Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What Flu Season Means for Your Cat

I just received a notice from the AVMA about a cat that had confirmed H1N1 influenza. This cat caught this from it's owner. This is the not the first time a cat has caught the flu from it's owner. In those cases, there was one that died but others that survived (they were not all from the same household or state). There was also confirmed cases in ferrets, which are already known to be susceptible to human respiratory bugs. This cat, and a second cat in the household which did NOT test positive, both died of respiratory disease. Thus far, no cases have gone from cat to human.

This is not a cause for panic. But if your cat has any signs of upper respiratory disease - including sneezing, eye or nose discharge, going off food, lethargy, not eating and anything that seems "off" to you, please call your vet.

Let me just add that testing for this can take time and often the animal is either better or not. There is no specific "flu" treatment. We would treat this as any other respiratory infection - antibiotics to cover primary or secondary bacterial infections, fluids, appetite stimulants, etc  +/- hospitalization depending on how sick the cat is.  

A great resource is here at AVMA. This includes more info - via links you can click on - on "swine flu" and  FAQs for Pet Owners.

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