disease that affects both domestic and wild cats, especially those with weak immune systems.

How Feline Herpesvirus Infection Affects Cats

Cats infected by FHV show classic signs of upper respiratory tract disease, including acute onset of sneezing, inflammation and irritation of the membranes lining the eyelids and nasal cavity and increased salivation. A fluxuating fever may be present, and a thick, yellow-ish nasal and ocular discharge usually occur as well. Affected cats tend to lose their appetites because their sense of smell is adversely affected by the inflammation and congestion. Some cats will become depressed, listless and lethargic. In most cases, the initial clinical signs will persist for approximately one week before they subside. However, periodic recurrence of clinical signs is fairly common.

Causes of Feline Herpesvirus Infection

Almost one-half of all feline upper respiratory tract infections involve feline herpesvirus. Infection by this virus is caused by direct contact with secretions from infected cats through oral, nasal or conjunctival exposure. Feline herpesvirus is highly contagious between cats. FHV infection is perpetuated by latent carrier cats that harbor the virus indefinitely.

Preventing Feline Herpesvirus Infection

The best way to prevent severe FHV disease is routine vaccination with a modified live or inactivated virus vaccine. This vaccine can be started in young kittens, with annual boosters. The vaccine does not prevent infection by the virus but does prevent development of severe upper respiratory disease. Owners should also take steps to reduce environmental stressors that may adversely affect their companion cats. Of course, any clinically affected cat should be strictly isolated from all other cats until the infection is resolved.

Special Notes

Feline herpesvirus is infectious and contagious between cats but is not zoonotic and thuys does not present a risk to humans. The prognosis for cats infected by feline herpesvirus is generally quite good, as long as appropriate nutritional support and fluid therapy are provided. Owners should recognize that this disease can recur periodically, particularly during periods of stress, illness or immunosuppression. Young kittens with undeveloped immune systems and older cats with weakened immune systems tend to be affected more severely by the virus and thus have a poorer prognosis.

Source: PetWave

MATCHING TOPICS OF INTEREST

Hormonal & Metabolic

A hormone is a chemical messenger that carries a signal from one cell (or group...

Dry Eye

Dry Eye (KCS) in Cats Guide: Here you'll find in-depth information on Dry Eye (KCS)...

Cat Helicobacter Infection

Helicobacter Infection in Cats Guide: Here you'll find in-depth information on Helicobacter Infection in cats...

Meningitis

Meningitis in Cats Guide: Here you'll find in-depth information on Meningitis in cats including its...

Feline Infectious Anemia

Feline Infectious Anemia in Cats Guide: Here you'll find in-depth information on Feline Infectious Anemia...

PETWAVE: POPULAR TOPICS

Dog Health Dog Health
Learn about the most common diseases affecting dogs
Puppy Training Getting a Puppy
A new puppy in the house can cause quite a whirlwind of excitement
Dog Breeds List of Dog Breeds
Comprehensive list of dog breeds with specific breed information

Find a Dog Breed?

With so many dog breeds to choose from, sometime it's easier to seach based on certain characterisitcs.

Caring for your Dog?

There is more to caring for your dog than just feeding it. Find out all you need to know to make sure your pet stays healthy.

Training your Dog?

A dog's behavior plays a key role in making a great pet. Training your dog makes a happier dog, and you will be happier too.

Ask a vet?

Have a question?
Ask a Vet Online NowSM

About Us | Review Board | Badges | Tell a Friend | Bookmark this Page | Submit Feedback | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
Dog Breeds | Cat Breeds | Dog Health | Cat Health | Dog Training | Cat Training | Dog Care | Cat Care | Dog Nutrition | Cat Nutrition

Advertise on petwave.com - A Pet360 Media Network Partner

Become a Fan of Petwave.com on Facebook Become a Fan on Facebook Follow PetWave.com on Twitter Follow PetWave.com on Twitter Email Friend about Petwave.com Tell your friends about PetWave

© 2014 PetWave Corporation. All rights reserved
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a veterinarian. PetWave disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
For more information view our Terms of Service.