Monday, July 11, 2011

Hoarding case leads to 80 dead cats in Fairfax

By: Leah Fabel

About 80 cats were euthanized at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter on Wednesday night after they were exposed to a highly contagious virus brought in by cats found in the home of a Springfield hoarder.

On June 18, more than 50 cats were taken from an unidentified Springfield home, according to Fairfax police. Within several days, some of them started exhibiting symptoms of calicivirus, including the rapid onset of lethargy, sneezing, discharge from the eyes, and mouth sores.

Vaccines proved ineffective against what police said was a very aggressive strain of the disease. National protocols dictate that all cats be euthanized in the event of such an outbreak.

Residents near the hoarder's home have been informed of the outbreak, and have been told to watch for symptoms in their own cats. Should symptoms occur, owners should call their family veterinarian, or an emergency vet if after hours. Antibiotics may help treat the disease, if caught early..." More

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