Feline Panleukopenia (FP) is a highly contagious and potentially fatal viral disease. It’s caused by the feline parvovirus, a type of virus that affects cats in many parts of the world. The virus spreads through contact with an infected cat or contaminated objects such as cages, bedding, toys, and litter boxes. It can also be spread by contact with an infected wild animal or the feces of an infected cat.
The most common signs of FP are fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Other signs can include vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, neurological disorders, and secondary bacterial infections. Cats might not have any symptoms at all until the virus has already caused serious damage to their internal organs.
FP is fatal in up to 90% of untreated cases. However, with prompt treatment and supportive care, the mortality rate can be reduced to around 10%. Treatment involves antibiotics, fluids, and other supportive therapies. Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent FP; all cats should be vaccinated against FP when they are young.
Symptoms of Feline Panleukopenia (FP)
- Appetite loss
- Neurological disorders
- Secondary bacterial infections
Diagnosing Feline Panleukopenia (FP)
The diagnosis of Feline Panleukopenia requires an examination by a veterinarian. A physical exam could reveal symptoms such as fever, lethargy, appetite loss, vomiting and diarrhea. The veterinarian could order blood tests to identify if white blood cells are present in the bloodstream. In some cases, a biopsy will be needed to confirm the diagnosis.
Stage of Feline Panleukopenia (FP)
Feline Panleukopenia progresses in three stages: pre-clinical, clinical and convalescent.
During the preclinical stage, the virus is present but there are no signs or symptoms of infection.
During the clinical stage, the cat shows visible signs and symptoms such as fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.
During the convalescent stage, the cat recovers from the infection and begins to regain its strength and appetite.
Treating Feline Panleukopenia (FP)
The most effective way to treat Feline Panleukopenia is with antibiotics and fluids. These medications can help reduce the severity of symptoms and prevent further organ damage. In addition, cats should be kept warm and in a stress-free environment so that they can focus on healing. It’s also important to keep cats separated from other cats to prevent the spread of the virus. Vaccinations also key for prevention; all cats should be vaccinated against FP when they are young.
Preventing Feline Panleukopenia (FP)
The most effective way to prevent Feline Panleukopenia is through vaccination. All cats should be vaccinated against FP when they are young. Cats should be kept indoors to reduce their exposure to the virus and any contaminated objects such as cages, bedding, toys, and litter boxes should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected regularly. Finally, contact with an infected wild animal or the feces of an infected cat should be avoided.