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Help! My cat is sneezing, Newstead Vet. Part 2

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Continuing from where we left off yesterday on Cat flu, today we will be discussing what types of treatments are available for this disease.

Help! My cat has the flu, Newstead Vet.

What are the treatments available, Newstead Vet?

If it is severe enough, your local vet may decide to admit your cat into the hospital to monitor his/her hydration level and food intake. Antibiotic treatment can help combat secondary bacterial infection. Crusting discharges on the eyes and nose can be cleaned using a wet gauze soaked in saline. Moisturizing eye ointments are useful for the eyes but ensure that the product you're using does not contain steroids as it can aggravate the problem. Your local vet may prescribe further anti-viral treatments and L-lysine to reduce virus replication.

I think my cat might be a chronic snuffler, what can I do next, Newstead Vet?

See your local vet for further diagnostic tests. He or she may do nasal radiographs, a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test for FCV /FHV or other tests to rule in/out diseases. It is important to consider vaccinating your other non-infected cats in your household. Isolate your cat if he/she is showing symptoms (feel free to come in to talk to me about some suggestions - I like looking at floor plans so we can talk through some strategies at home).

You should also consider cleaning and disinfecting any food bowls, bedding materials and cages to prevent the spread of FURTD.

Stress is one of the most common reasons why a cat is showing signs of cat flu.

You can help ease the stress levels of your cat by using a variety of methods such as Feliway, identifying the stressor (noises, new guests in the house, feral cats outside the house etc) and removing the stressor if possible. Reducing stress ensures that there is a lower chance of triggering the manifestation of this disease.

I hope this helps you to manage your snuffler cat.

If you are looking for a Newstead Vet, call (7) 3216 0045 to make an appointment to see Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet.

Help! My cat is sneezing, Fortitude Valley Vet.

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Has your cat been displaying signs of cat flu such as runny nose, weepy eyes, drooling, sneezing, loss of voice, fever, coughing or loss of appetite? Your fluffy kid may have cat flu.

Help! My cat is sneezing, Fortitude Valley Vet.

What is cat flu, Fortitude Valley Vet?

Feline herpes virus (FHV) and calicivirus (FCV) are the most common causes of Feline Upper Respiratory Tract Disease (FURTD), otherwise commonly known as cat flu. Sometimes cat flu can be caused by Feline Chlamydia, a type of bacteria. Both viruses are a major problem for multi-cat environments including the cattery and even in your own home.  FHV, like the human herpes virus, lies dormant in the facial nerves of your cat and manifests symptoms when it is under stress. Cats infected with FHV are lifelong carriers. FCV, on the other hand, can persist in infected cats from weeks to several years.

How do I know if my cat has FHV or FCV, Fortitude Valley Vet?

Cats, especially kittens, generally become anorexic and dehydrated with fever. Serious cases can lead to death so it is important to keep an eye out for these symptoms: sneezing and pus discharging from the nose and eyes.

It is difficult to differentiate the two viruses based on clinical signs but there are some slight differences:

FHV – Eye (corneal ulcer etc) and nasal signs (sneezing and pus discharge) mostly. Pregnant queens can miscarry.

FCV – Oral lesions (ulcers on the tongue, gingival, soft palate, fauces etc) and salivation predominate. Some cats can develop respiratory diseases or lameness.
Infection with either of these viruses at a young age may cause permanent damage resulting in your cat suffering from chronic symptoms. 

Cats suffering from these condition are known as “snufflers”.

Your local vet might derive his/her diagnosis just from your cat’s history and symptoms but some may perform further tests especially for chronic snufflers. Other diseases with similar signs include tumors in the nose, allergic reactions or fungal infection.

Stay tune for tomrrow's blog on Treatments for cat flu.

If you have further questions on cat flu, come see us at Emporium Vet, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. 07 3216 0045

Help! My dog is itchy, Fortitude Valley Vet. Part 2

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Finishing off where we left off yesterday, we will be covering treatment options for an itchy dog.

Help! How to stop my dog from scratching itself, Fortitude Valley Vet?


  1. Eradicate fleas - Treat all animals with flea treatments. I prefer oral treatments as topical treatments tend to wash off if you shampoo your pooch. If you have carpets, vacuum regularly. Consider steam-cleaning if you can. Treating fleas is a two step process where you have to treat the pet and the environment. I won't be bothered with "Flea Bombs" as they do not penetrate carpet fibers or underneath floor boards adequately. Getting rid of fleas in your environment can take up to 6 months.
  2. Food trial - It is quite likely that your dog is allergic to one of the 4 main type of proteins (beef, pork, lamb and chicken) commonly found in majority of commercially prepared dog food. Try a hypoallergenic dog food or look out for dog food that do not contain the 4 main type of proteins. You will need to stop giving your doggie treats that are made out of those proteins too. Try a fruit treat instead. A food trial can take up to 8 weeks of continuous feeding of the same food before you notice any improvements.
  3. Investigate atopic dermatitis – This is usually based on the exclusion of other skin allergies. Treatment includes avoidance of potential allergens (plant materials are the most likely reason why your dog is itchy), life-long corticosteroid or immunosuppressant medication, anti-histamines, fish oil, medicated shampoos containing chlorhexidine and miconazole and skin protectants (QV bath oil).
Sometimes your dog may need all of the above treatments as some pets may have more than 1 allergies. Talk to us at Fortitude Valley Vet if you are unsure which type of allergies and respective treatments your dog needs. Dr Nic has special interest in dermatology and can help relieve your pet's itchiness.

Come talk to us at Fortitude Valley Vet and Emporium Pet Lifestyle Store, Brisbane. 07 3216 0045.

Help! My dog is itchy, Fortitude Valley Vet.

Skin Problems are probably one of the most likely reasons why your cuddly four-legged companion would need to see a vet. Diesel, my white staffy, isn't spared from this annoying issue. He's been showing signs of sensitivity since his 2nd year, and it's been something that requires active management.

How to stop my dog from scratching itself, Fortitude Valley Vet?

It is important to note that you cannot cure skin allergies. You have to manage them with appropriate medication and lifestyle changes.

Skin problems can range from mild itching to severe fur loss with inflamed/infected skin. However most skin problems are attributed to allergic reactions and bacteria infection is commonly secondary to this.

Here at Fortitude Valley Vet, the three common allergies seen in dogs are:

  • flea allergy dermatitis, 
  • food allergy  and
  • atopic dermatitis 

Note that your dog's skin problems may also be contact dermatitis or be insect hypersensitivity. 

Usually, if your dog has recurring skin problems that do not seem to go away, it is likely to be caused by one of the three allergies above (or even a combination of the three).

To have a good idea of which specific allergy your pet is most likely to be suffering from, consider the following 4 points:

  1. Age of onset – Atopic dermatitis tends to happen when your furry kid is about 6 months to 6 years of age. Food allergy can happen at any time whether a dog is young or old.
  2. Site of the Allergy - Flea allergy dermatitis tends to cause symptoms from “the pants down”. You will see problems in the lower half of the body including the base of the tail, tummy and groin. Atopic dermatitis and food allergy are similar in presentation except for one difference – food allergy can have gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea. Both type of allergies are mostly confined in the upper body and include the face, ears, feet and armpit.
  3. Seasonality – Are the skin problems worse in spring and summer? Seasonal skin itchiness tends to be caused by flea allergy dermatitis or atopic dermatitis (genetic predisposition to developing a reaction to say, pollen - a common seasonal allergen). Grass and tree pollen in spring and weed pollen in summer and autumn can trigger skin problems in dogs.
  4. Response to corticosteroids – Flea allergy dermatitis and atopic dermatitis often respond well to steroidal medication but food allergies yield variable results.

I hope this gives you a fair idea what your doggy might be suffering from. Some dogs can have all of the above allergies or just one of them.

Stay tune for tomorrow's blog on treatment options for Itchy Skin.

If you have further questions, come see us at Fortitude Valley Vet, Emporium, Brisbane. 07 3216 0045

Shop 15 1000 Ann Street Fortitude Valley

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We are located in Emporium, Shop 15, 1000 Ann St, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

Fortitude Valley Vet will provide veterinary care to pets of The Valley, Brisbane, Spring Hill, New Farm, Teneriffe, Newstead, Bowen Hills, Kangaroo Point, Paddington, Petrie Terrace, Woollongabba and surrounding Queensland suburbs.