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Animal Shelter problem

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm a cattery manager in an animal shelter, and we're having a HUGE problem with FP. (feline distemper). I'm bleaching and scrubbing and washing my hands and giving supportive care (force feeding, sub Q fluids, and antibiotics.) Any other tips I can use? It is virulent and it seems I cannot win. Even some vaccinated cats have passed. This is really awful.
post #2 of 20
You may need a stronger antibiotic or a different one,or a combination. Is everyone in the facility washing their hands? Do you have a bleach pan for shoes? Is all the bedding being bleached as well as toys? Walls, floors, door and doorknobs, light switches, food dishes?
I'm not sure what else you can do. If it is killing cats that have been vaccinated it may be a new strain and there may not be much you can do!
I hope someone else here can give you better advice...
I'll say a prayer for you all!
post #3 of 20
Most disinfectants will not work against this. The best you can do is chlorine bleach in water. one cup bleach per gallon of water. Pitch out old litter boxes, bring in new ones, scrub them out three times a day (if able) don't leave old litter in the boxes- I know very spendy.....but perhaps a plea to some of the alumni cat lovers in the community or a letter written to the local grocery store or pet mart might allow you to get in more litter temporarily.

I am sorry you are battling this, and losing so many wonderful cats under your care. It's heart-breaking.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Bedding gets bleached, as well as shoes, we've got a wonderful vet working with us, and even she's saying it looks grim. As it is, I'm caring for all the cats in the building, I can't rely on my staff to disinfect properly. It's a sin, isn't it? At least someone out there's pulling for us! Thanks!! It's the emotional support that really helps in a situation like this. thank you all in advance!!!!
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
We're using the Clorox mix, and the disposable litterpans, when our director... ahem... gets them from backorder, otherwise we're stuck with plastic, and I HATE plastic. Bowls, boxes, you name it, all I see is GERMS!!!
post #6 of 20
We used to uses the bleach/water mixture and I think it's great.
Do you use the bleach on everything, kennels, feeding bowls litter boxes etc.
Whatever you clean everyone has to be VERy thouroug, you can't miss a little spot on a food bowl. And make sure you rinse the food bowls well. A lot of the other workers or volunteers failed to do that at one place.

You can also bring a change of clothes an invest in a spray bottle of lysol. Every time when one of us would work with a sick animal, in addition to washing our hands/arms, we would spray ourselves down with those cans of lysol disinfectant. And we would also change our clothes before we went home to our own animals.

Sometimes these things just happen. The human society I was at was very clean and modern specially for the area! But we still had a lot of outbreaks and lots a lot of cats.

Is this your quarenteen area where this is happening or everywhere?

Oh also, the dollar store has steal bowls, go pick some up at least for the animals in quaranteen. I don't trust plastic either, specially not plastic litter boxes!
post #7 of 20
I am sooo sorry to hear about this - we had a severe outbreak at the shelter near me a few months ago and we had another case just recently, however quite contained this time.

Instead of plastic litter pans the shelter where I volunteer uses card board boxes. You know the kind of card board bottoms that beer cans come in at the liquor store as well as canned catfood at the pet store. They are free and actually quite sanitary since they whole thing gets discarded once a day!

My prayers go out to you and your shelter babies.

post #8 of 20
One more thing. Once vaccinated it will take 2 weeks before the vaccination becomes a protection for the kitties. That means that if a just vaccinated cat is put into situation where distemper is prevelant there is no guarantee the vacination will help - maybe that is the reason some of your "vaccinated cats" are not making it.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
I tried telling my director about the vaccine thing, I know it, and he won't listen to me. It's so hard when they come into a shelter with no previous experience. Everything should be vaccinated the day after it's evaluated and BEFORE it's moved, but he's silly. *sigh* My cats on fluids are improving a little, lets all hope together. They're being force fed and hate it, but I can't give up now. They've been through so much.
post #10 of 20
Wow my heart goes out to you, I have to commend you for taking such good care of those kitties! Someone mentioned not using a plastic litter box. Other than card board what other material litter boxes are available? Just curious if there was something better out there than what I'm using. I'm also trying to keep all my kitty's stuff extra clean because they have the potential of developing FIP (2 litter mates died with it), so I'm trying to keep their immune systems as healthy as possible, and keep germs from being spread between the 2 of them.
post #11 of 20
The shelter I mentioned just cancelled any cat adoptions since they have another outbreak of something.

They don't know if this is distemper, distemper with a secondary virus, or something else entirely. There are actually several possibilites and they are currently running some tests to narrow them down. They are also in the process
of changing their cleaning solution (bleach & Water) to something more effective. Bleach & Water alone only disinfects but does not clean. They are also considering to perhaps change the type of vaccines they use and their booster schedule.

I'll keep you informed as to the results of the tests - maybe that can also help your babies.

By the way - where are you located?

Prayers and positive vibes to you and yoru babies.

post #12 of 20

About your litterbox question try and get a large pan made from Stainless steel, if they'll use it.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
The kitties use the stainless fine. I've gotten everyone in quarantine updated with all shots and worming, I need to do our intake room tomorrow. It should have been done ages ago. But nobody died today, even my cats on fluids. There's hope!
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
FIP will only be spread through blood transfer or sexual contact, so you have a chance there (not like feluk)! We use plastic or stainless steel litterpans if we don't have the disposable cardboard ones on hand.. I guess they're on backorder.. We have one old woman who does our dishes through the green thumb program, but he does not soak them for twenty minutes in bleach water, so the germs still spread.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
We are in New Jersey. Southern. We're currently being sued, so I don't want to say exactly what shelter.
post #16 of 20
That's ok, I understand, just wanted to see if we are in the same region - it now seems that he distemper out-break is covering quite a large portion of the state. Don't know about Northern Jesey. I'll keep you posted about the test results as soon as I know more and I would appreciate the same.

.YEAH YEAH good to here that your babies are hanging in!!!! I don't know how you do it you are a saint!
post #17 of 20
That's interesting...all the reports I've read about FIP says that FECV which develops into FIP can be spread via feces and saliva.
post #18 of 20
I also was told by my vet that FIP is easily spread because the virus can live outside of the cat for several weeks. This means that other cats can become infected from litter boxes, food & water dishes, carpeting, clothing, etc. She suspects that my 6 month old kitten is in the early stages of FIP, and recommended that I separate him from my other cat.
post #19 of 20
Another litter pan idea--those disposable aluminum turkey-size roast pans. There might be some of them on sale now that the Holidays are over. Also, metal cake pans from thrift stores.
post #20 of 20

Just curious as to what symptoms your 6 month old is showing that makes your vet suspect FIP. I've been watching my 7 month old and would like any tips you have on what to watch for.
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