Feline distemper is commonly called panleukopenia. It is a very serious disease that is usually fatal. Most cats are vaccinated against this disease.
The virus that causes distemper in cats is commonly found in the wild. The virus can be transmitted through infected feces or urine. Cats infected with the virus can shed it in their urine and stool up to six weeks after getting over the illness themselves. Cats that come into contact with infected bedding, litter boxes, clothing, and food dishes can also develop the disease.
Feline distemper causes an assortment of symptoms. They include seizures, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. It’s also common for cats to stop eating. These symptoms usually appear about five days after being exposed to the virus.
Younger cats that develop distemper may easily die from it. Supportive care is basically the treatment for this condition. Dehydration is a common problem, so intravenous fluids are given to combat it. Cats with a severe case may even require a blood transfusion. Secondary bacterial infections are also a risk, so antibiotics may also be given.
The virus that causes feline distemper can survive for years in the environment. It can also survive many common disinfectants. A solution of bleach and water will be enough to kill the virus if exposed for more than ten minutes. All cats given their regular shots are vaccinated for distemper or panleukopenia.