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Feline Distemper also

called Feline


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Panleukopenia or distemper in Cats
By: Alfred

Panleukopenia or Feline Distemper is a very highly
contagious severe viral disease that cats and other animals
can contract and is similar to Parvovirus in dogs. The virus
tends to invade cells that are rapidly growing located in
the lymph nodes, nervous system, bone marrow and digestive
system. There is a vaccine available to help protect your
cat from contracting this disease.

This virus is very hardy; resists being killed by common
household cleaners and can survive for a long time at a
stable room temperature. One sure way to kill the virus is
to use a bleach solution mixture and allow it to sit on the
surface for ten minutes to kill any virus present.

Because the virus is so widespread, most cats are exposed to
Panleukopenia within their first year of life. It is
commonly transmitted through the feces and urine of infected
cats, which still shed the virus for up to six weeks after
having recovered from the disease.

The virus can also be picked up from common surfaces like
clothing, shoes, hands, litter boxes, cat bowls, water
dishes and bedding. The virus can also transfer from an
infected mother cat to her kittens while they are still in
the womb.

Symptoms of Feline Panleukopenia are:

- Vomiting
- Diarrhea
- Seizures
- Fever
- Depression
- Lack of Appetite
- Dehydration
- Bloody Stool
- Weakness
- Hypothermia

Many of these symptoms are caused by the severe dehydration
that can occur with this virus, so it is very important that
if you suspect that your cat has contracted this virus you
be sure to give the cat plenty of fluids and even
electrolytes to stave off dehydration.

Most kittens or older cats that already have a compromised
immune system will die from this virus. Cats that are
healthy most often will recover after five to seven days.
Cats that do recover from the disease will shed the virus in
their feces and urine for up to six weeks.

Diagnosing Panleukopenia is done through looking at
symptoms, medical history, physical exam and lab testing
done by a veterinarian. Treatment is mainly through using
support medicines like IV fluids and sometimes blood
transfusions for severely infected cats. The best way to
prevent your cat from becoming infected is through regular
vaccinations against the virus.

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