Feline Calicivirus – (part of FVRCP vaccine)

This virus is a common cause of upper respiratory infection with ulcerations of the mouth/ tongue and varying amounts of sneezing, coughing, nasal and ocular discharge, and occasionally secondary pneumonia (mainly in young kittens). Ulcerations of the lips, nostrils, and skin may also be present, but generally the symptoms are mild. Less commonly, affected kittens may begin limping and develop a fever with diarrhea +/- seizures. Many times, these kittens are also infected with FIV, and thus, have a worse prognosis. Most cats/ kittens do recover, and many become life-long carriers and will shed virus and display symptoms periodically in times of stress. Calicivirus is part of “feline respiratory disease complex” which is caused by feline herpesvirus, feline calicivirus, Chlamydia psittaci, or mycoplasmas. It is often not possible to identify the causative agent, however, this is not necessary to begin treatment. The best prevention is vaccination by a veterinarian beginning at 8-9 weeks and repeated every 3-4 weeks until 20 weeks of age, then every 1-3 years as an adult.