Pet trainer: Herpes can be dangerous for some pets

Once herpes – forever herpes. One contact with the virus is enough and it stays in the body for life. In stressful situations or in case of illness, it can cause symptoms – from mild inflammation to severe eye or respiratory problems to death.

“Herbs occurs in all animal species; However, the virus is very species-specific,” says Zoodoc Katharina Reitl. Animal coach KURIER explains how dangerous the infection is and what helps the patient.

Painful for cats

“Cats are most commonly affected,” says Reitl. While in humans, painful blisters appear mainly on the lips, the virus is visible in the eyes of four-legged friends. It causes swelling, can damage the cornea and lead to ulcers on the visual organ. In addition, the infection sometimes affects the respiratory tract. Treatment requires a specialist. Because a droplet or smear infection often weakens the immune system and thus brings with it other health complications.

“Vaccination against other pathogens of the cat flu complex alleviates the symptoms,” says a veterinarian from the clinic at Schönbrunn Zoo. There is no effective substance that can protect cats from herpes infection. Especially after the first outbreak of the disease, everything must be done to prevent a new flare-up. The patient should feel as comfortable as possible. In stressful situations, such as a move or a construction site outside the house, medication should be on hand to treat symptoms; the virus itself cannot be destroyed in the body.

Fatal for unborn dogs

“Canine herpes virus is especially dangerous for bitches,” says Reitl. While it affects the respiratory tract in males and causes symptoms such as kennel cough, it can affect fertility in quadrupeds. For unborn puppies, the mother’s illness can even be fatal. Breeding animals should therefore be vaccinated two weeks before admission and two weeks before the due date of birth. A specialist in gynecological veterinary medicine advises.

High risk of infection for the same species

Whether it’s a cat, dog, bird or reptile: “In young animals, the disease is almost always fatal,” says the expert. The immune system of the offspring can be supported as a preventive measure. It also helps to increase the temperature in the birthing box. If the same species becomes ill in a household with several animals, hygiene must be strictly observed. This is also true when people develop blisters. Above all, you must not pet rabbits closely.

“Herpes is probably very common in pets,” concludes animal trainer KURIER. “Like humans, many carry the virus but don’t contract it.”

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