Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Infectious Disease

Calicivirus Infection in Cats

General Information
Feline calicivirus causes mild to serious respiratory illness. Cats become infected by inhaling or swallowing the virus, and signs of illness may develop within 2 to 10 days of exposure. Early signs include runny eyes and nose, sneezing, depression, and poor appetite. Ulcers may develop on the tongue and hard palate, and most infected cats drool heavily. The illness lasts 1 to 4 weeks. Though most cats recover, fatalities do occur. Young kittens are most likely to be severely affected. Some cats that recover from the initial disease may continue to shed the virus for weeks or even years.

A vaccine is available for prevention of calicivirus infection.

Important Points in Treatment

1. Drugs cannot eliminate calicivirus. Treatment is designed to prevent bacterial infections (especially pneumonia), relieve signs, and maintain hydration and nutrition.
2. Severely affected cats and kittens must be treated in the hospital, where intravenous fluids can be given to maintain hydration and provide nutrition.
3. The virus is hardy and may survive outside the cat on dishes, pans, etc., for 8 to 10 days.

An Important Update From Animal & Bird Medical Center On COVID-19

We are committed to offering a safe and healthy environment for our clients, pets and hospital team here at Animal and Bird Medical Center. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.

In being cautious and mindful of everyone’s safety, we are actively working to minimize your exposure to crowded exam rooms and long waits in the lobby.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our protocols in-hospital for the time-being…

In order to limit exposure while still providing quality care for your pet, we will be implementing special protocols to keep you safe.

We will have our veterinary technicians get a history of the patient’s symptoms and owner’s concerns via phone prior to coming into the clinic.

  • Upon arrival, owners can call us from the curb in front of the clinic and we will have a technician assistant come to your car and bring your pet inside.
  • From here, your pet will be examined and the doctor will develop a treatment plan which he will then communicate via phone with the owner.
  • At the end of the visit, an invoice will be brought out to your car and payment can be taken via phone.

Our goal is for you to be able to bring your pet in for medical care but have no risk for you or our dedicated staff of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The Doctors and staff are dedicated to making sure your pet’s medical needs are taken care of during this national crisis.

We can still fill prescriptions for pick up, however, for those who prefer, non-narcotic and non-urgent prescriptions can be mailed to your home.

As always, careful hand-washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.