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Feline coronavirus (cats)

First of all, it must be clarified that the feline coronavirus is a different disease from human coronaviruses. Although there has been one case of an infected dog in Hong Kong, to date there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19 to humans.

Feline coronavirus FCoV is an RNA virus that affects cats, and there are two types of variants of this disease: an enteric type that invades the digestive tract FECV and another type that causes feline infectious peritonitis FIPV.

Feline coronavirus (cats)

The transmission of this virus is oro-fecal, i.e. it is excreted in the faeces of healthy animals that are carriers of the virus. Cats expel the faeces containing this coronavirus and contact with another animal encourages contagion, which is very frequent and at a very high rate.

Cats usually cure themselves of this disease, which has no effective treatment, with the complication that this virus has the ability to mutate. It is estimated that between 25 and 40% of domestic cats are infected, increasing this percentage to 80-100% in cases where they live in large numbers in the same house or cattery.

The most common symptoms of feline enteric coronavirus are mild and chronic gastroenteritis. It mainly affects cats with mild immunity, such as very small cats and older cats. In the case of the dry form of the virus the conditions occur in several organs, so the symptoms can be very varied. In the wet form, fluids are produced in body cavities, such as in the peritoneum and pleura. Symptoms shared in both the wet and dry forms are fever, poor appetite, and lethargy.

As it is an incurable disease, the treatment is symptomatic with anti-inflammatory and appetite stimulants. So far there is no scientific evidence that there are efficient antivirals to treat this disease.

To prevent the spread of this disease, there are preventive treatments such as vaccination and various hygienic measures such as the use of a sand tray.

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