Remdesivir, also known by its brand name Veklury, is a medication commonly used to treat COVID-19 in humans. However, it has recently been used in veterinary medicine as a treatment for feline coronavirus (FCoV) in cats. While the drug has shown promise in treating FCoV, it is important for pet owners to be aware of the potential side effects.
One of the most commonly reported side effects of remdesivir in cats is gastrointestinal upset. This can include vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. These symptoms may be mild and temporary, but if they persist or are severe, it is important to contact your veterinarian.
Another possible side effect of remdesivir is an increased risk of blood clots. This is a rare side effect, but it is important to be aware of it as it can be life-threatening. Signs of a blood clot may include sudden weakness, difficulty breathing, and collapse. If your cat experiences any of these symptoms, seek veterinary care immediately.
Remdesivir can also cause changes in liver function. This can lead to an increase in liver enzymes in the blood, which can indicate liver damage. Your veterinarian may perform regular blood tests to monitor your cat’s liver function while on the medication.
Additionally, remdesivir may have an impact on the immune system. The drug works by blocking the replication of the virus, but it can also block the replication of healthy cells. This can lead to a temporary suppression of the immune system, which can increase the risk of infections. If your cat develops any signs of infection, such as fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, contact your veterinarian.
Remdesivir has not been extensively studied in cats, and its safety and efficacy are still being evaluated. As with any medication, it is important to discuss the potential benefits and risks with your veterinarian and weigh them against your cat’s individual health needs.
In conclusion, while remdesivir has shown promise in treating feline coronavirus, it is important for pet owners to be aware of the potential side effects. These include gastrointestinal upset, increased risk of blood clots, changes in liver function, and potential impact on the immune system. Regular monitoring by a veterinarian is necessary to ensure the safety of the animal. As always, it is important to discuss the potential benefits and risks with your veterinarian before starting any treatment.