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Catarrhal Fevers








"Cats are, like some other of the domesticated animals, liable to be
attacked by two kinds of Catarrhal Fever, one of which is undoubtedly
very infectious--like distemper in dogs--and the other may be looked
upon as the result of a simple cold, and therefore not transmissible.
The first is, of course, the most severe and fatal, and often prevails
most extensively, affecting cats generally over wide areas, sometimes
entire continents being invaded by it. From A.D. 1414 up to 1832 no
fewer than nineteen widespread outbreaks of this kind have been
recorded. The most notable of these was in 1796, when the cats in
England and Holland were generally attacked by the disease, and in the
following year when it had spread over Europe and extended to America;
in 1803, it again appeared in this country and over a large part of the
European continent.

"The symptoms are intense fever, prostration, vomiting, diarrhoea,
sneezing, cough, and profuse discharge from the nose and eyes. Sometimes
the parotid glands are swollen, as in human mumps. Dr. Darwin, of Derby,
uncle to Charles Darwin, thought it was a kind of mumps, and therefore
designated it Parotitis felina.

"The treatment consists in careful nursing and cleanliness, keeping the
animal moderately warm and comfortable. The disease rapidly produces
intense debility, and therefore the strength should be maintained from
the very commencement by frequent small doses of strong beef-tea, into
which one grain of quinine has been introduced twice a day, a small
quantity of port wine (from half to one teaspoonful) according to the
size of the cat, and the state of debility. If there is no diarrhoea,
but constipation, a small dose of castor oil or syrup of buckthorn
should be given. Solid food should not be allowed until convalescence
has set in. Isolation, with regard to other cats, and disinfection,
should be attended to.

"Simple Catarrh demands similar treatment. Warmth, cleanliness, broth,
and beef-tea, are the chief items of treatment, with a dose of castor
oil if constipation is present. If the discharge obstructs the nostrils
it should be removed with a sponge, and these and the eyes may be bathed
with a weak lotion of vinegar and water."

"As regards inoculation for distemper," Dr. Fleming says, "it has been
tried, but the remedy is often worse than the disease, at least as bad
as the natural disease. Vaccination has also been tried, but it is
valueless. Probably inoculation with cultivated or modified virus
would be found a good and safe preventative."

I was anxious to know about this, as inoculation used to be the practice
with packs of hounds.

It will be observed that Dr. Fleming treats the distemper as a kind of
influenza, and considers one of the most important things is to keep up
the strength of the suffering animal. Other members of the R.C.V.S.,
whom I have consulted, have all given the same kind of advice, not only
prescribing for the sick animal wine, but brandy, as a last resource, to
arouse sinking vitality. Mr. George Cheverton, of High Street, Tunbridge
Wells, who is very successful with animals and their diseases, thinks it
best to treat them homoeopathically. The following is what he
prescribes as efficacious for some of the most dire complaints with
which cats are apt to be afflicted.





Next: Worms

Previous: Diseases Of Cats



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