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Thanks for the question.
Can I ask you a couple things?
Anything they could have gotten into?
Since our exposure is limited, there are a couple things to think about.
1. Dental disease-build up of tartar can lead to gingivitis and tooth root exposure. That can cause excess saliva and chattering of the jaw due to discomfort-would also fit with the trouble chewing. Could have also broke a tooth or something.
2.Nausea from stomach problem, liver, kidney, diabetes-the loss of conditioning makes you look at these things-although she is only 5 yrs old...if the exam of the mouth looks fine then blood work would be in order.
3. Something irritating to the mouth-much less likely in your situation-organophosphates used for insect control etc could cause this-rinsing the mouth out well with water would help and certainly couldn't hurt.
At home you could rinse the mouth well and try and get a good look at the teeth. Otherwise she needs seen by a vet for a thorough exam and possibly blood work, fecal exam. I hope that gives you some guidance.
No problem. I under stand your concerns. Drooling is not associated with any specific disease except severe(virulent) calici virus infections. That is an upper rspiratory and presents with severe congestion, ulcers of the nose and mouth and even feet. If your cat had this....you would know it. They are severly ill and quick. I don't think thats the case here.
If her mouth looks fine and she is eating and drinking then I don't think you have an emergency here. Make sure you look on the roof of the mouth, under the tongue etc so that she doesn't have something stuckin her mouth. If not then rinse her mouth with water and wtach her. if it is persisting then get her checked. Remember though, you make the decision as to what you want to test for etc. Base your decision on what she is doing otherwise. If she seems fine otherwise then it's not a huge deal. If she's losing weight, not eating, vomiting....then you need to have her checked.
There are a lack of specific tests for VS-FCV at this time. Virus isolation, polymerase chain reaction(PCR) and immunohistological stainging have been used with a 50-60% success rate. The problem is that a positive test could mean they were exposed to the routine FCV that we vaccinate for or the VS-FCV. There is no way to tell the difference. The best advice I can give you about VS-FCV is to have your vet contact the laboratories that they send samples to and ask what they can perform and what the meaning of a positive test would be. Many research studies are trying to figure alot of this out right now. New tests become available every day but you have to assess what the results actually mean. For example feline corona virus testing for FIP gives us very little information toward making a diagnosis. The test exists but is used infrequently due to poor reliability. I hope you can get an answer. Good Luck.
Possible but highly unlikely since many cases that are seen in shelters are strays picked up and most likely had no recent vacciantion.
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Good Luck in your quest. I enjoyed our discussion!!