Original article: Should cats sick with COVID-19 receive FIP treatment?
Someone contacted me with 5 cats who got sick after one of their people got sick from COVID-19. The cats had fevers, sneezing, coughing, and making sounds with difficulty. This person wanted to know if cats should be treated for COVID-19 infection. I asked Dr. Pedersen and below is his answer (shared with his consent).
[Dr. Niels Pedersen] - Cats become infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which either does not cause any disease or only a mild and transient upper respiratory tract infection, similar to the very mild case of feline herpesvirus. In rare cases, the disease can be severe in cats. In fact, there is a chance that this group of cats suffers from herpesvirus and not coronavirus Covid-19. Veterinarians can test cats for herpesvirus using PCR, but there is no test available to a veterinarian for Covid-19, and human laboratories refuse to test cats for Covid-19 using human tests.
In any of these infections, cats usually recover in 10-14 days without treatment or with minimal treatment. If the symptoms of the disease they develop are caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, they would respond to GS, but why treat them? It would be like treating every person with a positive PCR test for Covid-19 Remdesivir for 5 days for $ 2,000. Of course, cats are not that big and would not cost so much, but they would have to be subjected to daily injections without justification. It is also likely that the veterinarian would still not have access to Remdesivir, as it is currently limited to hospital use for a certain group of patients.
In short, my recommendation would be to test a few worse cases for feline herpesvirus, and they are very likely to be positive. If they test negative, they have a chance of being infected with Covid-19, but in both cases the treatment will be the same. Cats should rest, you should treat the discharge from the eyes and nose locally, and antibiotics should only be used if they are purulent discharge, which indicates a secondary bacterial infection. Rarely, breathing problems, fever and anorexia may occur, suggesting secondary bacterial pneumonia and the need for more aggressive symptomatic treatment. They heal in 10-14 days.