What is feline panleukopenia?
Feline panleukopenia (FP) is a highly contagious viral disease of cats caused by the feline parvovirus. Kittens are most severely affected by the virus. The feline parvovirus infects and kills cells that are rapidly growing and dividing, such as those in the bone marrow, intestines, and the developing fetus.
How do cats become infected with feline panleukopenia?
#Direct contact: Most commonly, cats become infected via direct exposure to infected urine, faeces, saliva or vomit of an infected cat. It is also possible for fleas to transmit the virus from an infected cat.
#Indirect contact (fomites): Contact with bedding, food bowls, cages, grooming equipment and even by a person who has been in contact with an infected cat via the hands or clothes.
#In utero: The virus is passed from the mother to her unborn kittens
Which cats get it?
Kittens aged three to five months are the most susceptible to the panleukopenia virus, although it can strike cats at any age. Generally, adult cats are more resistant, having either received vaccinations or developed their own immunity through exposure to the virus in the natural environment. Kittens infected in utero or up to two weeks after birth can suffer permanent damage to their nervous systems.
What are the signs?
The panleukopenia virus attacks and destroys white blood cells, weakening the immune system and putting the cat at great risk of contracting secondary infections. Rapidly dividing cells in the gastrointestinal tract, lymphoid tissues, and cerebellum can also succumb to the virus. While some cats die suddenly without showing any signs of the disease, others suffer severe symptoms, including fever, fluctuating temperatures, depression, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. Lethargy is a big warning sign, and infected cats often droop their heads over their water bowls, thirsty but unable to drink.
Prevention of feline panleukopenia:
#The best course of action is to vaccinate your cat.
#careful disinfection of food bowls, bedding, utensils etc., with bleach, will help reduce the viral load.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) in Cats
Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a viral disease in cats which carries a high mortality due to its characteristic aggressiveness and nonresponsiveness to fever, along with other complications. It is difficult to diagnose, control, and prevent, and in cases of outbreaks within breeding catteries and kennels, can result in a high number of deaths. It is most often spread through inhalation of airborne contaminants and infected feces, but the virus can also be transmitted by humans who have come into contact with the virus, or can stay active on surfaces that have been contaminated.
The cat becomes infected by the coronavirus:
#By contact with the virus in cat faeces - litter trays
#By contact with saliva from infected cats - mutual grooming, shared food bowls
#By inhalation of the virus
#Across the placenta
#Cats that do not have antibodies to the virus do not develop the disease.
IN survey 80% of cats attending a cat show in the UK had a positive test for exposure to FIP.
What are the signs of FIP?
FIP exists in two clinical forms. The more common ‘wet’ form is charaterised by fluid accumulation in the abdomen and/or the chest, and a ‘dry’ form that is caused by inflammation in various body systems. In reality, many cats have a combination of the two forms. The clinical disease may progress rapidly over a few days (particularly the wet form) or may wax and wane for many weeks to months.
The wet form typically causes swelling of the belly and/or breathing difficulties, as the respective body cavities fill with fluid. The dry form is typically more insidious, with weight loss, anorexia, fever and depression commonly present. Depending on which organ systems are involved, other signs may include jaundice, vomiting and diarrhoea, dehydration, excessive urination and drinking, neurological signs or inflammation within the eyes. The occurrence of these secondary signs is highly variable and may mimic many other disease
#Collect samples seperately from fresh feline’s feces into the diluents tube. Shake the tube sufficiently to mix them well.
#Take out the cassette from the foil pouch and place it horizontally.
#Gradually drip 2-3 drops of sample extraction into the sample hole “S”.
#Interpret the result in 10-15 minutes.