Charlie has cat flu

Charlie is a handsome Siamese x Rex cat who was rescued from a pound. Once arriving at his new home he started squinting in his right eye. The eye was red and painful with a brownish discharge. His new owner brought him in to our clinic to be examined.

During his veterinary examination, Charlie was found to have conjunctivitis and a fever. He was also sneezing and had a mild nasal discharge. Due to his stuffy nose, poor Charlie couldn't smell his food very well and had been off his food.

This combination of findings was a strong indicator that Charlie had cat flu - a disease caused by a few different viruses. Charlie's cat flu was most likely caused by a virus called Chlamydia which he probably contracted at a young age. Chlamydia is most commonly spread via exposure to infected respiratory secretions and as such cats most at risk are those in close contact with infected cats, especially those in breeding houses, pounds, or any area with a large number of cats in close proximity.

Antibiotic treatment and ointment for his sore eye helped Charlie feel better in no time at all. Charlie was also kept away from other cats to prevent spread of the infection. He is now on a long term amino acid supplement called "lysine" which helps reduce incidences of recurring infections.

Chlamydia can cause recurring infections, which can cause permanent damage to the eyes, so the most important measure for reducing the incidence of and severity of disease is regular vaccinations. Vaccination is especially important in groups of cats or for cats visiting catteries. Ask us for more information about cat flu or select the below links for further reading.