Feline Infectious Respiratory Disease

Chapter 11 Feline Infectious Respiratory Disease


Subclinical Carriers as Sources of Infection

Most cats that recover from FHV and FCV infection become subclinical carriers and shed the virus for prolonged periods. Subclinical carriers that are persistently infected (FCV) or latently infected (FHV) perpetuate these viruses within the cat population and serve as the principal source for outbreaks in catteries, multicat households, research colonies, veterinary hospitals, and shelters.


Typical clinical signs of feline URI are sudden onset of anorexia, depression, fever, and naso-ocular discharge. Other signs specific to each etiologic agent are detailed in the following sections. Illness is more severe in young kittens and milder in previously vaccinated cats. Clinical disease caused by FHV and FCV is usually self-limiting within 5 to 10 days; however, some cats take 3 weeks to recover. See Table 11-1 for a comparison of the clinical manifestations of FHV and FCV.


Manifestation Feline Herpesvirus (FHV-1) Feline Calicivirus (FCV)
Incubation 2–6 days 1–5 days
Duration 5–10 days (rarely to 3 weeks) 5–7 days (rarely to 2 weeks)
Anorexia, depression Severe and frequent Mild and inconsistent
Fever Frequent Inconsistent (diphasic)
Nasal signs Sneezing—severe Sneezing—mild
Discharge—marked Discharge—mild or absent
Ulcerated nares Ulcerated tip of nose
Turbinate necrosis
Sequelae—chronic rhinosinusitis, nasopharyngeal stenosis
Ocular signs Conjunctivitis—severe (serous to mucopurulent discharge, chemosis, photophobia) Conjunctivitis—mild
Ulcerative keratitis
Panophthalmitis (neonates)
Sequelae—sicca, corneal sequestrum
Oral signs Hypersalivation, rare ulcers Frequent oral ulcers (tongue, palate)
Sequelae—chronic stomatitis, gingivitis, faucitis
Pulmonary signs Rare bacterial pneumonia Occasional viral pneumonia
Other signs Abortion Limping syndrome (arthritis, arthralgia, myalgia)
Peracute neonatal death (hepatic necrosis) Interdigital paw ulcers
Ulcerative dermatitis Enteritis (diarrhea and vomiting)
Acute hemorrhagic fever syndrome
Postrecovery carrier Lifelong Months to years
Shedding pattern Intermittent (after stress; lasts 1–2 wks) Persistent

Feline Calicivirus

Other FCV Syndromes

Aug 27, 2016 | Posted by in SMALL ANIMAL | Comments Off on Feline Infectious Respiratory Disease

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