What is it?
Also known as Feline Panleukopenia, is a highly contagious disease of young cats caused by a virus.
 
Who is susceptible to it?
Cats in general but young cats seem to be more prone.
 
How does it spread?
The virus is shed in all body secretions, with fecal shedding being the primary source of infection.  Transmission is from contact with infected animals, contaminated environment or fomites.
 
Time line from exposure to signs?
Signs begin within days of infection.
 
What are the symptoms?
  1. Adult cats are usually asymptomatic.
  2. Kittens develop fever, lethargy, stop eating, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration.
  3. Very early infections during pregnancy can lead to abortions and brain disorders.
 
Is there a test for it?
Yes, there is a fecal test that can be sent to the laboratory.
 
How is it treated?
Treatment largely consists of supportive care.  In this case fluid therapy (IV) to maintain hydration and proper nutritional support are required.  Anti-vomiting injectable medications and antibiotics may be used as needed.  Brain signs are not treatable but usually do not tend to get any worse over time. Death can occur in very severe cases.
 
Cleaning the environment?
This virus is resistant to environmental degradation and to many disinfectants.  Areas should be cleaned thoroughly with bleach. 
 
Is there a vaccine?
Yes.  The vaccine (Modified Live) is the “P” is the FVRCP vaccine.  The vaccine is given by injection and requires two doses 4 weeks apart with yearly boosters.  Kittens should receive a minimum of two doses after 12 weeks of age.
 
Risk for humans?
Feline Panleukopenia cannot infect people.
 
 
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