Having a cat is a rewarding experience but also comes with a lot of responsibility. One important thing to remember is that cats can get sick just like any other animal, and sometimes even more easily since they are small creatures.
This blog post will provide a comprehensive guide on feline parvo, including symptoms, treatment, and recovery.
What is Feline Parvovirus?
Feline parvovirus (FPV), also known as panleukopenia, is a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease that affects cats of all ages. The virus is most commonly spread through contact with infected feces but can also be transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.
When an infected cat sheds the virus in its feces, it can live on surfaces for weeks or even months. This means that even if your cat is up to date on vaccinations, it can still contract the virus if it comes into contact with contaminated materials.
The feline parvovirus has been known to infect cats, minks, and other animals, since the 1920s. However, it was not until the 1960s to 1970s that the disease became widespread in the cat population. With the development of vaccines in the late 1960s, the mortality rate for FPV dropped. Even with this decrease, the virus is still a significant health concern for cats, as it can cause severe illness and death.
Symptoms of Cat Parvovirus
The symptoms of feline parvo are similar to those of dogs with the disease. The most common symptom is vomiting, which may be accompanied by diarrhea. Other symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Diarrhea that can be bloody
- The virus can cause dehydration, anemia, and death in severe cases.
Treatment of Feline Parvovirus
There is no specific treatment for cat parvovirus, and most infected cats will require hospitalization. Treatment focuses on supporting the cat and treating the symptoms.
Dehydration is a common complication of FPV, so intravenous fluids are often necessary to prevent dehydration. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to avoid secondary bacterial infections. During their stay in the vet clinic or hospital, they may be given food and water through a feeding tube to prevent vomiting and help them stay hydrated.
Cats that are infected with the virus should be isolated from other cats to prevent the spread of the disease.
Recovery from Feline Parvo
The prognosis for cats with feline parvo is generally good, especially if the cat is treated early. Most cats will recover from the disease with supportive care within two to three weeks.
However, some cats may develop chronic health problems such as intestinal blockages or liver disease. These cats will require lifelong management and care. This is the importance of a pet wellness plan that includes regular check-ups and vaccinations to help prevent disease.
After your cat is discharged from the hospital, monitoring them closely and taking them back to the vet for follow-up appointments is essential. These appointments will help ensure that your cat is recovering properly and help catch any potential complications early. You should also keep your cat isolated from other animals during their recovery to prevent spreading the disease.
The following are some tips to help your cat recover quickly after discharge from the hospital or clinic:
- Give them small, frequent meals instead of large meals to prevent vomiting.
- Provide plenty of fresh water.
- Monitor their bathroom habits closely and contact your vet if you notice any changes.
- Do not allow them to exert themselves too much as they may be susceptible to dehydration.
Prevention of Feline Parvovirus
The best way to prevent feline parvo is to vaccinate your cat against the virus (follow this link for more info). Kittens should be vaccinated at 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age and then boostered annually. Cats at high risk for the disease, such as those that go outside or live in shelters, may need to be vaccinated more often.
Here are other preventive measures to avoid FPV:
- Practice good hygiene and cleanliness.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after handling any sick animals.
- Do not allow sick animals to come into contact with healthy animals.
Feline Parvovirus is a serious disease that can be deadly for cats, so it is important to take preventive measures to protect your cat. Vaccinating your cat is the best way to prevent the disease, and keeping them indoors can help reduce the virus’s exposure risk.
Contact your vet immediately if you think your cat may have been exposed to the virus. Make sure to choose one that offers other vet services, such as surgery, dentistry, etc. Ask for recommendations or look online. For instance, search “veterinary dentist near me” or “veterinary clinic near me.”