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Feline Panleukopenia

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Also known as feline panleuk or feline distemper.

Anyone who works in rescue has probably seen this before. But not necessarily.

Well last summer we had a lot of kittens come in. We did great with the kittens healthwise until mid June. I had taken home 5 kittens that weren't doing so well.. they had dropped in weight and were a little bit dehydrated. After taking 3 of the 5 to the vet(vet was on holiday, other vet covering), she suggested feeding them some a/d (awesome food) and put them all on 1cc of liquid amoxil 2 times daily.
A few days later, after one kitten had died, I took them back. It was my regular vet there then. We sent off the poor kitten that died for testing. The vet thought it may be feline panleuk and to just keep treating them as I was, but making sure they were getting foods and fluids into them. The results cmae back on the kitten and it was positive. 2 more of the kittens passed away. The other 2 did well and have since been adopted into homes(several months after the illness)
After that we lost quite a few kittens to it. Despite our everyday cleaning and scrubbing and everything. And it really broke my heart last summer when we lost so many.
This year we have been turning away most of the kittens, in fear of the same thing happening.

We have an open concept. All the cats run free. There are no cages unless the vet tells us to for treatment reasons, or we have a pregnant mom about to deliver. We are no-kill and some of the cats we will have forever. We try and set it up like a home for them.

Anyway, today we went and bought cement paint and wall paint and I scrubbed the walls and floors until I ached. Then we painted the entire room. Floors and walls and all. Tomorrow we will be putting the kittens in there. I am going to be the ONLY volunteer in that room. NO ONE goes in there AT ALL except me and potential adopters. Even then, they have to not gone in the other rooms first.

I don't know what more we can do for them to prevent it from happening again this year. We did everything we could last summer for them but it didn't seem to work. But now we are really cracking down. We even had the locks changed today and I am the only one with a key.

But I am wondering.. is there anything we can do to try and prevent it from happening again?

I know that it could be brought in with a kitten. But they don't always show the signs until it's too late.
post #2 of 5
We keep all cats caged here. And, because of that, stop the spread. Hands are washed between handling cats in cages. Even if you just put one finger in. Kittens, we are particular about....we keep them caged as far apart as possible & in top cages as much as possible. Also, no cats or kittens touch the ground until they have received both their distemper shot & booster...then one week after the booster when they are immune they are out to play. Otherwise, they only leave the cage to be held.
post #3 of 5
I have no shelter experience but as a lifelong bird keeper I am very familiar with quarantine procedures (bird diseases spread easily and a long way through particles of feather and faeces dust floating around) and really quarantine is the only way to prevent bringing diseases into any environment, especially one with many animals where the effects of disease spreading can be devastating.

I actually think that while it sounds lovely to let them all mingle and have a nice environment, it's not advisable to let new arrivals, especially kittens, straight into an environment where they mix with one another.

The set up you have sounds fantastic for the older and more long-term residents, but I really think that incoming litters should be caged separate from other litters and expectant mums until at least a week after they have had their second set of kitten vaccinations, and then integrated only if they are showing no symptoms of illness. I know that in kitten season that means a lot of cages, but in any multi-resident facility quarantine for new arrivals and strict hygeine between handling animals, especially unvaccinated kittens, is vital.

I hope that this year things go better for you
post #4 of 5
at the shelter i worked at, all the cats were caged. hands were washed/sanitized between handling cats. we also cleaned with bleach solution and a cleaner called A-33. that stuff was hard core. the label said it even killed the HIV virus. make sure you wear gloves for cleaning too. the chemicals are hard on your hands otherwise.
post #5 of 5
I think it is very admirable that you care so much and indeed do a lot more for these kitties. I whish I could help somehow.

My cat had panleukopenia as a baby and recovered after much care and much luck. A year later, I am still trying to fatten him and make him stronger.

I have a question though .. I know that the virus remains active in my environment for a long while (a year? maybe two?). I will have visitors to my apartment, which likely still harbors the virus, and they might also visit my parents` which have a beautiful, smart, beloved, though unvaccinated 17 year old cat. What is the risk?

Of course, I don`t want to take much chances, neither by passing the virus or by vaccinating unnecessarily.

Qualified suggestions, I greatly appreciate.

Thank you.
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