.........Does anyone know if cats can get West Nile Virus? And if so, what are the symptoms and the course of the disease?
My beautiful, blue-eyed, white-and-apricot colored cat, Johnny, passed away early this morning after battling some unknown illness that hit him like a freight train. He'd never been sick a day in his twelve years of life. I'd noticed him playing with, and then eating something on the bedroom floor the other night, but figured it was a dust bunny or some other nonsense. Later that night I woke up to the all-too-familiar sound of a cat retching, turned on the light, and saw Johnny vomiting violently on the floor. He normally does---did---not do that, but I still didn't think much about it until I heard it again...........over and over, all night long.
Well, as anyone who's ever been owned by a cat knows, they will have a spell of puking that wrings 'em out, but then they get over it and life goes on. Unfortunately, Johnny didn't...........he just kept throwing up until there was nothing left to throw up, and then he threw up some more. No diarrhea, no fever, and evidently very little or no pain---all he did was puke. He finally stopped yesterday, but by then I knew it was too late---he was already dehydrated and cold, and to make a long story short, after meowing a few times, to say good-bye I suppose, he crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
What I don't understand is why. He was hale and hearty right up until Monday night---there was NO clue anything was wrong with him. I've had cats die of old age, and renal failure was usually the cause; this wasn't it---it happened too fast. I've had cats die from poisonous spider bites, but THAT happened in a matter of hours, not days. However, since we have mosquitoes around our house and West Nile has been found in local critters like horses, I have to wonder if perhaps he ate one that night.....he's an indoor cat, but bugs do get inside. And since cats aren't particular about where their protein comes from, and Johnny would eat anything that wasn't red hot or nailed down...........who knows?
If any of you knows anything more about this sort of thing in domestic animals, I'd appreciate the info. I'm just a bereaved cat owner who wants something to blame right now, and being a HUMAN nurse, not a veterinarian, I'm nowhere near as conversant with feline ailments. Thanks.
Sep 28, '07
So sorry to hear about your cat.
My only experience with West Nile infected animals has been with horses. I do know that both cats and dogs can be infected, but it is rare.
I haven't heard of anyone or anything becoming infected by eating an infected mosquito. Most infections result from having being bitten by an infected mosquito, but cats have been infected in experiments by eating infected mice.
Most of the signs of WNV that I've observed with equines are neurological, so I'm basing my answer on this. I would think that if your cat was infected and showed any signs at all, it would be along the lines of convulsions, impaired coordination, muscular twitching, depression, etc. I also think there would be a noticeable incubation period; just to give you an idea, for mice it takes 5 days from becoming infected until signs and symptoms become apparent. With all that said, most infections don't cause many, if any, signs or symptoms.
Again, so sorry for your loss. Have you considered having a necropsy done?
Last edit by zooz on Sep 28, '07
Sep 29, '07
Marla, I am so very sorry for your loss of your sweet furbaby. I'm so fresh from the loss of my baby that I can empathize so very much. I think it's worse when it's so unexpected. Like Don, I know nothing about WNV just about loss. If you want to PM me just to talk about it I'm here for you. I'll keep you in prayer. Gentle (((hugs)))
Last edit by compassion1 on Sep 29, '07