Hi, this is Dr. Greg McDonald, and I am coming
to you from Expert Village.com. We are talking about your cat and first aid in your cat.
One of the common things that we see in cats is a thing we call an upper respiratory virus.
Upper respiratory virus can be very serious but usually it is not. It is kind of like
a common cold for us, but there are certain things that you can do before you get your
cat to a veterinarian. First of all it is very important to try and prevent your cat
from getting an upper respiratory virus. There are vaccines that are available for your cat.
Cats should start a vaccination and program between six and eight weeks of age, and you
should consult your veterinarian at that time to be sure adequate boosters are done in this
early phase of the cat’s life. These cats at this age don’t have a very good immunity,
and why these vaccinations are very important. Some times these upper respiratory viruses
can look very much like an emergency situation because your cat has so much discharge coming
from their eyes and nose that they are having a hard time breathing. Their eyes look all
blood shot and they are really miserable. Once again it is not something that usually
requires an emergency care with your veterinarian, but there are a few things that you can do
at home to make your cat more comfortable. Often your veterinarian will want to put your
cat on some antibiotics during this time period. Be sure that your cat is eating and drinking
well. That is the real key when you are going to have your veterinarian intervene. If your
cat becomes so miserable with an upper respiratory virus, that they can’t smell their own food
and they stop eating and drinking. Obviously they are going to get dehydrated and start
doing poorly and they can’t fight the virus off themselves. So once again, upper respiratory
virus usually manifests itself by a lot of discharge from their nose, some discharge
from their eyes, blood shot eyes, sneezing and sometimes they even have ulcers inside
of their mouth. They get these really ugly looking oral ulcers. We don’t see that in
cats that have been vaccinated very much, but if there have been no vaccines, they can
have that. Some of the things that you can do at home that these cats do respond well
to is a humidifier. You try to humidify the area for them and kind of put it nearby them
so that they can get some good humidity. It helps to breathe a little easier. If your
cat stops eating and stops drinking, that is when you really have to see your veterinarian.
Occasionally the veterinarian will put them on antibiotics. Even though this is a virus
and it is not going to kill the virus, it helps to prevent them from getting a secondary
bacterial infection of their lungs, which might be an ammonia case in your cat. So if
they are not eating or drinking, you need to check with your veterinarian and get some
antibiotics, and also sometimes we give them some fluids and even give them a vaccine while
they are sick to try and boost their immunity.