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- Author or Editor: Kate F. Hurley x
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Objective—To identify associations among change in body weight, behavioral stress score, food intake score, and development of upper respiratory tract infection (URI) among cats admitted to an animal shelter.
Design—Prospective cohort study.
Animals—60 adult cats admitted to an animal shelter.
Procedures—Body weight was measured on days 0 (intake), 7, 14, and 21. Behavioral stress and food intake were scored daily for the first 7 days; cats were monitored daily for URI.
Results—49 of the 60 (82%) cats lost weight during at least 1 week while in the shelter. Fifteen (25%) cats lost ≥ 10% of their body weight while in the shelter. Thirty-five of the 60 (58%) cats developed URI prior to exiting the shelter, and only 4 cats remained at least 21 days without developing URI. Cats with high stress scores during the first week were 5.6 times as likely to develop URI as were cats with low stress scores. Food intake and stress scores were negatively correlated (r = −0.98).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that cats admitted to an animal shelter were likely to lose weight while in the shelter and likely to develop URI, and that cats that had high stress scores were more likely to develop URI.
Objective—To describe clinical and epidemiologic features of an outbreak of feline calicivirus (FCV) infection caused by a unique strain of FCV and associated with a high mortality rate and systemic signs of disease, including edema of the face or limbs.
Animals—54 cats naturally infected with a highly virulent strain of FCV.
Procedure—Information was collected on outbreak history, clinical signs, and characteristics of infected and exposed cats.
Results—A novel strain of FCV (FCV-Kaos) was identified. Transmission occurred readily via fomites. Signs included edema and sores of the face and feet. Mortality rate was 40%, and adults were more likely than kittens to have severe disease (odds ratio, 9.56). Eleven (20%) cats had only mild or no clinical signs. Many affected cats had been vaccinated against FCV. Viral shedding was documented at least 16 weeks after clinical recovery.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Outbreaks of highly virulent FCV disease are increasingly common. Strains causing such outbreaks have been genetically distinct from one another but caused similar disease signs and were resistant to vaccination. All cats with suspicious signs (including upper respiratory tract infection) should be handled with strict hygienic precautions. Sodium hypochlorite solution should be used for disinfection following suspected contamination. All exposed cats should be isolated until negative viral status is confirmed. Chronic viral shedding is possible but may not be clinically important. This and similar outbreaks have been described as being caused by hemorrhagic fever-like caliciviruses, but hemorrhage is uncommonly reported. Virulent systemic FCV infection is suggested as an alternative description. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004:224:241–249)
Objective—To determine within a cat shelter effects of dietary lysine supplementation on nasal and ocular disease and detection of nucleic acids of Chlamydophila felis, feline calicivirus (FCV), and feline herpesvirus (FHV-1).
Animals—261 adult cats.
Procedures—Cats were fed a diet containing 1.7% (basal diet; control cats) or 5.7% (supplemented diet; treated cats) lysine for 4 weeks. Plasma concentrations of lysine and arginine were assessed at the beginning (baseline) and end of the study. Three times a week, cats were assigned a clinical score based on evidence of nasal and ocular disease. Conjunctival and oropharyngeal swab specimens were tested for FHV-1, FCV, and C felis nucleic acids once a week.
Results—Data were collected from 123, 74, 59, and 47 cats during study weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. By study end, plasma lysine concentration in treated cats was greater than that in control cats and had increased from baseline. There was no difference between dietary groups in the proportion of cats developing mild disease. However, more treated cats than control cats developed moderate to severe disease during week 4. During week 2, FHV-1 DNA was detected more commonly in swab specimens from treated versus control cats.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dietary lysine supplementation in the amount used in our study was not a successful means of controlling infectious upper respiratory disease within a cat shelter. Rather, it led to increases in disease severity and the incidence of detection of FHV-1 DNA in oropharyngeal or conjunctival mucosal swab specimens at certain time points.