H1N1 found in Wisc. cat

The years first case of H1N1 in a pet was confirmed recently in a 6-year-old Wisconsin cat.

Clinical Signs

The clinical signs of H1N1 virus infection are likely to resemble those of other common respiratory infections; however, more severe respiratory disease, including pneumonia, may be possible. Clinical signs may include:

  • Coughing, sneezing and oculonasal discharge
  • Fever, lethargy and loss of appetite
  • Dyspnea, tachypnea and respiratory distress

Source: IDEXX Reference Lab

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reported the finding on Feb. 14, and said that the case is the first in a U.S. pet since January 2010.

In an industry alert on its website, IDEXX Laboratories said that the male cat was euthanized after intensive life-support efforts failed. A 10-year-old female cat in the house was also euthanized after she developed severe respiratory signs. The second cat tested negative for H1N1 but the virus is still suspected as the cause of the illness. According to IDEXX, the owners had been suffering from flu-like symptoms before the cats became sick.

The AVMA is actively tracking all instances of H1N1 in animals and posting updates on their website at www.avma.org/public_health/influenza/new_virus.