Exotic Shorthair with a cold: what to do?

Flat-faced cats like the Exotic Shorthair are already prone to respiratory problems. What to do if they have a cold? Catademy blog talks about the main causes of the disease and how to fight them.

The cold in the cat, which may or may not coincide with the feline rhinotracheitis, is an annoying disturbance that may get much worse, especially in the cubs and especially if it affects specimens of breeds with the crushed muzzle. Let us consider the example of the Exotic Shorthair and try to understand what to do about it.

The Exotic Shorthair is one of the breeds of cats suffering from brachycephalic or upper airway obstructive syndrome (BAOS), a genetic disorder that causes a series of anatomical abnormalities consisting mainly of a short nose and a squashed snout. Although the throat and nose of cats with this syndrome have the same amount of tissue as healthy animals, the flattening of the nose and snout prevents these tissues from growing properly.

As a result, malformations develop: the palate is too wide, the nostrils too small, the trachea too narrow and the tear ducts inadequate. It is easy to imagine how all this contributes to the risk of obstructions, congestion, and infections – respiratory and other – even in relatively healthy conditions. Many cats suffering from this syndrome find themselves snoring and breathing noisily.

This precarious condition is a breeding ground for diseases such as feline rhinotracheitis, which usually causes most of the cat’s “colds”. While doll-face Persians and Exotic Shorthair suffer less from the consequences of this syndrome than the classic flat-faced Persian, they are still exposed to such risks.

Rhinotracheitis is a severe viral infection that usually causes sneezing, abundant tearing, nasal congestion and (further) breathing difficulties. The other symptoms that should definitely warn the owner of a cat, regardless of his or her chronic ailments, and which require the sudden intervention of a veterinarian, are:

  • Inappetence, tendency not to drink;
  • Lethargy;
  • A tendency to sleep a lot and refuse to play;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Dehydration.

Even if you are used to the noisy breath of your Exotic Shorthair, never take such a symptom too much for granted: it is always good to subject the animal to a complete check-up with an expert to determine the extent of the problem. Your vet will be able to determine how to proceed, perhaps adding antibiotics to normal antiviral therapy to eradicate any secondary infections.

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