The Commonwealth Protocol - Commonwealth Humane Society

The Commonwealth Protocol
Sadly, I also have had direct experience in fighting the Hyper-Virulent Caliche Virus, and
although the scale was small, namely just three cats, we were successful. In fact, all three
survived, and continued onto a normal life. I am not a vet, nor a vet tech, but have spent the past
5 or so years caring for cats and now dogs. During that time, I have learned a few things, one of
which is that viral diseases may not be what they seem. More on that later.
The protocol breaks down into four parts:
Pain Control
Nutrition and Nursing Care
Secondary Infection Prevention
Pain Control:
This was achieved by sub-Q injection of Buprenex on a regular, vet approved schedule. It was
most important to dull the mouth pain of highly ulcerated cats in order to be able to force feed
them with the Spaulding Slurry. At first we tried oral application, but later we found regular
injections with the correct dose achieved a much better result and a much more compliant kitty.
Pain control continued on until the ulcers were greatly diminished and the cat had begun to eat
on its own.
Nutrition & Nursing Care:
This was a critical factor in our success, and was greatly aided by compliant cats that were
benefiting from pain control. Temperatures were taken regularly using an ear thermometer. We
mixed slurry of KMR powdered milk, Nutri-cal, Science Diet A/D and pedialyte.
Mixing instructions:
In order to mix the slurry to a fine, lump free slurry, one first mixes the Nutri-cal with the
Science Diet A/D. Once a smooth paste has been achieved, one mixes the KMR with the
pedialyte and blends the components into a thickness suitable for syringing.
Each cat received personal and direct care and attention. Lots of TLC was administered and time
spent with each cat. Naturally, we took significant precautions regarding quarantine and
especially hygiene. Cats were regularly groomed and brushed, and litter boxes and water bowl
sanitized daily. At CHS food is always dispensed in disposable bowls, and in individual
Secondary Infection Control:
This is the biggie. We used a powerful combination of medication, Doxycycline, Baytril, and
Clindamycin. The Clindamycin is somewhat controversial as it is mostly made redundant by the
Doxycycline. The Baytril was injected Sub-Q, and highly diluted prior to injection. The
medication was continued on for the full course of 10 days, after which the cats all showed
interest in eating and had greatly reduced mouth issues.
Maintaining proper hydration was essential as the cats very quickly became dehydrated and
showed little or no sign of interest in their water bowl. Sub-Q fluids were administered via a
butterfly multiple times per day, and cat hydration was checked on a regular basis.
My heart goes out to the Fairfax Shelter staff, and I know they are carrying a heavy burden. I
have no idea what I would do in the same circumstance, not at all. 3 cats is one thing, 80 is a
whole different matter. I know the shelter staff do their best to reduce their euthanasia rate and
their outreach to the rescue community is second to none, but they are a public facility and I
suspect that they operate on an entirely different set of rules than we private rescues. Members
of the NVA rescue community should count their blessings in having Karen, Michelle and the
team at the shelter. Please send them messages of support, not criticism, they deserve it.
Chris C. Haslam
The Commonwealth Humane Society Inc. A 501(c)3 No Kill Rescue
Formerly "Commonwealth Cat Rescue, Inc."
OTRA Verified Transporter
A Science Diet Shelter - The food Vets feed their own Animals
Oakton, VA
703.568.3600 - Cell
"It's All about the Cats"