#100: Feline Upper Respiratory Disease: Fundamentals, Pro Tips and a Review of What's New. With Dr Kath Briscoe and Dr Megan Braunstein.

I don’t know about you, but one of my least favourite things to see on my consult list is a cat with a snotty nose. The idea that my patient’s problem can be anything from a self-limiting mild disease to a serious and frustrating impossible-to-treat condition, and the decision-making around this, fills me with uncertainty and dread. This episode aims to replace that uncertainty with confidence, or at least a solid plan based on sound knowledge!

Dr Kath Briscoe is a Specialist in Feline Medicine who has worked in academic and specialist referral centres and as a referral clinician in a GP setting, and her experience gives her a great insight into the frontline work that we deal with in a non-referral setting. Dr Megan Braunstein is a practice owner and practising clinician with a Masters in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery and many years of experience. Her practice in Perth, Western Australia, submitted the most feline respiratory PCR panels of any practice on Australia last year, and she helps us unpack what they’re learning about these tests.

Between them, they’ll refresh your foundational knowledge about infectious causes of feline upper respiratory disease and help with decision-making around diagnostics and treatment. We delve into what’s new in the world of diagnostics with a review of feline respiratory disease PCR panels, including learning what it’s great for, when to use it, and how to do it.

This episode is supported by our friends at the SVS Pathology Network, which our Australian listeners will know better as Vetnostics, QML Vetnostics, ASAP Laboratory and Vetpath Laboratory Services. The SVS  Pathology Network provides a wide range of infectious disease PCR tests, including a comprehensive panel for feline respiratory pathogens. Their PCR panels are designed for detecting Australian pathogens, and they have recently introduced additional pathogens on several of their PCR panels. Our guests provide a detailed guide on how to take samples for PCR in this conversation, but your state-based SVS Pathology Network laboratory customer care team are always happy to answer any questions. 

Topic list:

1. Feline upper respiratory diagnostics: who needs what? [00:00:00-00:05:00]

2. Discussion of different types of feline upper respiratory diseases [00:05:00-00:06:00]

3. Importance of husbandry and stress management in preventing feline upper respiratory diseases [00:16:00-00:31:00]

4. Hygiene practices for cat households and catteries [00:31:00-00:33:00]

5. Overview of infectious causes of feline upper respiratory diseases [00:02:00-00:08:00]

6. Discussion of feline herpesvirus and its symptoms [00:08:00-00:12:00]

7. Discussion of feline calicivirus and its symptoms [00:12:00-00:14:00]

8. Discussion of other infectious causes of feline upper respiratory diseases [00:14:00-00:16:00]

9. Vaccines for preventing feline upper respiratory diseases [00:16:00-00:18:00]

10. Overview of diagnostic tests for feline upper respiratory diseases [00:18:00-00:20:00]

11. Discussion of PCR panels and their usefulness in diagnosing feline upper respiratory diseases [00:20:00-00:22:00]

12. Discussion of treatment options for feline upper respiratory diseases [1, 00:24:00-00:28:00]


I think about, how is this actually gonna change what I do in the management of this patient? Is this diagnostic investigation going to change what I’m doing for them, for my patient? Should I perform it? And in that case, it is gonna change what I do

“One of the biggest things, which I see a lot of in the new graduates, is it’s not that you don’t know, it’s that you haven’t looked.”


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