Feline upper respiratory infection refers to infections in the area of the nose, throat and sinus area, much like the common cold in humans.  In cats, these infections are quite common and very contagious and commonly caused by one or multiple organisms. The two primary viruses involved are feline herpesvirus-1 and feline calicivirus and the bacterial organisms involved can be feline chlamydia and bordettella bronchiseptica. Some of the organisms can also cause ulcers in the mouth and eye infections.

Cats susceptible to upper respiratory infections generally develop signs about two to five days after exposure. Fever and sinus congestion may also occur. The disease typically resolves in 10-14 days, without complications. Very young kittens have a higher incidence of pneumonia and some do not survive the infection.

Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:

  • Feline upper respiratory infection is generally diagnosed by a thorough history and physical examination. Chest x-rays may be recommended to evaluate for pneumonia.
  • Treatment depends on the severity of the disease, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. Since most infections are viral, there are no drugs available to kill the virus so treatment is aimed at treating the symptoms. Basic treatment usually includes proper diet and sufficient fluids, antibiotics, nebulization (a process to humidify the air and keep the nasal passages moist), and eye medications if eye infections or ulcers are present. Discuss treatment details when your pet is diagnosed with this condition.


What to Watch for*:  

  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Nasal discharge
  • Poor appetite
  • Drooling
  • Breathing problems
  • Open mouth breathing
  • Coughing

*Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!

Dear Valued Clients

During these challenging times, there have been some unforeseen changes at The Big Easy Animal Hospital. I cannot express enough my sincere apology for any inconvenience you have experienced at The Big Easy during these times. As we strive to make the practice safe to protect everyone including you, your family, and our Big Easy team and their families, I’ve decided to make certain changes while we are under this pandemic. These changes will be temporary.


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday:
Walk Ins: Check-in starts at 9:45am.There are a limited amount of patients we can accept. Our receptionists will be happy to assist you with options to help guide you and your pet(s).)


Saturday Hours

Saturdays will be TECHNICIAN APPOINTMENTS only. These will include boosters, bloodwork, nail trims, certain diagnostics, etc. There will not be a veterinarian on site. While I understand these changes can be inconvenient, I have listed local veterinary clinics that we have contacted and are open to see walk-ins throughout the week and Saturdays as well. For life threatening emergencies that occur outside business hours, please contact the following 24-hour animal hospitals below.

Please, be safe and healthy.

Thank you all for your understanding. -Aileen Ruiz, DVM


24 Hour Emergency Care:


Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center

807 Camp Horne Road
Pittsburgh, PA



4224 Northern Pike
Monroeville, PA

VCA Castle Shannon Animal Hospital

3610 Library Road
Pittsburgh, PA

Veterinarians Accepting Walk in Care:

Penn Animal Hospital

2205 Penn Avenue

North Boros Veterinary Hospital

2255 Babcock Blvd



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