April 1, 2016
Categories: Shelter Medicine

Yesterday’s news out of the University of Wisconsin that cats can become ill with the canine influenza virus has some cat owners worried. While there’s still far more unknown than known about this risk, there’s no evidence that anyone needs to panic about their pet cats.

UW experts report that the four cats known to be affected are all in one animal shelter where there is an outbreak of canine influenza (CIV). While the disease can be severe in dogs, none of the cats is seriously ill, and none has died.

The cats were housed separately from the sick dogs, and the feline housing areas were cleaned before the canine kennels, so it’s not known how the cats were exposed to the virus. The cats and dogs are currently quarantined and will not leave the shelter “until they are recovered and no longer shedding virus.”

Their advice for anyone concerned about their own pets:

Seek advice from your veterinarian.  Let the veterinarian know when you make the appointment that you are concerned about CIV.  Keep your pet separated from other animals. Diagnostic testing is available through the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab.

Still have questions about feline cases of CIV? UW has answers!

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