What is Rhinitis?
Rhinitis is an inflammation of the lining of the nose that results in sneezing and nasal discharge. This causes snuffling and is usually referred to as cold or flu-like symptoms. The discharge is usually clear in the early stages of disease and becomes thicker and cloudy as disease progresses. The sense of smell is reduced and since cats rely heavily on their sense of smell to decide if food is good to eat, the appetite is reduced and in some cases they will not eat.
What is the cause of Rhinitis?
In most cases, the cause of rhinitis in cats is one the “cat flu” group of infections. This includes mainly calicivirus, herpesvirus and chlamydia, but also includes a number of minor viruses, some of which have not been identified yet. The main “cat flu” infections are responsible for the more serious cases.
What is the treatment for rhinitis?
This will depend on the cause, but in most cases a course of antibiotics, possibly accompanied by anti-inflammatory drugs, is given. The underlying cause is often a virus, for which antibiotics will not help, but the virus lowers the defences to bacterial infection and the most serious consequences, such as spread to a pneumonia, is usually caused by bacteria.
A degree of nursing care is often required. The cat should be kept indoors to avoid cold & damp which could encourage the problem to become worse. Some encouragement may be required for the cat to feed. Foods with strong odours are taken best as the cat will be able to smell it, and warming the food will increase the odour.
If the cause of the rhinitis is a foreign body, this must be removed under a general anaesthetic. Growths in the nose are troublesome and often cannot be removed. The commonest growth in the nose, however, is a lymphoma which responds reasonably well to steroids.
This article is for reference only.
If your pet is showing any symptoms or distress, and you suspect your pet is ill CONTACT YOUR VET IMMEDIATELY.