I could hear it the moment that he came through the door. Pokey, a 9-year-old neutered cat, was in his carrier sneezing his head off. “He’s been doing this for the last two days,” said his owner, Siobhan Taaffe. “He must have sneezed about 50 times yesterday.” In the exam room, it only took a few moments to determine Pokey’s problem. The sneezing, watery eyes and snotty nose … it was a classic upper respiratory infection.
Upper respiratory infections (URIs) are common in cats. Several infectious organisms cause signs of upper respiratory infection, but viral URIs are most prevalent. Most URIs (80 to 90 percent) stem from feline herpes virus, feline calicivirus or both. Other respiratory pathogens seen in the remaining 10 to 20 percent include chlamydophila, mycoplasma and bordatella.
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