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子猫を飼い始めた人が注意すべき猫風邪

子猫

子猫を飼い始めた人は、「猫風邪」に注意が必要です。くしゃみや鼻水など、風邪症状は見られませんか?猫風邪は、特に子猫がかかりやすい感染症と言われています。

では、猫風邪とはどのような病気で、どのようなケアや予防が必要なのでしょうか?猫風邪について紹介します。子猫を飼おうと考えている方や、子猫を飼っている方は、正しい知識を身につけておきましょう。

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猫風邪とは?

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猫風邪とは、特に子猫がかかりやすい感染症で、くしゃみや鼻水、発熱などの典型的な風邪症状に加え、目やにや涙、口内炎などが見られることもあります。

もし子猫が、涙や目やにがひどくて、鼻水がたくさん出ている状態であれば、すぐに動物病院に連れて行ってください。鼻が詰まってしまうと食事がとれなくなり、子猫の場合衰弱死してしまうこともあります。また、目が癒着して手術が必要になったり、鼻炎がひどくなると慢性化して一生治らなくなったりすることもあります。

猫風邪は、一度感染すると体内にウイルスが留まり続け、いったん回復しても体調が悪かったり、年をとって免疫力が落ちると再発を繰り返したりすることがよくあります。初期にきちんとしたケアをして、できるだけダメージが残らないようにしてあげることが重要です。

猫風邪の症状

人間の風邪とよく似ていて、感染後1~3日の潜伏期間を経て、食欲が落ち、元気がなくなり、くしゃみをしたり、目から涙が出たりするようになります。病気が進行すると、発熱があり、くしゃみもひどくなって咳も出てきます。個体によっては、口内炎ができることもあります。口内炎が出来ると、ご飯を食べるたびに痛がりますので、早く治さないと体力がなくなって衰弱する危険性があります。

結膜炎を併発する場合も多く、これが進行すると上下のまぶたがくっついたままになって失明する可能性があります。死亡率は低い病気ですが、下痢による脱水症状を起こすと子猫やシニア猫など体力のない猫にとっては命にかかわる病気でもあります。脱水症状を起こしているかどうかは、猫の背中の皮を引っ張ってすぐに戻るかどうかを確認しましょう。すぐに戻れば大丈夫です。

猫風邪にワクチンは有効?

猫風邪の中には、ヘルペスウイルスによる「猫ウイルス性鼻気管炎」や、「猫カリシウイルス感染症」、「猫クラミジア感染症」があり、これらが混ざって感染している場合も多くあります。

猫風邪にはワクチンがありますが、ワクチンで完全に予防することはできません。しかし、ワクチンを接種しておけば、発症した時も軽く済みますし、一度感染して体内にウイルスをもっている猫でも、定期的にワクチンを接種することで、免疫力を高め、再発を抑えることができます。子猫には、適切な時期に十分な回数のワクチンを接種するようにしましょう。

猫風邪のピークと感染経路

猫風邪は子猫だけでなく、大人の猫もかかります。人のインフルエンザと同じように、免疫力が低下する冬場に多くかかり、2月頃がピークとなります。外に出る猫でワクチンを接種していなければ、感染の危険性はさらに高まります。多頭飼育している家庭では、1頭がかかるとあっという間に感染が広まってしまいますから、感染した猫は必ず隔離するようにしてください。

感染経路は、主に咳やくしゃみによる飛沫感染ですが、飼い主が外で野良猫の相手をして、手や衣服に病原体を付けて帰宅すると、愛猫に感染させてしまうということもあります。不用意な接触をしないことも、愛猫を猫風邪から守る方法の一つです。ちなみに、猫風邪は猫から人にうつることも、犬にうつることもありません。

猫風邪の治療法

猫風邪の治療は、それぞれの原因に合わせたものになります。ヘルペスウイルスが原因の場合には、抗ウイルス剤の投与を行い、カリシウイルスが原因の場合には、インターフェロンの注射や点眼、点鼻などを行います。クラミジアが原因の場合には、抗生物質が効果的です。これらの治療とともに輸液や栄養補給などの支持療法も行い、他の細菌の二次感染がある場合には、抗生剤の投与も行います。十分な保温と保湿も大切です。

子猫ぐらし (アスペクトムック)
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アスペクト (2013-06-12)
売り上げランキング: 118,483

まとめ:猫風邪は一度かかると非常に厄介

人間の風邪は安静にして十分な栄養と睡眠をとればたいていの場合治りますが、猫風邪は命にかかわる病気になりかねません。特に子猫が猫風邪にかかってしまうと、ちょっとした鼻水や目やにだけで命を落としたり、何らかの障害が残ったりする恐ろしい病気です。

日頃から体調の変化に気を配り、少しでも異変を感じたらすぐに動物病院で診てもらうようにしましょう。最初のケアをきちんとしておけば、後に残るダメージが少なくなります。

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