Feline parvovirus

What is Feline Parvovirus?

Feline parvovirus is a virus that can cause severe disease and even death in cats, particularly kittens. The disease is also known as feline infectious enteritis (FIE) and feline panleukopenia. The virus is extremely resilient and can survive in the environment for long periods of time. FPV does not affect humans or dogs but canine parvovirus can occasionally infect cats. It is believed that the feline parvovirus mutated into canine parvovirus in the late 1970s.

Which cats or kittens are at risk?

This disease can affect kittens and cats of all ages. Outbreaks are still seen in some multi-cat situations such as households with unvaccinated cats, breeders or catteries. Sadly this disease has a very high mortality rate making the risk level even higher as any cat or kitten that does contract the disease is likely to become extremely sick and die, and it is probably that they will pass the disease on to other cats and kittens they come in contact with.

Symptoms of Feline Parvovirus

Symptoms include fever, lack of appetite, bloody vomiting and diarrhoea. Affected cats often die rapidly from dehydration and massive secondary infection.

How to protect your pet

FPV hasn’t been as common as canine parvovirus in Australia and, as a result, not as many pet owners are vaccinating their cats. Having your cat vaccinated is the best way to protect your pet against Feline Parvovirus. It is important to note that pets must complete the full vaccination course to be protected against FPV. Vets urge all cat owners to get their cats vaccinated, even if they are indoors or confined to an enclosure as the virus can be transmitted from clothing and footwear.

If you are concerned about your pet please contact your veterinarian immediately.

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