The Rhinovirus in Cats

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Rhinovirus is actually more correctly called feline herpes virus 1. Learn about the Rhinovirus in cats with help from a veterinarian with over 25 years of experience in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Cat Health
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Video Transcript

Hello, my name is Dr. Kristen Nelson. I've been a veterinarian for 25 years. I've also written a book called Coated With Fur, A Vet's Life. Today I'm at Alta Vista Veterinary Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona to talk about the rhinovirus in cats. This is Jack. He had rhinovirus as a kitten. Rhinovirus is actually more correctly called feline herpes virus 1. It's a highly contagious virus. It causes sneezing, watery eyes, a lot of nasal discharge, and sometimes can even go into the lungs and cause coughing. These kitties are really sick with a high fever. Now unfortunately there's no real treatments to cure the disease. You just have to support the patient and get them through it. When Jack was small and this is common in young kittens, they produce so much matter from their eyes that they can actually seal closed. It's very important to use a warm water on a cotton swab and soak the discharge and get it off and allow that to leave. If you don't they can actually rupture their eyeball and they will be blind. Now thank goodness for Jack we kept his eyes open and so now he is completely visual. His only problem is that he does have a scar on his cornea. Now to prevent this there is a vaccine. You really want to get all the other cats in your household vaccinated because you can never cure this virus. Jack will carry this virus forever. And when he's stressed out he will sneeze again, he will have conjunctivitis. So the best way to prevent outbreaks in these cats that are already infected is to keep them on lysine. That inhibits the growth of the virus just like in people and also decrease their stress. Instead of boarding them I'd get a pet sitter to come into your house. That's rhinovirus in cats. My name is Dr. Kristen Nelson, thank you for watching, for more information on myself or my book please check out the bio.


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