Panleukopenia, sometimes referred to as distemper, is a highly contagious and life-threatening disease in cats. It is extremely resistant to disinfectants and extreme temperatures. Not only does it infect all members of the cat family, including domestic cats, but raccoons and minks as well.
Panleukopenia virus is spread through direct contact between cats or through shared objects such as litter boxes, food and water bowls, beds, and toys. Infected cats can transmit the virus to other cats through vomit, feces, and other body secretions.
It can also be carried through the air. The virus can survive on contaminated surfaces for a year or more. Properly scrubbing and disinfecting contaminated surfaces can prevent the virus from being passed on to other cats. The virus can also be transmitted from people who have handled objects that are used by infected cats.
Using soap and water after contact with a potentially sick cat will reduce the chances of the virus being passed on to healthy cats. But even under the cleanest conditions, the virus can remain in the environment.
The infection severely affects the cat’s digestive system. Symptoms appear after the virus has incubated for a few days. The cat loses all energy. She may vomit or have diarrhea. There may be discharges from her nose or eyes.
She can hang her head over her bowl of water or food bowl, but does not eat or drink. She is losing weight and becoming dehydrated. She will have a high fever. She often sits or lies quietly in a corner. As the blood cells are attacked, it is more susceptible to anemic disease and other viral and bacterial diseases. Vomiting is often the first warning.
If your cat is persistent vomiting, take him to your veterinarian right away. The disease is almost always fatal to kittens and 75% to 90% fatal to older cats. Fortunately, if your car survives this infection, it is immune to further infections with this virus.
An infected cat must be treated immediately to save its life. The dehydration must be corrected immediately in order to restore the balance between body fluids and electrolytes. Antibiotics prevent other infections from starting. She’ll need a quiet, warm place to relax.
With her litter box, food and water dishes close by, she can attend to her needs without too much effort. She needs to be isolated from all other cats. Since the disease has depressing effects on their physical and mental health, it needs your affection and wellbeing.
Talk to your veterinarian about administering medication, using household disinfectants, and the possibility of quarantine. Monitor other cats in the house for signs of illness. If your vet advises, vaccinate your other cats if they haven’t already been vaccinated. Throw away your cat’s toys, bowls, bedding, and litter box and get their new ones.
The best prevention against panleukopenia is to make sure your cat is properly vaccinated.
To adopt a cat or dog, visit the Pittsburg County Animal Shelter at 1206 N. West St. in McAlester. The opening times are Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The phone number is 918-423-7803. The adoption fee for a cat is $ 15 and for a dog is $ 20. All were neutered or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped.