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Social Butterfly November 18, 2004

Dr Dorota Pearson, DVM


Roundworms and Hookworms

Roundworms and Hookworms


Various organisms have been isolated from the respiratory tract of cats.  Most of these organisms are contagious, and some can cause a fatal disease.  These organisms include rhinotracheitis virus, calicivirus, Chlamydia psittaci, reoviruses, Mycoplasma, and various bacteria.  In most cases, isolation of the offending organism is neither necessary nor cost effective.


Respiratory diseases are transmitted by direct contact with infected cats or discharges from their eyes, nose, mouth, or other body fluids.  Some of the organisms are spread by contaminiated clothing, hands, feeding utensils, grooming equipment, and other articles.  In a few cases, the organisms are airborne for a short distance.


The most common signs of respiratory disease are sneezing, cough, discharge from the eyes, nose, or mouth, difficult breathing, gagging, lack of appetite, and weight loss.  Some infections last only a few days, while others may be present for weeks or months.  Some of these disease agents exist in a carrier state in apparently healthy cats.


Rhinotracheitis is caused by a herpes virus that attacks the eyes, nasal passages, and trachea (windpipe) of cats.  Once infected, a cat shows respiratory distress signs as described above.  Adult cats recover, but the disease is more serious in kittens, and fatalities are not uncommon.  Some cats become persistently infected and suffer chronically.  Vaccination is the best means of preventing this disease.  All cats should be vaccinated yearly.  Any questions about your kittens cold, call us at (760) 598-2512.