A very serious outbreak of Feline Panleukopenia has begun in the Kula area. We want to stress
that if your adult cat is current on vaccinations, they are NOT at risk. Kittens or unvaccinated cats
of any age ARE at risk. If you do not read the rest of this post, please just do these two things for your pet
cat if you haven't yet: VACCINATE and MICROCHIP them! Below we have answered some common
questions about FPV: what it is, how it's contracted, and signs and symptoms of the virus.
What is Feline Panleukopenia?
It is a disease very similar to Parvovirus in dogs. The virus primarily attacks
the lining of the gastrointestinal track. It causes a decrease in a cat's white
blood cells and compromises their immune system.
How is it Spread?
The virus is primarily spread through contact with an infected cat's bodily fluids, feces, or other fomites, as well as by fleas. It can be spread long distances through contact with bedding, food dishes, or even by clothing and shoes of handlers of infected animals. It is not, however, contagious or contractible by humans. Like all parvoviruses, FPV is extremely resistant to inactivation and can survive for longer than one year in a suitable environment.
What are Signs and Symptoms of FPV?
Infected cats and kittens will have profuse and usually bloody diarrhea, severe dehydration, malnutrition,
anemia and the disease can often lead to death. Other symptoms include depression, lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, vomiting, loss of skin elasticity due to dehydration, and self-biting in the tail, lower back and back legs.
Affected cats may sit for hours at their water bowl, although they may not drink much.
What Can I do to Prevent it and What Do I Do if I think My Cat Has it?
You can prevent your cat or kitten from contracting this deadly virus by making sure
they are up-to-date on their vaccinations. Also, please make sure your cat is MICROCHIPPED. Micro-chipping
is very important in case your cat gets loose. Cats who are outdoors or get loose in the infected
area should be easily identifiable as "owned" or "pets".
If your cat or kitten shows signs of FPV, please call your veterinarian IMMEDIATELY.
If you see feral cats in your community that show symptoms of the virus,
please contact your nearest animal shelter.