Parvovirus is capable of causing a serious illness known as panleukopenia or feline infectious enteritis. This is characterized by presenting an acute picture of vomiting and diarrhea. It is similar to parvovirus in dogs.
It is an emergency that should make us go to the vet without loss of time. The prognosis, which depends on multiple factors , is reserved. There is no specific antidote available. That is why we must focus on prevention.
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What is feline parvovirus?
Parvovirus is a type of virus that multiplies in the cells of the gastrointestinal tract . Hence, among the symptoms that it causes, vomiting and diarrhea stand out, which may contain blood.
This clinical picture usually presents acutely. The intense loss of fluids leads the animal to rapid dehydration . That is why veterinary intervention is necessary. The admission of the patient to the veterinary center is common.
It is a very contagious virus between cats, it is excreted in any body secretion and is capable of causing high mortality. Sick cats must be kept isolated and, if we have more at home, we must disinfect ourselves well and change clothes after handling the sick.
Which cats is most affected by parvovirus?
As in dogs, parvovirus is a disease that occurs most often in younger, unvaccinated kittens . This is because your immune system has not yet matured enough to resist the virus. This does not mean that an adult cat cannot get the disease.
These specimens can get sick, but it is less common. In addition, when contracting parvovirus, the clinical picture is usually milder. This fact improves your chances of recovery. If a pregnant cat becomes infected, the kittens, if they survive, will be born with severe coordination problems.
Symptoms of parvovirus in cats
Although an infected cat can show various symptoms based on its body and immune system, these are the most common symptoms:
- Profuse diarrhea that may contain blood.
- Fever, but hypothermia in the most severe kittens.
- Jaundice, which is the yellowing of the mucous membranes.
Is there a treatment to cure parvovirus?
Parvovirus requires veterinary attention. There is no home remedy to cure it. In mild cases, the professional can prescribe treatment to administer at home. But the most serious cats are going to need to be admitted. This is due to dehydration, which, by itself, can cause death, since, when vomiting, the medication must be intravenous .
Otherwise it will not be effective. There is nothing that can be done about this virus in the body. But that does not mean that it is an incurable disease. Against parvovirus, what is called a supportive treatment is followed. The vet will prescribe fluid therapy to keep the cat hydrated.
Also drugs to control symptoms and prevent the development of secondary infections that can take advantage of the weakened state of the cat to emerge. Thus, antibiotics, antiemetics and even blood transfusions are used . Some cats may need to be tube fed.
How to feed a cat with parvovirus
Since the digestive system is mainly affected and having suffered intense vomiting and profuse diarrhea, it is normal for the cat not to eat. But, as soon as the veterinarian controls the vomiting, we must try to make the animal regain its appetite . For this we can use wet food specially formulated for convalescent cats .
This is characterized by its high palatability, digestibility and great energy intake. In this way, even consuming a small amount, its use is guaranteed. In addition, its texture is so smooth that it can be mixed with a little water to form a porridge that can be offered to the cat with a syringe.
Of course without a needle, we will give you a small amount, carefully, always from the side of the mouth. Another option is homemade food . Cooked turkey, chicken or ham, as well as tuna or sardines are suitable products to encourage the cat to eat. Offering them tempered and in small doses every little time will help the cat to whet its appetite.
Can feline parvovirus be prevented?
The function of the treatment is to try to keep the cat alive and in the best conditions for the time necessary for its own immune system to be able to control the parvovirus. Therefore, a cat contracting pparvovirus poses a considerable risk to its life. The prognosis will depend on your health, age, virulence of the virus, initiation of treatment, etc.
Therefore, rather than relying on the treatment of the disease once it has come forward, the important thing is to focus efforts on its prevention. For this , a very effective vaccine has been developed that can be administered to kittens in the first months of life . The vaccine presents the treated virus in such a way that it cannot trigger the disease.
- Recommended vaccines for kittens
Thus, the kitten’s immune system creates defenses against it. If you come into contact with the virus, your body will be able to respond quickly, so that the parvovirus does not develop or does so in a very mild way. Annual revaccinations are recommended to maintain protection.
Elimination of parvovirus from the environment
If we have had a cat with parvovirus at home, prevention to prevent other cats from being infected involves disinfection of the environment , in addition to vaccination. Parvovirus is resistant in the environment. It survives a year.
To eliminate it, all objects and surfaces that have been in contact with the sick cat must be thoroughly cleaned. It is recommended to use an enzymatic detergent and then a 1:30 dilution of bleach in water, which is left to act for 10 minutes.