Tag Archives: distemper

Feline Parvovirus

The feline parvovirus causes a devastating disease known as distemper or panleukopenia. Although the feline version shares the same name as the one that affects their canine counterparts, the two conditions aren’t the same. They aren’t caused by the same virus and can’t be passed between the two types of pets.

Feline Parvovirus

Feline Parvovirus

Parvo is a virus that can easily be kept at bay with proper vaccination. This is the main reason why the disease is no longer as widespread as it once was. However, it can still be problematic for cats that are unvaccinated in the wild. Those who are infected usually have less than a 50% chance for survival.



Cause

Usually, young cats are infected with the virus. However, adults can also be infected if they haven’t been vaccinated. The cat parvovirus is very capable of surviving in the environment for long periods of time. In fact, it can survive for about a year. This is the reason why cats are usually infected by coming into contact with infected areas rather than infected cats.

Signs

Parvovirus in felines is especially bad since it destroys the white blood cells. This leaves your cat vulnerable to a wide range of other illnesses. Once signs appear, you’ll quickly see that it’s time for a trip to the veterinarian.

A high fever will develop. Lethargy and depression will likely occur too. Since the digestive system is especially targeted, cats will have bloody diarrhea and signs of malnutrition and dehydration. Severe cases of the condition can result in sudden death.

Diagnosis

Of course, the veterinarian will discuss your cat’s medical history and do a physical exam. The exam may show that the abdomen is swollen, and maybe painful to the touch. The lymph nodes may also be swollen and clearly show that there is some type of problem. To diagnose the disease, the vet will have blood tests done, which will show the low levels of white blood cells. Inflammation of the small intestines will also point to parvo.

Treatment

There is no cure for feline parvovirus. Only supportive care can be provided for the disease itself. However, other conditions may take the opportunity presented by your cat’s weakened immune system. Antibiotics may be prescribed to stave them off. Cats that are having seizures may need to be given medications to prevent them.

As you read earlier, this virus is capable of surviving in the environment for a long time. It is vital that you disinfect anything that your cat has come into contact with. This includes toys, sleeping/travel cage, and food and water bowls. You can use a solution of bleach and water to kill the virus. Don’t panic if you have dogs in the house since they won’t be affected by this particular virus.

Prognosis

Parvovirus in cats has a high mortality rate. Young kittens can easily succumb to the disease. If they’re able to survive for four to five days with supportive care, they have a much higher chance of surviving. However, the road to recovery will be a long one, often taking a few weeks.

Prevention

There is no reason to deal with this horrible disease as vaccination can easily prevent it. Have your kitten vaccinated when they’re two to three months of age, complete with the required followup shots. After these vaccination shots, there should be no reason to worry about feline parvovirus for the rest of his life.

Feline Panleukopenia

Feline panleukopenia, commonly referred to as distemper, is caused by a highly contagious virus. The disease, which can easily be fatal, destroys the white blood cells and damages the lining of the intestines and stomach. Since white blood cells help fight infections, this disease leaves your cat at risk for various other conditions.

Feline Panleukopenia

Transmission

The virus that causes panleukopenia in cats can be spread a variety of ways. Contact with infected cats, food dishes, bedding, and litter pans can spread the virus. Owners can also harbor the virus on their shoes, clothes, and hands and give it to their cat. Fleas can also transmit the disease.



Signs

Feline panleukopenia causes symptoms to appear after an incubation period of about five days. Cats experience diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite and thirst, and abdominal pain. Your cat may also stop grooming himself properly and develop a rough coat. The “third eyelid” may also appear in the inner corner of the eye.

Diagnosis

Different diseases share some of the same signs as those caused by panleukopenia in cats. The vet will review your cat’s medical history and symptoms. A blood test to check for antibodies to the virus will help confirm that your cat has this disease.

Treatment

Feline panleukopenia causes frequent diarrhea and vomiting which can lead to dehydration. Therefore, treatment will likely involve fluid therapy to prevent this and to help stop the diarrhea and vomiting. Secondary bacterial infections will also need to be prevented until the immune system can hopefully take over.

Prevention

There is a vaccine available to help prevent panleukopenia in cats. It is usually combined with shots to protect against calicivirus and herpes virus. Your cat will need to have booster shots every one to three years.

Feline Distemper

Feline distemper is commonly called panleukopenia. It is a very serious disease that is usually fatal. Most cats are vaccinated against this disease.

Feline Distemper

Cause

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.



Symptoms

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.

Treatment

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.

Prevention

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.