Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy



or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Intestinal Virus Due to Bacterial Overgrowth (Astrovirus) in Cats

ADVERTISEMENT

Astrovirus Infection in Cats

 

Astrovirus infection is a genus of small, non-enveloped RNA virus that causes intestinal disease symptoms in affected animals. Characteristic symptoms include diarrhea and abdominal pain with watery, green diarrhea. If the diarrhea lasts longer than a week, then it is probably not caused by astrovirus, as the astrovirus generally passes in less than a week.

 

While the astrovirus by itself is not dangerous, dehydration due to lack of fluids and diarrhea can quickly become a dangerous condition. However, fluids can be given on a temporary inpatient basis to help the cat recover.

 

This virus is relatively rare in cats, and shows no tendency for infecting a particular breed, gender, or age. And although the astrovirus infection is communicable amongst cats, it is not communicable between cats and humans.

 

Symptoms and Types

 

  • Green, watery diarrhea
  • Dehydration (check for sunken eyes)
  • Anorexia (no appetite)
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Often more severe in kittens

 

Causes

 

What causes a cat to become infected with the astrovirus is unknown, but it is an infectious virus that is acquired from another cat.

 

Diagnosis

 

You will need to provide a thorough history of your cat's health leading up to the onset of symptoms. Your veterinarian will then perform a thorough physical exam, a blood profile, and a complete blood count. 

 

With gastrointestinal diseases, a swab of feces needs to be taken for laboratory analysis. A differential diagnosis, which is guided by deeper inspection of the apparent outward symptoms, ruling out each of the more common causes until the correct disorder is settled upon and can be treated appropriately, will include tests for the presence of parasites (e.g., intestinal worms), toxic ingestion, food allergy, and other viral infections that could be responsible for the symptoms. These include rotavirus, panleukopenia, or enteric coronavirus, all of which can cause the same types of symptoms.

 

The physical exam and complete blood count will indicate to your veterinarian if and to what degree your cat is dehydrated, and how severe the infection is based on how high the white blood cell count is. The blood profile will let your veterinarian know if the diarrhea is caused by a bacteria or a virus.

 

  

 

Related Articles

Acute Vomiting in Cats
Cats will commonly vomit from time to time, often because they might have eaten something...
READ MORE
Chocolate Poisoning in Cats
Cats, especially kittens, are known for eating things they are not supposed to. This...
READ MORE
Protrusion of the Rectum and Anus in Cats
Anal or rectal prolapse is a condition in which one or more layers of the cat's rectum...
READ MORE
  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»
Around the Web
MORE FROM PETMD.COM