Feline Panleukopenia (Enteritis)

Feline leukaemia

Feline Panleukopenia virus (FPV), also commonly referred to as feline distemper, is a highly contagious and life-threatening viral disease in the cat population. This virus affects the rapidly dividing blood cells in the body, primarily the cells in the intestinal tract, bone marrow, and in the stem cells of the developing foetus. Because the blood cells are under attack, this virus can lead to an anaemic condition, and it can open the body to infections from other illnesses – viral or bacterial.

Cats acquire this infection when they come into contact with infected blood, feces, urine, or fleas that have been feeding from an infected cat. The virus can also be passed along by people who have not washed their hands appropriately between handling cats, or by materials such as bedding, food dishes or equipment that has been used on other cats.

Symptoms:

  • Diarrhoea/bloody diarrhoea

  • Dehydration

  • Weight loss

  • High fever

  • Anaemia (due to lowered red blood cells)

  • Rough hair coat

  • Depression

  • Complete loss of interest in food

  • Some cats may hide themselves for a day or two

  • Hanging head over water bowl or food dish but does not drink or eat

  • Feet tucked under body for long periods

  • Chin resting on floor for long periods

  • Neurological symptoms in those cats in which virus attacks brain (e.g., lack of coordination)