Feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), also known as Feline infectious enteritis, Feline parvoviral enteritis, feline distemper or cat plague, is a viral infection affecting all cats, both domesticated and wild ones. The virus is caused by feline parvovirus. It is highly contagious among unvaccinated cats and in some cases it can be fatal depending on the immunity of the victim.
Panleukopenia can be spread through contact with an infected animal’s bodily fluids, feces, or other fomites, also by fleas. It can be spread by cats, but also by minks, ferrets, raccoons. The virus can be spread on long distances through contact with food bowls, or even by clothing and shoes, hands, bedding and litter boxes.
Any adult cat or kitten with fever, appetite loss, diarrhea, and/or vomiting is a suspect for feline panleukopenia. Affected cats may sit for hours near the water bowl, although they may not drink.
An infected cat can recover if the cat can be kept alive until the immune system recovers from the panleukopenia and can throw off the infection. The vet will administrate to the ill cat antibiotics, vitamins and aggressive fluid therapy to control dehydration.
The virus is shed for up to 6 weeks after recovery. There is no way to adequately disinfect the environment. A new cat should be simply be vaccinated with at least 2 weeks before she comes in contact with the environment.
Protect your cats by panleukopenia by vaccinating them! The vaccine is so effective that even one dose can provide long-lasting protection. Consult your vet for more advice.