Did you know?
It's true, the headlines declaring a cat was diagnosed with H1N1 have been confirmed. But what does that mean for you and your feline friend?
Until recently, experts believed that, with the exception of birds and pet pigs, our pets were not susceptible to the H1N1 virus. In fact, we don't generally worry about our pets with any of the common seasonal flu strains. Now, several cases of H1N1 in ferrets, one cat that tested positive for the virus, and another reported case in a cat, have shown that human transmission of the bug to our pets is possible. So, even though pets bring us lots of comfort, it is best to avoid sleeping or snuggling with your pets if you are ill with flu like symptoms.
The good news is that like most people, it appears that this flu causes a mild illness in pets. Both cats survived and have recovered from the virus. Treatment for pets that contract H1N1 are supportive care and antibiotics if a secondary bacterial infection is present.
Your family veterinarian, the Veterinarians here at VRCC, the AVMA, and the CDC are all continuing to monitor H1N1 in order to make sure pets and people say protected. If pets were especailly susceptible, we would expect infection rates that mirrored the human population.
If your pet is showing any signs of illness, such as lethargy, fever, and runny nose, call your family veterinarian to schedule an exam. Or, if it is after hours, the Veterinarians and technicians at CVES are happy to see you and your pet to relieve your concerns and provide any care that is necessary for your animal.
As Leonardo da Vinci so elegantly stated, "the smallest feline is a masterpiece".
For additional information on the H1N1 virus and pets visit the AVMA website.