Two domestic shorthair cats from a Wisconsin household that were recently euthanized because of severe respiratory disease probably were infected with the H1N1 influenza virus, according to Idexx Reference Laboratories.
Idexx reported Feb. 14 that it had confirmed H1N1 infection in one cat, a 6-year-old male, but not the other, a 10-year-old female.
The cats' owners had influenza at the time the cats developed respiratory distress, according to Idexx. The male cat was euthanized after intensive supportive care, including ventilator support. The female cat initially responded to supportive treatment but relapsed and was euthanized eight days after initial examination at the veterinary clinic.
Information about H1N1 infection in animals is available at www.avma.org by clicking on "Influenza" under "Public Health," then clicking on "H1N1 virus updates."