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Intestinal Viral Infection (Rotavirus) in Cats

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Treatment

 

Once the rotavirus is formally diagnosed, your veterinarian will begin treatment to ensure a prompt recovery. Treatment involves symptomatic relief to relieve the cat's diarrhea and to help replace lost fluids and electrolytes. Your doctor will also advise temporary dietary restrictions to help alleviate some of your cat's intestinal discomfort.

 

Antibiotics are generally not prescribed because they are only useful for bacterial, not viral infections.

 

Living and Management

 

Because rotaviruses are zoonotic, it is important that pet owners keep infected cats away from young children, infants in particular. When handling the fecal matter of an infected animal, it is especially important to use precautions, such as wearing latex gloves and disinfecting the animal's living area.

 

Humans living in developing countries are most at risk, often experiencing life-threatening diarrhea. Estimates suggest that in developing countries up to 500,000 children under age five die every year from rotavirus infections.

 

Prevention

 

The best protection for a kitten is to consume the milk of an immune cat queen, as they produce antibodies that may protect against the rotavirus.

Image: Tyler Olson via Shutterstock

 

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