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View Full Version : Feline Panleukopenia ? - a little long


Wendy
November 19th 05, 12:22 PM
I heard yesterday that another foster home has 2 kittens with Penleukopenia.
Well to be accurate, one has tested positive and the other was too small to
get sufficient blood to test but has the same symptoms as the cat who was
tested. The older kitten is about 12 weeks the younger probably around 8.

The scenario developed a while back. All the cats mentioned were fostered at
the same location for a period of time at least.

First a cat was adopted out and started barfing just as his people got there
to take him home. He had shown no symptoms of anything previously nor did
any of his littermates who had already been adopted. The people decided to
take him anyway, got him to their vet where he ended up spending the night.
The word we initially got was they thought it could be panleukopenia but
then later were told they didn't think so. He recovered in a day or so and
we thought that was the end of it.

The adoption of that cat opened foster space at that location and a cat was
taken in who had wandered into a feral colony but wasn't feral. A week or
two later, the 12 week old cat got sick. I heard he was very sick, not
eating, lethargic etc. This kitten also has a humongous umbilical hernia and
a heart murmur. He had been back and forth to the vet to have the hernia
checked out a couple of times previous and subsequent to being sick. At any
rate this cat seemed to recover but has been left with an awkward, unsteady
gait.

About 2 weeks later the little kitten came down with similar symptoms. She
is eating better now but has very, very unsteady hind quarters. She walks
for a bit and then the back end wipes out and she falls down. She is
energetic at this point but really can't maneuver well at all.

So now we're trying to figure out how the hell this got into the foster home
to begin with. If the cat who was adopted did have it how could he have been
exposed? He had been fostered since he was only a couple weeks old (had to
be bottle fed) and there is no word that any of his littermates were sick.
I'm wondering if maybe he didn't have it and his being sick was a
coincidental.

Wouldn't a likelier scenario be that it came in with the cat who wandered in
the feral colony?

There are 3 more cats at that foster home. Two are older cats (have shots
and are spayed/neutered) and the 3rd is a littermate to the cat with the
hernia. None have shown any sign of getting sick. Can they infect other
cats? I read this is transmitted through blood, urine, feces, nasal
secretions, fleas from infected cats and any substance coming in contact
with any of those things. AFAIK these cats haven't been allowed to play
together and shouldn't have been able to actually touch one another but of
course have been touched by the caretaker. Can the virus be on the
asymptomatic cat's fur etc?

What needs to be done to clean up this mess?


W

Rhonda
November 19th 05, 07:06 PM
Hi Wendy,

I'm sorry the cats are having such a tough time. We had a stray who was
pregnant, and we found out later that she had had panleukopenia at some
point during her pregnancy. Some of the kittens were born with
neurological problems. We were very lucky that she didn't have it
actively when we took her in.

I looked up a couple of websites, maybe the same ones you did -- and put
some excerpts below. You asked about having it on their fur, I suppose
they could if they licked themselves or had a stray poop stuck to their
rear.

Does the foster mom volunteer at the shelter? Could she have petted or
held a cat with the virus and brought it home? Maybe even on her shoes?
I wonder sometimes when I pet the cats in the neighborhood on a walk, or
even step in something outside, if I'm potentially bringing home
anything. I know the distemper virus is all around. Hopefully the
vaccinations will fight it off.

I suppose the first kitten could have had it (the adopted kitten) but
that is an awfully quick recovery if he hadn't been vaccinated yet. If
he had been vaccinated against it, how long was it between then and when
he got sick? You might call the vet the did the vaccines, and see what
are the chances that the vaccine itself could have given him a small
case of it, but maybe enough that he passed it to the others. There are
different types of distemper vaccines, some are killed virus and some
are not.

I've read it's very hard to kill the virus in the home, but everything
they use, food bowls, etc., needs to be bleached.

Hope someone else has more answers for you. Good luck!

Rhonda

Website excerpts below:

-------------------------------------------
Transmission

The virus is spread by direct oral contact between infected cats or with
their excretions, including feces, urine, saliva and vomit. Fleas may
also transmit it during the acute or early stage of the disease. Fomites
(contaminated objects) are another means of disease transmission. Common
fomites include hands, clothing, food and water dishes, litter pans,
bedding, etc. The incubation period, or period between contact with the
virus and the appearance of symptoms ranges from 3-10 days.

http://www.petfinder.org/journalindex.cgi?path=private/shelteroperations/nutsandbolts/sheltermedicine/2.21.10.txt
-------------------------------------------

The virus is transmitted primarily by the fecal-oral route (including
through exposure to objects/clothing/hands contaminated with virus from
feces). Panleukopenia is very durable unless inactivated by an effective
disinfectant, and can persist in the environment for months or even
years. The incubation period is generally less than 14 days, and cats
may shed infectious virus for 2-3 days before signs are observed.
Kittens are at highest risk for this disease, and adult cats with
current vaccinations are at very low risk.

http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/msmp/protocols/panleukopenia/fpv.htm

-------------------------------------------

Wendy wrote:

> I heard yesterday that another foster home has 2 kittens with Penleukopenia.
> Well to be accurate, one has tested positive and the other was too small to
> get sufficient blood to test but has the same symptoms as the cat who was
> tested. The older kitten is about 12 weeks the younger probably around 8.
>
> The scenario developed a while back. All the cats mentioned were fostered at
> the same location for a period of time at least.
>
> First a cat was adopted out and started barfing just as his people got there
> to take him home. He had shown no symptoms of anything previously nor did
> any of his littermates who had already been adopted. The people decided to
> take him anyway, got him to their vet where he ended up spending the night.
> The word we initially got was they thought it could be panleukopenia but
> then later were told they didn't think so. He recovered in a day or so and
> we thought that was the end of it.
>
> The adoption of that cat opened foster space at that location and a cat was
> taken in who had wandered into a feral colony but wasn't feral. A week or
> two later, the 12 week old cat got sick. I heard he was very sick, not
> eating, lethargic etc. This kitten also has a humongous umbilical hernia and
> a heart murmur. He had been back and forth to the vet to have the hernia
> checked out a couple of times previous and subsequent to being sick. At any
> rate this cat seemed to recover but has been left with an awkward, unsteady
> gait.
>
> About 2 weeks later the little kitten came down with similar symptoms. She
> is eating better now but has very, very unsteady hind quarters. She walks
> for a bit and then the back end wipes out and she falls down. She is
> energetic at this point but really can't maneuver well at all.
>
> So now we're trying to figure out how the hell this got into the foster home
> to begin with. If the cat who was adopted did have it how could he have been
> exposed? He had been fostered since he was only a couple weeks old (had to
> be bottle fed) and there is no word that any of his littermates were sick.
> I'm wondering if maybe he didn't have it and his being sick was a
> coincidental.
>
> Wouldn't a likelier scenario be that it came in with the cat who wandered in
> the feral colony?
>
> There are 3 more cats at that foster home. Two are older cats (have shots
> and are spayed/neutered) and the 3rd is a littermate to the cat with the
> hernia. None have shown any sign of getting sick. Can they infect other
> cats? I read this is transmitted through blood, urine, feces, nasal
> secretions, fleas from infected cats and any substance coming in contact
> with any of those things. AFAIK these cats haven't been allowed to play
> together and shouldn't have been able to actually touch one another but of
> course have been touched by the caretaker. Can the virus be on the
> asymptomatic cat's fur etc?
>
> What needs to be done to clean up this mess?
>
>
> W
>
>
>

Phil P.
November 19th 05, 09:52 PM
"Wendy" > wrote in message
...
> I heard yesterday that another foster home has 2 kittens with
Penleukopenia.
> Well to be accurate, one has tested positive and the other was too small
to
> get sufficient blood to test


Use the Idexx CITE Canine Parvovirus Snap Test- it detects feline parvovirus
in cat feces in 10 minutes. Its even easier and simpler than the FeLV Snap
and only costs $10. Can be used in cats of any age.



but has the same symptoms as the cat who was
> tested. The older kitten is about 12 weeks the younger probably around 8.
>
> The scenario developed a while back. All the cats mentioned were fostered
at
> the same location for a period of time at least.


The kittens could have been infected via fomite transmission. The feline
parvovirus can remain infectious in the environment for months to >1 year.
I strongly suggest you advise the fosterer to sanitize her home- especially
litterboxes, feeding and water bowls and bedding. Use Trifectant (Virkon S
Professional)- kills feline and canine parvo, herpes, calici, coronavirus,
etc, plus ringworm and many bacteria. You can buy individual 1.3 oz packets
that make 1 gal for about $3 or 10 lb. tubs that make 123 gals for about
$50. You can even use Trifectant in the washer or presoak. Its not a
phenol or quat and its safe to use around cats. It doesn't require rinsing-
but I rinse anyway. Read the label carefully- even though Trifectant is
*exactly* the same product as Virkon-S Professional its labeled differently.
The warning label applies *only* to the powered form and not to the diluted
solution.


>
> First a cat was adopted out and started barfing just as his people got
there
> to take him home. He had shown no symptoms of anything previously nor did
> any of his littermates who had already been adopted. The people decided to
> take him anyway, got him to their vet where he ended up spending the
night.
> The word we initially got was they thought it could be panleukopenia but
> then later were told they didn't think so. He recovered in a day or so and
> we thought that was the end of it.

Could have been parvo- its not always fatal. Many kittens develop VN
antibodies in time to neutralize the virus. Many parvo infections are
subclinical- some infected kittens never develop any symptoms at all but
they can still shed virus.


>
> The adoption of that cat opened foster space at that location and a cat
was
> taken in who had wandered into a feral colony but wasn't feral. A week or
> two later, the 12 week old cat got sick. I heard he was very sick, not
> eating, lethargic etc. This kitten also has a humongous umbilical hernia
and
> a heart murmur. He had been back and forth to the vet to have the hernia
> checked out a couple of times previous and subsequent to being sick. At
any
> rate this cat seemed to recover but has been left with an awkward,
unsteady
> gait.



Could be a result of cerebral hypoplasia- caused by parvovirus infection
either prenatally or neonatally or vaccination with a MLV when the kitten
was less than 4 weeks. The old names for panleukopenia was feline ataxia
or incoordination and feline distemper.




> About 2 weeks later the little kitten came down with similar symptoms. She
> is eating better now but has very, very unsteady hind quarters. She walks
> for a bit and then the back end wipes out and she falls down. She is
> energetic at this point but really can't maneuver well at all.


Sounds like cerebral hypoplasia.



> So now we're trying to figure out how the hell this got into the foster
home
> to begin with. If the cat who was adopted did have it how could he have
been
> exposed?


Humans can track parvovirus in their homes on their shoes, clothes or even
hands from handling an infected cat.



He had been fostered since he was only a couple weeks old (had to
> be bottle fed) and there is no word that any of his littermates were sick.
> I'm wondering if maybe he didn't have it and his being sick was a
> coincidental.

Could be. If you work with kittens, you should have a few pavro fecal Snaps
on hand to test new kittens. As I said, some infections are subclinical and
the kittens don't develop any symptoms at all or they're just mild and
transient
symptoms-- but they still shed infectious virus. This is why its absolutely
imperative to sanitize the kitten room before introducing a new cat whether
the previous kitten was sick or not.



>
> Wouldn't a likelier scenario be that it came in with the cat who wandered
in
> the feral colony?


Could be. The origin of a parvo infection is difficult to track because the
virus is very stable in the environment for long periods and it can be
carried on humans and other objects. IOW, a kitten can become infected
without ever coming near an infected cat. The kittens also could have
became infected from virus left by a cat from last year!



>
> There are 3 more cats at that foster home. Two are older cats (have shots
> and are spayed/neutered) and the 3rd is a littermate to the cat with the
> hernia. None have shown any sign of getting sick. Can they infect other
> cats?

Only if they're shedding virus and the other kittens are susceptible. Parvo
is only a problem for kittens- adults practically never become infected- and
if they do, its virtually always subclinical



I read this is transmitted through blood, urine, feces, nasal
> secretions, fleas from infected cats and any substance coming in contact
> with any of those things. AFAIK these cats haven't been allowed to play
> together and shouldn't have been able to actually touch one another but of
> course have been touched by the caretaker. Can the virus be on the
> asymptomatic cat's fur etc?

Parvovirus can be *anywhere*- that's why it was the scourge of cats for
decades until an effective vaccine was introduced and sanitation regimes
developed.


>
> What needs to be done to clean up this mess?


Sanitation and disinfection (with Trifectant) of the premises and vaccinate
*all* new kittens *before* they're introduced into the home.
Colostrum-deprived kittens younger than 4 weeks can be inoculated with
antisera from cats with a high titer to feline parvovirus-- just remember
that these are *passive* immunoglobulins (same as maternal antibodies) which
can persist for up to 2 to 4 weeks and will interfere with vaccines, so, the
neonatal vaccination series must be delayed. You can vaccinate kittens
older than 4 weeks with the Purevax Feline-3 (FVRCP).

Wendy
November 20th 05, 01:11 AM
"Phil P." > wrote in message
nk.net...
>
> "Wendy" > wrote in message
> ...
>> I heard yesterday that another foster home has 2 kittens with
> Penleukopenia.
>> Well to be accurate, one has tested positive and the other was too small
> to
>> get sufficient blood to test
>
>
> Use the Idexx CITE Canine Parvovirus Snap Test- it detects feline
> parvovirus
> in cat feces in 10 minutes. Its even easier and simpler than the FeLV Snap
> and only costs $10. Can be used in cats of any age.
>
>
>
> but has the same symptoms as the cat who was
>> tested. The older kitten is about 12 weeks the younger probably around 8.
>>
>> The scenario developed a while back. All the cats mentioned were fostered
> at
>> the same location for a period of time at least.
>
>
> The kittens could have been infected via fomite transmission. The feline
> parvovirus can remain infectious in the environment for months to >1 year.
> I strongly suggest you advise the fosterer to sanitize her home-
> especially
> litterboxes, feeding and water bowls and bedding. Use Trifectant (Virkon
> S
> Professional)- kills feline and canine parvo, herpes, calici, coronavirus,
> etc, plus ringworm and many bacteria. You can buy individual 1.3 oz
> packets
> that make 1 gal for about $3 or 10 lb. tubs that make 123 gals for about
> $50. You can even use Trifectant in the washer or presoak. Its not a
> phenol or quat and its safe to use around cats. It doesn't require
> rinsing-
> but I rinse anyway. Read the label carefully- even though Trifectant is
> *exactly* the same product as Virkon-S Professional its labeled
> differently.
> The warning label applies *only* to the powered form and not to the
> diluted
> solution.
>
>
>>
>> First a cat was adopted out and started barfing just as his people got
> there
>> to take him home. He had shown no symptoms of anything previously nor did
>> any of his littermates who had already been adopted. The people decided
>> to
>> take him anyway, got him to their vet where he ended up spending the
> night.
>> The word we initially got was they thought it could be panleukopenia but
>> then later were told they didn't think so. He recovered in a day or so
>> and
>> we thought that was the end of it.
>
> Could have been parvo- its not always fatal. Many kittens develop VN
> antibodies in time to neutralize the virus. Many parvo infections are
> subclinical- some infected kittens never develop any symptoms at all but
> they can still shed virus.
>
>
>>
>> The adoption of that cat opened foster space at that location and a cat
> was
>> taken in who had wandered into a feral colony but wasn't feral. A week or
>> two later, the 12 week old cat got sick. I heard he was very sick, not
>> eating, lethargic etc. This kitten also has a humongous umbilical hernia
> and
>> a heart murmur. He had been back and forth to the vet to have the hernia
>> checked out a couple of times previous and subsequent to being sick. At
> any
>> rate this cat seemed to recover but has been left with an awkward,
> unsteady
>> gait.
>
>
>
> Could be a result of cerebral hypoplasia- caused by parvovirus infection
> either prenatally or neonatally or vaccination with a MLV when the kitten
> was less than 4 weeks. The old names for panleukopenia was feline ataxia
> or incoordination and feline distemper.
>
>
>
>
>> About 2 weeks later the little kitten came down with similar symptoms.
>> She
>> is eating better now but has very, very unsteady hind quarters. She walks
>> for a bit and then the back end wipes out and she falls down. She is
>> energetic at this point but really can't maneuver well at all.
>
>
> Sounds like cerebral hypoplasia.
>
>
>
>> So now we're trying to figure out how the hell this got into the foster
> home
>> to begin with. If the cat who was adopted did have it how could he have
> been
>> exposed?
>
>
> Humans can track parvovirus in their homes on their shoes, clothes or even
> hands from handling an infected cat.
>
>
>
> He had been fostered since he was only a couple weeks old (had to
>> be bottle fed) and there is no word that any of his littermates were
>> sick.
>> I'm wondering if maybe he didn't have it and his being sick was a
>> coincidental.
>
> Could be. If you work with kittens, you should have a few pavro fecal
> Snaps
> on hand to test new kittens. As I said, some infections are subclinical
> and
> the kittens don't develop any symptoms at all or they're just mild and
> transient
> symptoms-- but they still shed infectious virus. This is why its
> absolutely
> imperative to sanitize the kitten room before introducing a new cat
> whether
> the previous kitten was sick or not.
>
>
>
>>
>> Wouldn't a likelier scenario be that it came in with the cat who wandered
> in
>> the feral colony?
>
>
> Could be. The origin of a parvo infection is difficult to track because
> the
> virus is very stable in the environment for long periods and it can be
> carried on humans and other objects. IOW, a kitten can become infected
> without ever coming near an infected cat. The kittens also could have
> became infected from virus left by a cat from last year!
>
>
>
>>
>> There are 3 more cats at that foster home. Two are older cats (have shots
>> and are spayed/neutered) and the 3rd is a littermate to the cat with the
>> hernia. None have shown any sign of getting sick. Can they infect other
>> cats?
>
> Only if they're shedding virus and the other kittens are susceptible.
> Parvo
> is only a problem for kittens- adults practically never become infected-
> and
> if they do, its virtually always subclinical
>
>
>
> I read this is transmitted through blood, urine, feces, nasal
>> secretions, fleas from infected cats and any substance coming in contact
>> with any of those things. AFAIK these cats haven't been allowed to play
>> together and shouldn't have been able to actually touch one another but
>> of
>> course have been touched by the caretaker. Can the virus be on the
>> asymptomatic cat's fur etc?
>
> Parvovirus can be *anywhere*- that's why it was the scourge of cats for
> decades until an effective vaccine was introduced and sanitation regimes
> developed.
>
>
>>
>> What needs to be done to clean up this mess?
>
>
> Sanitation and disinfection (with Trifectant) of the premises and
> vaccinate
> *all* new kittens *before* they're introduced into the home.
> Colostrum-deprived kittens younger than 4 weeks can be inoculated with
> antisera from cats with a high titer to feline parvovirus-- just remember
> that these are *passive* immunoglobulins (same as maternal antibodies)
> which
> can persist for up to 2 to 4 weeks and will interfere with vaccines, so,
> the
> neonatal vaccination series must be delayed. You can vaccinate kittens
> older than 4 weeks with the Purevax Feline-3 (FVRCP).
>
>
>

Thanks Rhonda and Phil. Will pass on the information. When I talked to the
foster mom today she had already gotten out the bleach and tossed the litter
boxes etc. - anything that didn't look like it could be thoroughly cleaned.

Sadly, both kittens were euthanized last night on the recommendation of the
vet. Damn, I hate when that happens. The remaining 3 cats are going to be
vaccinated or get boosters Monday.

W

Phil P.
November 20th 05, 08:12 AM
"Wendy" > wrote in message
. ..


> Sadly, both kittens were euthanized last night on the recommendation of
the
> vet. Damn, I hate when that happens.


Euthanasia probably wasn't necessary- most kittens can be saved with fluid
therapy and antibiotics to control secondary infections until the kittens
start producing virus neutralizing antibodies. In severe cases when
treatment was delayed for too long, whole blood transfusions from cats with
high titers to parvo usually pulls the kittens through.

The problem is many vets that work with shelters don't want to put the time
and effort in to save the kittens because they feel shelters generally
can't/won't afford the treatment- and they're probably right. Others feel
there are too many cats already, so losing a few kittens is no big deal.
You need a vet who has his heart in his work and worries about the animals
more than his finances. There are many ways vets can recoup their losses
from difficult shelter cases.

Wendy
November 20th 05, 11:04 AM
"Phil P." > wrote in message
nk.net...
>
> "Wendy" > wrote in message
> . ..
>
>
>> Sadly, both kittens were euthanized last night on the recommendation of
> the
>> vet. Damn, I hate when that happens.
>
>
> Euthanasia probably wasn't necessary- most kittens can be saved with fluid
> therapy and antibiotics to control secondary infections until the kittens
> start producing virus neutralizing antibodies. In severe cases when
> treatment was delayed for too long, whole blood transfusions from cats
> with
> high titers to parvo usually pulls the kittens through.
>
> The problem is many vets that work with shelters don't want to put the
> time
> and effort in to save the kittens because they feel shelters generally
> can't/won't afford the treatment- and they're probably right. Others feel
> there are too many cats already, so losing a few kittens is no big deal.
> You need a vet who has his heart in his work and worries about the animals
> more than his finances. There are many ways vets can recoup their losses
> from difficult shelter cases.
>
>
>
I normally would agree completely with you about the vet. In this case the
vet wasn't the rescue group's vet but the foster mom's vet and seen as a
private patient at the foster mom's expense.

The cats couldn't take more than a few steps before falling down and that
was the reason they were euthanized. The one guy had so many problems
already and had the neurological symptoms added to the mix. He still would
have had to have surgery to repair the enormous umbilical hernia and with
the sever heart murmur that would have been a touchy bit of work. It was
judged that both cats quality of life were compromised - at least that's
what I was told. I didn't see either one of the kittens first hand so can't
make any judgments. It was the same type of decision we had to make for a
little 10 day old kitten who started having seizures every fifteen minutes.
He was eating well and very active between the seizures but what kind of a
life would that have been?

This particular foster mom had kept a panleukopenia kitten a few years ago
so she is in a better position than I to judge. I believe she said her cat
had only lived 2 years and they weren't happy ones for the cat.

I don't know, I've never seen it first hand and hope never to have that
experience. I just want to garner as much knowledge as possible to be able
to avoid this as best as possible so that we don't lose any more cats to
this particularly nasty disease.

W