Magazine article USA TODAY

"Kitty Colds" Can Plague Cats

Magazine article USA TODAY

"Kitty Colds" Can Plague Cats

Article excerpt

Veterinarians have been aware for many years that Bordetella bronchiseptica (Bb) causes disease in dogs, rabbits, pigs, and other species. Until recently, it was thought that cats had to be sick with another illness in order for Bb to cause a problem. New research has shown that Feline Bordetella bronchiseptica (FeBb) by itself triggers upper respiratory infection, or what some pet owners call "kitty colds." Studies show as many as eight out of 10 cats are exposed to FeBb, according to Intervet Inc., Millsboro, Del.

In addition, FeBb is more common and widespread than both feline calicivirus and feline herpesvirus, previously thought to be the most responsible for kitty colds. This finding is very significant because most cats are vaccinated against these two viruses, but, until recently, a vaccine wasn't available to protect cats against FeBb.

An owner who has a cat with a kitty cold caused by FeBb may see one or more of the following symptoms: sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, loss of appetite, lack of energy, coughing, and fever. …

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