Imagine if you never had to go through a common upper respiratory cold ever again. While it's not quite within reach for humans just yet, that isn't the case for cats. Courtesy of one type of vaccination, cats can potentially avoid a lifetime of common cold symptoms that can recur even without them being exposed to a sick cat. Here's what you should know about this condition and the vaccine that protects cats from it.
The Cold Strain
Common colds can be caused by multiple viruses, but one of the most common ones to hit cats is actually the herpes virus. This isn't the same strain that's sexually transmitted - it's closer to the kind that triggers chicken pox in humans. When cats are exposed to this strain of herpes, they typically experience moderate to severe cold symptoms like sneezing, coughing, wheezing, discharge from the eyes and nose, and lethargy. While the average cat will pull through this cold without any serious health risks, older and immune-compromised cats may not be quite so lucky.
How It Comes Back
The strange thing about this particular virus is that once a cat has it, they have it for life. That doesn't mean that they'll be sick every day of the week, however. Like chicken pox, this strain of the herpes virus lies in wait in the body. When the immune system is weakened due to something like another illness, stress, or old age, it can pop up again and trigger all the same symptoms. unfortunately, this means your cat can end up experiencing these symptoms time and time again in their lives, and as they grow older, it becomes more dangerous.
The good news is that the standard FVRCP vaccine that's given to cats protects them from this strain of herpes. It's recommended that this vaccine be given to all kittens at a young age, but even adult cats can benefit from it if they haven't already been exposed to the herpes virus.
This is an especially good vaccine to sign up for if you have more than one cat. An adult cat who already has this strain of herpes can infect another cat by sharing the same food and water bowls or by grooming each other. For this reason, even if your adult cat seems perfectly healthy, it's a good idea to have the new one vaccinated as soon as possible. Reach out to a clinic such as Jones Animal Health Clinic to learn more.Share
22 March 2020
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