Feline panleukopenia

Feline panleukopenia

Taxobox | color=violet
name = "Feline panleukopenia virus"
virus_group = ii
familia = "Parvoviridae"
genus = "Parvovirus"
species = "Feline panleukopenia virus"

Feline panleukopenia, commonly known as feline distemper, is a viral infection affecting cats, caused by feline parvovirus, a close relative of canine parvovirus. It is not related to canine distemper.

Transmission and symptoms

Panleukopenia is primarily spread through contact with an infected cat's bodily fluids, feces, or fleas. Sometimes it is spread through contact with bedding, food dishes, or even by handlers of infected cats.

The virus primarily attacks the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, causing internal ulceration and, ultimately, total sloughing of the intestinal epithelium. This results in profuse and usually bloody diarrhea, severe dehydration, malnutrition, anemia, and often death; mortality rate 60-90%.

The virus causes a decrease in the cat's white blood cells, thus compromising its immune system. Typically, it also causes a decrease in hematocrit and platelet counts on a complete blood count. This is often key in diagnosing panleukopenia.

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.

If a cat is exposed during pregnancy, the virus can cause cerebellar hypoplasia in her offspring. This is why administering modified live feline panleukopenia vaccine during pregnancy is discouraged.

It is impossible for a cat to spread Panleukopenia to a dog, as dogs can not contract the virus. [cite web|url=http://www.sunlakesanimalclinic.com/Library/Panleuk.htm | title=Panleukopenia (Feline Distemper)]


Protection is offered by commercial feline distemper vaccine, which is usually a mixture of vaccines for several different diseases, including panleukopenia.

External links

* [http://www.winnfelinehealth.org/health/panleukopenia.html Winn Feline Foundation Article on Panleukopenia written by Wilma Lagerwerf, RVT, RLAT]
* [http://www.avma.org/communications/brochures/panleukopenia/panleukopenia_brochure.asp American Veterinary Medical Association brochure on Feline Panluekopenia]
* [http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=1983 Feline Distemper (Panleukopenia) from The Pet Health Library]
* [http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/distemper.html Pawprints and Purrs, Inc. Cat Health Care FAQ]
* [http://www.avma.org/vafstf/rbbroch.asp AVMA article on the benefits and risks of feline vaccines]
* [http://www.cvmbs.colostate.edu/insight/2004/fall2004/cats.htm Colorado State University article on the potential connection between CRF and vaccinations]
* [http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?action=library&act=show&item=vaccination1 Little Big Cat article discussing feline vaccinations including Panleukopenia]


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