Miss Alyssum Is Sick – Feline Rhinotracheitis Might Be the Culprit

My Adventures in Dealing with a Suspected Outbreak
Of Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis

It’s been a very emotionally hard and draining two weeks here at my house. I’ve had the crummy experience of possibly being introduced into the sad and frustrating world of “feline rhinotracheitis”. Rhinotracheitis is a wonderful (I’m being sarcastic) variety of the herpes virus. Yuck and double-yuck! 🙁

This is Alyssum. To start my story, I adopted a gorgeous Platinum Point Tonkinese about 4 years ago. “Alyssum” was a little over two years old at the time.

I adopted her from a Tonkinese breeder. It is very common for breeders to put older cats up for adoption, in order to thin the herd, so to speak. In Alyssum’s case, she had been breed once and for whatever reasons, the breeder decided to not breed her again. So, I came along at the right time and Alyssum became mine. She grew quickly into being my best buddy.

She had no problem becoming immediately attached to me (just what I had hoped for), and she fit right in as a loving member of the family. I couldn’t have been happier with my decision to commit to a cat as a pet.

After about a year and a half I noticed a slight wheeze to her breath every now and then. I took her to the vet in December of 2007 to have the wheezing checked.

After blood tests and a lung X-ray, my vet said he couldn’t determine the exact cause, unless I wanted to have more extensive (and expensive) tests performed. Not only did I not want to drain my wallet, I more so did not want to put her through any tests. So, the vet and I agreed that I’d keep an eye on things, and that perhaps she just had a slight case of asthma. Sounded good to me …

Fast forward to about four months ago. Another year and a few months had passed and now there was a definite “snorting – snuffling” thing going on. But it wasn’t constant, nor did it even happen a number of times each day. It seemed to be random, but yes, every now and then she’d snort some.

I did think and worry, “Oh geez! Here we go … her breathing is starting to get a little worse.” But, I sat back and decided to just keep aware of things. I am so lucky that I work from home, thusly am here practically 24/7. This allows me to be very involved and very aware of anything happening to Alyssum. She didn’t seem to be uncomfortable or suffering in any way, though now (in hindsight) I had mentioned to others that she seemed to be less playful and was sleeping a bit more.

Now bear with me here during the next few paragraphs as the information will prove informative and useful to those of you who may find yourselves in exactly my situation if you already have one cat (breed doesn’t matter), but want to introduct a new cat into the mix …

In case you don’t know about “Tonks”, the breeders will tell you Tonkinese need another cat in their lives – that they MUST have another cat as a friend. So, I was aware of this philosophy before I adopted Alyssum. But my attitude was (and still is) that wasn’t it better to give any cat a loving home, rather than a home that might have another cat in it, but perhaps not be a very good environment for the cats? The breeder I got Alyssum from agreed with me, too. However she did tell me the best situation was for a Tonk to have another cat friend in the house.

So I did often think, “I wonder maybe IF another cat would be a good idea?” You see, I wasn’t raised around cats, nor had I had much experience with cats before. I’d had a Shih Tzu for over 14 years … and no cats during that time.

But, after watching Alyssum looking longingly through the storm door at the (one stray) outside-only cat that had adopted my home (and me) a few years ago, and realizing she wished she could get in contact with “Gabby” the outdoor cat, I began to think maybe, just MAYBE, I could handle another cat in the house. And that MAYBE Alyssum would be happier with a new friend.

And so, after hemming and hawing for months and months and months (I shuddered to think “what if the cat(s) stop using the litter box?” and other scary things along those lines), about two weeks ago I ended up driving 4 hours to another state to adopt a beautiful little purebred Singapura named “Sieanna”.

OK … back to feline rhinotracheitis … within 36-hours of Sieanna coming into my home, Alyssum really began wheezing. 24/7 HEAVY wheezing. So … off she and I went to the vet.

Tomorrow I’ll continue the story of Alyssum and our dealings with the “suspected” virus feline rhinotracheitis, and how I thought we were losing the battle. But for now, please know dear Alyssum is hanging in there. She’s not feeling 100%, but “Nurse Mommy Claudia” is tending to her 24/7 with traditional and homeopathic remedies. Hope springs eternal.  😉

Comments

  1. Kathy Caldwell says:

    So sorry to hear about your cat. We have a cat that was so sick the vet said “no matter what we do this cat will die within a couple of days”. That was about 4 years ago and yes he is still with us and doing great! We used a product called Transfer Factor along with other natural remedies and a special diet – our cat was in stage 5 lymphoma. Its takes about 48 hours to see any response with this stuff, but I think that was what saved our cats life. Check it out and I hope all goes well with your cat.

  2. Claudia says:

    Hi Kathy:
    Thanks so much for the words of encouragement. Alyssum is doing much better, but the vet still isn’t 100% sure of what exactly was/is the cause of all the symptoms.

    We are on a 2nd round of antiobiotics as a precautionary measure, and I’m using homeopathic rememdies under the supervision of my own homeopathic doctor, so … am keeping my fingers and toes double-crossed that we can get Alyssum over the hump and back to normal.

    I’ll check out the “TF” product and I’m glad that your cat is still with you. 🙂

  3. CNT/Sensus says:

    So sorry to hear about your cat. We have a cat that was so sick the vet said “no matter what we do this cat will die within a couple of days”. That was about 4 years ago and yes he is still with us and doing great! We used a product called Transfer Factor along with other natural remedies and a special diet – our cat was in stage 5 lymphoma. Its takes about 48 hours to see any response with this stuff, but I think that was what saved our cats life. Check it out and I hope all goes well with your cat.

  4. Thank you for the kind words about Alyssum. She is doing OK these days, and I’m using a topical antihistamine to help keep her stuffiness at bay when necessary. I have come to believe that changes in the weather/seasons also has something to do with her nasal problems. And yes … natural remedies can work wonders, but in her case I had to resort to “chemical” means.

  5. Hi my friend. very nice post, i certainly love this website, keep on it

Trackbacks

  1. […] Yesterday I posted the introduction about my beloved Tonkinese cat Alyssum, and how she has been battling the #%%@@# #@@!$!% [bleep – bleep] herpes virus called feline rhinotracheitis for the last two weeks. […]

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