Question: My cat Felix has been sniffling and his eyes are getting redder by the day. What could be the problem?
Answer: There are many reasons why Felix could be showing these symptoms. So you need to take him to the vet to determine the cause of his sniffles.
It is possible that Felix is suffering from cat flu, which is the general name given to a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, most commonly caused by the Feline Herpes Virus-1 (FHV-1), or Feline Calicivirus (FCV).
Cat flu is a very contagious disease and can spread very quickly from cat to cat.
The most obvious signs of the condition are a runny nose, respiratory difficulties, sneezing and swollen and runny eyes.
Symptoms may range from very mild to extremely severe. Your cat may seem thoroughly miserable, lacking in energy and not eating, playing or exploring as usual and watching him suffer from flu is an unpleasant experience.
FHV-1 affects the eyes and causes swelling, and sometimes, a discharge of pus.
Sneezing is the most common of symptoms. This produces a discharge of clear fluid which will become greener as the infection progresses. Loss of smell and appetite can lead to dehydration and depression.
The most common symptom of FCV is ulceration of the mouth and tongue, palate and lips which can cause pain when eating. This may cause him to stop feeding. Running eyes and noses are very common, as is joint pain.
Although viral infections cannot be cured, you will need to take him to your vet who can diagnose cat flu by symptoms or diagnostic tests. Infected cats will require care as, if it is cat flu, it can have serious repercussions if left untreated. Your vet will recommend the correct medication to treat the symptoms, which typically last from seven to 10 days.
It is important to note that people cannot catch flu from their cats and cats cannot catch it from their owners.
BSPCA’S DOG OF THE WEEK IS GOLDIE
Age: Approximately two years
Goldie is a real show-off who likes to dance around her pen and show everyone that she can be quite the entertainer as well as your best friend – a true dual purpose dog. She is not very big in size and does not seem will change as she ages. Her playful nature and unique looks make her one of the favourites amongst the volunteers and school children, who always comment on her funny nature. Goldie is liked by everyone at the shelter and as much as she is fully settled at the sanctuary we wish someone out there is willing to give her a good chance at another life. Goldie is neutered, tick treated and fully vaccinated.
BSPCA’S CAT OF THE WEEK IS MARTINA
Age: 2.5 years
Martina is a super cute and cuddly cat that is also very docile which makes for a perfect blend. She is happy to spend most her days playing with her pen friends making her well suited to just about any home with or without other animals. On the weekends she really gets her kicks when those lovely volunteers show up and begin to pamper her with kisses, cuddles and lots of playtime which she has been longing for all week. Martina is neutered and fully vaccinated.
– By Pet Reporter Ghazi Almoayed
l If you are interested in adopting Goldie, Martina or any of the other cats, kittens, dogs and puppies, please visit the Animal Welfare Centre in Askar. From the Alba roundabout, take the road sign-posted Askar and Durrat Al Bahrain and at the third signal take a right on to the truck road and after approximately 800 metres you will see the AWC on the right side, just before the flyover. Or, log onto the website www.bspca.org for directions. The shelter is open from 9am to 5pm on Sundays to Thursdays and 9am to 1pm on Fridays, Saturdays and public holidays. It accepts animals 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
l Dr Hansel Geo is a veterinary consultant and surgeon for the BSPCA and Charis Vets. Please send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org