You may have heard of a virus causing problems for cats in our community. Feline panleukopenia, or distemper, is similar to parvovirus in canines. The symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, fever, and even sudden death. If your cat or kitten displays any of these signs, contact a veterinarian immediately.
While it may be worrisome to hear about a deadly virus in the news, it is important to educate yourself about your pet's risk. And the more you know, the easier it is not to panic. Here is some information from the American Veterinary Medical Association:
The first visible signs an owner might notice include generalized depression, loss of appetite, high fever, lethargy, vomiting, severe diarrhea, nasal discharge, and dehydration. Sick cats may sit for long periods of time in front of their water bowls but not drink much water. Normally, the sickness may go on for three or four days after the first fever.
Kittens and any unvaccinated cats are at highest risk of contracting this disease, though the Hawaiian Humane Society says there are no current outbreaks on Oahu that it knows of.
Cats are very good at hiding disease and by the time a cat displays the signs of illness, it may be severely ill. Therefore, if any abnormal behaviors or signs of illness are observed, it is important to have your cat examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
To learn more information, click here for a pet owner's guide to feline panleukopenia.
Included are topics such as:
- What is feline panleukopenia?
- How can I tell if a cat has FP?
- How do cats get infected with the virus that causes FP?
- Which cats are susceptible to FP?
- How is FP treated?
- How can FP be prevented?