Panleukopaenia

Signs, Symptoms and Treatment

There have been an increasing number of incidences of panleukopoenia in the Kirklees area and this is probably reflected in other areas as well, which is fatal to a lot of kittens who are at weaning age therefore too young to vaccinate. It can however be vaccinated against from 9 weeks of age, in 2 vaccinations, 3 weeks apart.

xeniaIt affects kittens and elderly cats, and those with lowered immune systems by lowering the number of white blood cells which normally fight infection and leads to a very high temperature which in turn leads to depression, lethargy and anorexia, resulting very quickly in severe weight loss, diarrhoeadehydration, septic shock and death, literally within hours. Treatment is rarely affective although early detection may improve chances of survival. Even vaccinated cats can get a milder form of the virus.

Treatment as follows may help in some cases.

  • Fluids and electrolytes
  • Vitamins
  • Antibiotics (Proplylactics)
  • Anti-emetics

Here is a link to a presentation done by our vet Andrew Arnold of Donaldson, Mirfield, specifically for Heronbank and our fosterers.

Barrier Nursing and Disease Control.

The disease is highly contagious and can live in the environment for up to a year at room temperature. It spreads via direct contact, dishes, traps, carriers, shoes, clothing etc. therefore strict quarantine procedures should be adhered to.

  • Isolation
  • Vaccination from 9 weeks of age
  • Household disinfectants will not touch it, therefore special disinfectant should be used. Ours is recommended by DEFRA and is diluted 200:1
  • Bleach can also be used, at a dilution of 32:1
  • Foot baths containing the above disinfectant or bleach when entering and leaving the quarantine area are also vital to prevent the spread of the disease
  • After visiting the quarantine area change clothes and shower, or wear protective clothing inside the isolation area.

Here is a presentation by our vet nurse Emma on how best to prevent the spread of the disease.