MSE cares for pets from the inside out!


Rhinotracheitis in cats

Does your cat always seem to have a cold? Do they sneeze globs of nasal discharge on you and every surface of your home? Have they been treated with antibiotics, yet the symptoms returned shortly after treatment? If so, then your cat probably has a chronic upper respiratory viral infection known collectively as "Rhinotracheitis". Although several different viruses are associated with this disease, Herpes is often the culprit.

Rhino, as it is called, is very infectious and is readily passed from cat to cat. It is often found in barn and feral cats. Rhino is not usually fatal, except to the very young or old. However, it is a nuisance to the owners of indoor cats.

Viruses are notoriously difficult to eradicate. Antibiotics are only effective short term, and repeated dosing may promote antibiotic resistance and other problems. There are some things you can do to reduce the symptoms, but be aware that total eradication may not be possible.

When a cat has a chronic health problem such as rhino, their immune system is impaired. It is distracted by the war against the pathogen, and may not be able to successfully respond to new threats. The gut microflora are part of that system, and they guard the gates to the castle (the body). A concentrated probiotic such as MSE Liquid Rescue provides fresh reinforcements.

Prevention of the spread of rhino to other cats

The daily feeding of MSE Natural Defense or MSE Liquid Rescue (shake the former on dry food and mix about 1 teaspoon of the latter into canned cat food) protects asymptomatic cats which live in the same household with affected animals, but under normal conditions. If the unaffected cat experiences something stressful, such as a visit to the vet or strangers in the house, they may still become susceptible. If the stress can be anticipated,  the asymptomatic cat should be pretreated with MSE Liquid Rescue. Otherwise, treat as soon as possible after the stressful event. More than one treatment is recommended.


A combination of strategies can reduce symptoms in an affected cat to an occasional sniff. This entails the daily feeding of MSE Liquid Rescue (can also be purchased in larger quantities as MSE Drench at the Farm Store) mixed in canned cat food once or maybe twice a day, every day. Twice a day will protect the cat from unanticipated stresses, which can provoke the reappearance of symptoms.

The second part of this strategy involves a vaccine for upper respiratory viruses from your vet. This is normally required twice a year, but may only be needed once a year when used in tandem with Liquid Rescue. The shot by itself does not cure the disease, and does not entirely eliminate symptoms. It may protect unaffected cats, but for only six months.

The daily use of MSE Liquid Rescue, along with a yearly vaccination, may help you rediscover a wonderful pet.

If the affected cat has other chronic health problems, he or she is more vulnerable to changes in the household. A double whammy of rhino and say allergies or FIP make the cat more susceptible to illness than one with just rhino. This is because the immune system is already under siege, further pressures can easily knock down the animal's defenses. Such cats may require MSE Liquid Rescue twice a day, every day, to life-threatening conditions. Often such stressed cats will stop eating and antibiotics are required to get them eating again. Be aware of food intake in such cats, prolonged anorexia can lead to hepatic lipidosis. This is a serious condition and requires veterinary intervention. An affected cat will literally starve itself to death.

When starting a cat or cats on Liquid Rescue, it is strongly recommended that one start with a quarter of the full dose and GRADUALLY increase it. This is because Liquid Rescue is very concentrated and can significantly impact the microbes of the gut. It is usually best to allow a period of two weeks for the gut microflora to reorganize. Larger doses are recommended for cats that are sick and are not eating.

Liquid Rescue, even at higher doses given orally may not be enough to get an anorexic cat eating again. In this case, antibiotics are necessary. MSE can be fgiven at the same time as antibiotics, but a larger dose is recommended. Cats resent ANYTHING being squirted in their mouths, no matter what they taste like. Liquid Rescue contains vitamins that make it bitter, this is why mixing with cat food is recommended.

Cats will let you know if you put in too much Liquid Rescue, they will try to cover the plate or bowl as if it was poop. Gradual acclimation allows the cat to get used to the taste..

MSE Liquid Rescue is available at: MSE Liquid Rescue., and MSE Microbial Drench can be found here: MSE Microbial drench is available in quart ($40) and gallon ($136) sizes and should be stored in the refrigerator. MSE Liquid Rescue or MSE Microbial drench will keep in the refrigerator for more than a year if stored this way.

Please contact animal nutritionist Lark Burnham if you have any questions at She has lived several years with rhino, and uses the above strategies to control symptoms in her cats.