Vet administers a pill to a cat in way which might be instructional to cat caregivers

Veterinarian Nicolas Ioannides administers a Molnupiravir pill to treat a cat suffering from the illness in Cyprus CREDIT: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

There are two things about this picture which are of interest to me and they might be of interest to other people too. Firstly, this is a Cypriot veterinarian administering an antiviral pill to a cat in Cyprus. It was at the time when there was a lot of news media reporting on a ‘Covid-like’ virus killing about 300,000 cats or something like that in Cyprus. The whole story was exaggerated in typical news media style. The virus was/is FIP (feline infectious peritonitis) as I recall.

I commented on it and said that it was impossible that so many cats were being killed (because of the way FIP is transmitted) and it has transpired that I’m correct because they now estimate that about 8,000 were killed on an island where there are more cats than people at about a million plus (cats). That figure may be an exaggeration too. Although in Cyprus there are far too many stray and community cats allowed to breed because there are insufficient TNR programmes in addition to insufficient sterilisation of pet cats.

RELATED:Human treatment for Covid is being used on Cyprus’ cats suffering from Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), a coronavirus

Anyway, one of these infected cats has been imported into the UK we are told and there’s more news media reporting about the possibility that this infection might spread to other cats but I don’t believe there is a real problem here.

The virus is a coronavirus as is Covid-19 but there is little other connection between the two in my view.

The other point that I want to mention in this article is that this veterinarian is administering an antiviral pill, Molnupiravir, in a way which is non-typical of a veterinarian in the UK.

He has kept the cat in his carrier I guess to partially restrain him and secondly he has pulled back the cat’s head using the ears. This probably resulted in the mouth opening slightly. The mouth was further opened with the pill gun which is used to place the pill at the back of the mouth. It has to be carried out at speed.

I like the technique because the current one is to use the left hand to pull back the cat’s head and use forefinger and thumb of the right hand to squeeze against the side of the mouth to open it. I find this does not work that well or at all. The technique used by this vet might work better.

Sometimes domestic cats accept being given a pill but most times they don’t and it can be a genuine struggle for caregivers to do this task. They might rely on a veterinarian to do it for them which is also troublesome.

I’m passing on this technique which caught my eye.

Here is a little more about this ‘Covid-like’ virus from Cyprus

GB News calls it a “deadly strain of Covid”. This is incorrect in my view. It’s misleading and I think it’s designed to be clickbait and to excite readers which is irresponsible.

They say that British pet owners are fearful. I don’t think they are.

Further down in the article they say that this virus is not linked to Covid-19! Confusion. They say it is the F-CoV-23 virus. And they confirm as I mentioned above that it is feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).

They state that it is a hybrid of the existing FIP virus. That might be true. It might be a slight variation or a mutation on the typical FIP virus.

But the version of this virus in the UK is not entirely the same as that in Cyprus. It’s genetic fingerprint is 91% of the Cypriot version.

My advice and the advice of experts is that we shouldn’t be too concerned about this. The original story from Cyprus was exaggerated and I believe the 8,000 infected cats figure is based on guesswork and therefore until we have some firm science on this we should simply park the issue in our minds and wait and see what happens.

RELATED: Flown to UK: cats and dogs abandoned in Cyprus because of coronavirus

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