Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Flu

The flu is going through our shelter for both the humans and the animals.  For the humans, the flu virus eventually goes away.  Unfortunately for the cats, it is here to stay.

Shelters have the difficulty of dealing with various animals pathogens.  Here at the Lycoming County SPCA, we deal with it by scrupulously cleaning every kennel, every day.  Whew! What a lot of work. 

Even with all the cleaning and disinfection, some pathogens just won't go away.  It is most difficult for the cats who can get upper respiratory infections. The symptoms can range from a runny nose and watery eyes to pneumonia.  Despite our best efforts, most of the cats catch the flu.  We used to have a veterinarian who volunteered her time here every week and we asked her, "What can we do"?  Her response was, just house one cat. 

Basically, it is one of those airborne diseases that float through the shelter.  When people visit they stir up the air.  Then if a cat is shedding the virus, and visitors pet that cat, then go into the next kennel and pet the next cat, you have spread of the virus.  Do we have signs not to pet the animals?  You betcha. 

So what to do?  Me I'm going back to bed.

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