Reovirus Infections in Cats
The reovirus is generally found in the cat's intestinal walls, destroying any cells in its surrounding area. Caused by a group of viruses that contain double-stranded RNA (ribonucleic acid), a reovirus infection limits the absorption of nutrients from the intestines and results in diarrhea and dehydration.
The virus is transmitted through contact with infected feces, or by inhalation of airborne virus particles. These viruses can suppress the immune system, causing the affected animal to develop various infections. The cat's outward conditions, meanwhile, will vary and depend on the type of reovirus.
Reovirus infections can affect both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn how this intestinal virus affects dogs, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.
Symptoms and Types
A cat with a reovirus infection will usually have mild symptoms such as diarrhea and gum inflammation (gingivitis). However, it may succumb to more serious complications, including conjunctivitis, respiratory illnesses, loss of balance, muscle tremors, and ataxia.
Your veterinarian will conduct a full physical examination and complete blood profile on the cat, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis. Diagnostic procedures will be aimed at differentiating a reoviral infection from other milder respiratory infections that are caused by bacteria.
Your doctor will also need to include a detailed study of the tissue characteristics, along with the viral structure, in order to confirm a diagnosis.