Protect Your Cat Against Panleukopenia

Aug 9, 2012 by     No Comments    Posted under: Tips & Advice

We were alarmed to hear of an outbreak of Panleukopenia here in Los Angeles last month. This highly contagious cat virus may rear its ugly head in other geographical areas from time to time, so please check with your vet for current reports. Panleukopenia, sometimes referred to as “Distemper” in cats, is a deadly disease that is included in the most common vaccine (FVRCP) administered to kittens and boosted every 1-3 years throughout your cat’s life. We have alerted our clients via the following informative report

What is Panleukopenia?

It’s a highly contagious virus in cats which can live in the environment for months – similar to the canine parvovirus.  It affects cats of all ages, but kittens (age 2-5 months) are most susceptible.  The virus attacks the immune system and intestines of cats.

What are the Symptoms?

Systems can include: fever, diarrhea, lethargy, weight loss, eating less (or not eating at all), sudden death, and vomiting.

Is Panleukopenia Contagious?

Yes! Cats can begin showing symptoms 2-14 days after exposure to virus while humans can NOT get the disease.  Adult cats can become infected and can be contagious without showing any signs of being sick.

How is Panleukopenia transmitted?

It is transmitted by:

  • Direct contact with infected cats (respiratory secretions, feces)
  • Contaminated environment— even cat carriers!
  • Contaminated human hands and clothes
  • Pre-natal—a mother can transmit the virus to her unborn kittens
  • Infected cats can still shed the virus up to 6 weeks after they recover

How can I protect my cat?

You can protect your cat by:

  • Isolating any cats with the above symptoms
  • Contacting your local veterinarian
  • NOT sharing cat carriers or other equipment
  • Avoiding products claiming to work against Canine Parvovirus (quaternary ammonium) – these products may not completely kill the virus
  • Cleaning all shared equipment with diluted bleach (1/2 cup per 1 gallon water). Allowing bleach to sit for 10 minutes on equipment
  • Making sure all cats are up-to-date on vaccination
  • Not combining litters of kittens
  • Washing hands frequently

How is Panleukopenia Diagnosed?

The Canine Parvovirus can be used to diagnose this infection.  It is a rapid test that can be done in the hospital using a fecal sample or rectal swab

Dr Elyse Kent

Dr. Elyse Kent graduated from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1980 and completed an Internship at West Los Angeles Veterinary Medical Group in 1981.

In her early years in practice, Dr. Kent began to see a need for a separate medical facility just for cats, where fear and stress would be reduced for feline patients. In 1985, in a former home in Santa Monica, Dr. Kent opened the only exclusively feline veterinary clinic in Los Angeles, Westside Hospital for Cats (WHFC). Along with other forward-thinking feline practitioners from across North America, Dr. Kent founded the Academy of Feline Medicine in 1991. Through the efforts of these practitioners, feline medicine and surgery became a certifiable species specialty through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP). Dr. Kent became board certified in Feline Practice in the first group to sit for the Feline exam in 1995. She certified for an additional ten (10) years in 2005. There are now 78 feline specialists in the world. Dr. Kent served as the Feline Regent and Officer on the Council of Regents for 9 years. She is currently the immediate Past President of the ABVP, which certifies all species specialists. She also heads up a task force joining certain efforts of the ABVP with The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). She currently serves as a Director on the Executive Board of The American Association of Feline Practitioners.

The present day WHFC facility opened in 2000. It was the fulfillment of a vision for a spacious, delightful, state of the art, full service cat medical center that Dr. Kent had dreamed of and planned for over many years.

Westside Hospital for Cats
2317 Cotner Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Phone: 310-479-2428

Website: http://www.westsidehospitalforcats.com/
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