Coronavirus in Cats
Coronavirus is today’s most alarming topic which was generally an animal virus but now the situation has changed, this virus has become very prevalent among the people and it also has a very significant effect on the cat world too. This is mainly a spherical shaped virus composed of two structural proteins- nucleocapsid protein & spike glycoprotein, it’s fully covered by envelope, have a single-strand RNA genome and the entire diameter of the virus is 100nm. About 80% to 90% of cats can be affected by this virus and generally, infant cats in the age of 6 to 12 months are attacked more than 5 to 13 years of age of adult cats by ingestion or inhalation of a coronavirus.
Coronavirus is a highly infectious virus which susceptible to create infection & disease in cats that is generally known as FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis). Till now the routes of the transmission of coronavirus in cats is unknown but it’s assumed that the virus may spread by the excretion of the coronavirus infected cats, nasal secretion, inhalation of the virus or by coming contact with the contaminated clothing, bedding dishes, etc.
Symptoms of Coronavirus in Cats
Depending upon the strains of coronavirus the FIP can be divided into two types-
Wet or Effusive Form: Targets the body cavity and multiply rapidly in the body.
Dry or Non-effusive Form: Targets the other parts & organisms of the body, multiply slowly than Effusive form. The symptoms of effusive form and Non-effusive form are given below-
√ Symptoms of Wet or Effusive form:
- Weight Loss.
- Loss of Appetite.
- Persistent Fever.
- Gradual Swelling of Abdomen.
- Increase Fluid in Chest Cavity.
- Face Difficulty in Breathing.
- Runny Nose.
√ Symptoms of Dry or Non-effusive Form:
- Poor Growth.
- Inflammation of Various Parts of the Body.
- Neurological Symptoms.
- Loss of Vision.
The diagnosis of cats affected with coronavirus is difficult because FIP can easily turn to another disease especially the dry form. You can consult with a veterinarian for detecting coronavirus in your cats because only a single laboratory test can’t diagnose FIP. A blood test will show you the level of WBC & also indicate the presence of infection in the body, ELISA or IFA test will show the presence or absence of coronavirus antibody, for more specific testing you can do PCR test or Polymerase Chain Reaction Test for identifying the virus, or by testing the fluid of abdominal or thoracic cavity the coronavirus can be detected too.
The complete prevention of coronavirus from your cats is not possible because no antiviral drugs are not effective for the affected cats. For improving the physical condition, appetite & severe anemia Palliative Therapy is really effective, as long-term treatment can’t be given to the cat, for short-term curation corticosteroids can be provided and if any positive feedback can be shown in 3 weeks the therapy should continue for 3 months.
For protecting your cats from severe infectious Coronavirus, you can give a vaccine called TS-FIPV which is generally a first-generation temperature-sensitive coronavirus vaccine and this virus contains attenuated live viruses produced from the laboratory.