Everything You Need to Know About Feline Panleukopenia
From the past, feline panleukopenia has been a root cause of death in cats. And currently, it is not as fashionable as other diseases due to the availability of effective vaccines.
The disease is also known as feline distemper or feline parvoviral enteritis, feline ataxia, etc. It is caused by a virus called Feline Panleukopenia Virus (FPV) a prototype of Feline parvovirus, is known as canine parvovirus and mink enteritis.
It is a highly contagious viral disease and has been proven fatal to the infected ones. In fact, it can continue living in the environment for more than you expect.
Panleukopenia is a very resistant & tough disease, the word ‘Leuko’ suggests White Blood Cells and ‘Penia’ means Lesser in Number, mostly seen in the affected and infected animals.
Although The viruses do not infect people, the virus infects and kills cells that are rapidly growing and dividing, such as those in the bone marrow, intestines, and the developing fetus.
How Panleukopenia Is Transmitted
The Panleukopenia Virus is said to spread through another feline body in many ways. Any feline can be infected through the shedding of the virus in bodily secretions such as urine and vomit, and in the stools.
Another mode of transmissions is either direct contact with an infected cat or flies and parasites. It is advisable to not keep your cat to closer proximity to an infected cat.
Signs and symptoms of the Virus
Typically the infection and exposure of the symptoms take 5-7 days but can be delayed as two weeks approximately.
• For the beginners, no obvious sign has been seen.
• Vomiting, Dehydration, Diarrhea.
• Lethargy and sleepiness.
• Sudden Death.
Examination and Diagnosis
• For the primary diagnosis, never make any delay to bring your feline to us once you face any sign mentioned above.
• Common laboratory tests include the Enzyme-Linked Immunofluorescent Antibody (ELISA) and complete blood count (CBC).
• A complete blood count or blood smear for the details in Red blood, white blood cell, and platelet counts.
The results may vary but most accurate results are found in the first week of the infection.
Treatment and prognosis
The recovery for the newborns and feline under 8 weeks olds are poor. But there is a pretty good chance of survival for the older cats if treated early.
We at our shelter take good responsibility of treating felines with such problems. We isolate them, take intensive care to support their health with medications and sufficient fluids until the immunity is back to fight off the virus.
• Firstly the dehydration is taken care of.
• Nutrients are provided.
• Prevention from secondary infection which is most commonly due to low WBC (white
blood cell count)
• Antibiotics to prevent any bacterial infection.
• Followup is taken for every 5 consecutive days.
• The feline is kept under observation for the next 6 months. (Because some recovered cats
can shed the virus in their urine & stool for up to 6 weeks.)
Most of the cats develop certain kind of immunity after surviving the infection which protects them from future infection.
At present, there are vaccines that offer the best protection from feline parvovirus infection. Vaccination plays a vital role in prevention for any feline, to protect them from the viruses in our environment.
You must never forget your kittens first vaccinations in their six and eight weeks of age with a follow-up vaccine in the 16 weeks of age.
Consult today with our veterinarian for advice on an appropriate vaccination. Visit www.mykitten.in