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Distemper in cats

Chumor in cats

Distemper in cats develops due to ingestion of an animal virus of the family Parvoviridae. The disease is widespread due to the high contagiousness and resistance of the microorganism to external environmental conditions. Unfortunately, most cases of the disease end with the death of a pet, but knowing how the pathology is transmitted, the peculiarities of its course and preventive measures, it is quite possible to save a fluffy pet.

Features of the disease

Discharge from the nostrils and eyes is one of the signs of distemper in cats and cats

Feline distemper, or panleukopenia, is a very contagious disease. The clinical picture depends on the type of the disease, but it always manifests itself with quite vivid signs. This is due to the rapid reproduction of the virus in the body, the speed of which depends more on the state of the immune system. Kittens, pregnant and weakened cats, as well as purebred pets are considered to be the most vulnerable representatives of the feline.

The virus that causes distemper in domestic cats is highly resistant to external factors. It can tolerate low and high temperatures, even heating up to + 60 C can destroy it only after 60 minutes. Disinfection preparations also cannot destroy a pathogenic microorganism, especially if they are diluted in a weak concentration.

How a cat can get distemper

There are several ways in which a cat can get infected with the plague virus. In each of them, the source is the biological secretions of an already sick animal or carrier of infection.

Infection method
Detailed description
Direct contact
A pet can "pick up" a disease during direct contact with objects with which the sick animal has been in contact. The virus can enter the house and on the owner's belongings.
Oral way
Infection with distemper will also occur in the case of eating food or drinking in which the infection has persisted.
Through the air
If a healthy cat is in the same room with an infected one, then panleukopenia cannot be avoided.
Through bites
Blood-sucking insects are able to carry the feline distemper virus.
The cat plague virus is able to overcome the placental barrier. In most cases, the fruits die before birth. If the kittens managed to be born, then in the near future (no more than two days) they're dying anyway.

Many owners are interested in whether a cat can get distemper from a dog? No, it can't. The viruses that cause plague in these animals are completely different.

How distemper manifests in cats

Cat distemper virus is capable of affecting almost all organ systems: nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive tract. The symptoms of the disease depend on which organs the microorganism managed to damage, on the possibilities of the cat's immune defense, as well as on the form of the disease, which can be of three types.

Form of the disease
Lightning Fast
Has a particularly high mortality rate, as it develops rapidly. It is observed mainly in kittens of the first year of life. The smaller the kitten, the faster it dies. The lightning-fast form is often manifested by disorders of the nervous and digestive systems.
  • Refusal of sucking, food, water
  • Apathetic state
  • Avoiding bright lights and harsh sounds (when they occur, it starts to squeak strongly)
  • Diarrhea, vomiting
  • Ruffled wool
  • Trembling in the body, convulsions
  • Paralysis
Is more common in adult cats. The incubation period is from 3 to 10-14 days. The clinical picture is diverse, depending on the number of affected organs. Basically, the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory system, and heart suffer. With timely access to specialists and competent treatment, the pet can recover. If the animal was not helped in the next 3-5 days after the symptoms appeared, it will die.
  • Apathy
  • Temperature rise to 41
  • Vomit contains impurities of blood, mucus, foam
  • Despite being thirsty, the cat refuses to drink water
  • Spots on the skin
  • Cough, wheezing
  • Discharge from the nostrils, eyes
  • Tachycardia
  • Shortness of breath, mouth breathing
  • Sunken eyes, tousled, dull coat
Is characteristic of adult mustachioed individuals, cats that have been vaccinated against distemper. The disease can occur within 1-3 weeks.
The same as in the acute form of the plague, but in a less pronounced form.

Diagnosis of distemper

If there is even the slightest suspicion of distemper, the cat urgently needs to be taken to the clinic. The veterinarian will not only examine the pet, but also send it for testing. You will need to donate blood and feces – the diagnosis is made based on the detection of virus particles using PCR. At the same time, it should be taken into account: if the cat was vaccinated before the appearance of signs of the disease, then the result of the tests may have a positive reaction.

Therapeutic measures

At the first symptoms of distemper, we recommend that you immediately contact a veterinarian

Treatment of distemper in cats includes several tasks: to destroy the virus, eliminate intoxication, prevent secondary infection, increase immunity, and so on. To combat the virus, drugs such as Vitafel, Fosprenil, Enterostat are used. The scheme of administration is prescribed by a veterinarian.

Various medications are used as symptomatic treatment of distemper in cats.

  • Sodium chloride. Distemper virus causes severe dehydration and intoxication. The body cannot cope with toxins on its own. Intravenous administration of chloride solution helps to restore the balance of water, salts, minerals.
  • As a rule, distemper in cats is accompanied by the addition of a secondary infection. To eliminate it, the veterinarian will prescribe antibacterial agents.
  • Diuretic fees. To quickly cope with toxic metabolic products and remove them from tissues and the body, decoctions of diuretic herbs and fees are used. In frequent small portions, the cat can be given a decoction of cranberries, horsetail, bearberry leaf and others.
  • If there is no vomiting, it is recommended to use Rehydrone or Ringer's solution to normalize the water-mineral balance. The daily amount of the solution is calculated based on the ratio of 5 tablespoons of liquid per 1 kg of animal weight. Glucose solution and sodium bicarbonate can be added to the diluted preparations (the proportions should be clarified with a veterinarian).
  • With pain syndrome, spasms in the digestive tract, the use of antispasmodic drugs, for example, No-shpy, is indicated.
  • To strengthen metabolic processes, improve immunity, stimulate the body to recover will help the cathode. It must be administered within 7 days.
  • The treatment complex also includes vitamin supplements, especially antioxidants A and C, vitamins of group B. It is advisable to combine their intake with preparations containing iron, for example, Ferrodextran.

Home care

Competent care at home for a cat with distemper increases the likelihood of a successful recovery. If possible, it is better to give injections by calling a doctor at home, since any stress can negatively affect the condition of the animal. If you have to visit the clinic every day, then it is better to build a basket yourself for transportation (for example, from a cardboard box) so that it can be burned later.

In the room where the cat is located, it should be warm and dry, without a through wind. Since the virus also affects the nervous system, it is necessary to provide the pet with peace and shade the bright light.

You can drink both plain water (boiled) and decoctions of medicinal herbs. Their choice should be previously agreed with a veterinarian, because some medicines and plant extracts may be incompatible. You need to feed your pet little by little, at the beginning of treatment – only broths, gradually adding porridge and chopped meat to them. It is recommended to follow a diet until full recovery.

In consultation with the doctor, it is allowed to give the cat enemas. Their composition may include herbal preparations, decoctions, antiseptics. The tray and bowls should be placed next to the animal, and the litter should be changed daily. Washing a pet during illness is not recommended.

Can other animals or humans become infected with feline distemper

Is a pet with panleukopenia dangerous for others? Cats after distemper for 4-5 months are carriers of the virus and can become its source, but only a representative of the feline can become infected. For the surrounding people and pets, a mustachioed friend does not pose a danger.

The virus, the carrier of which becomes a recovered cat, is released into the external environment with biological fluids, therefore, during the entire period of carrier, the pet should not be let out of the house. The cat itself acquires immunity to the plague for a long time, sometimes for the rest of its life.

Prevention of distemper

Do not forget about vaccination, and the risk of infection with distemper will be minimized

The most effective preventive measure of feline distemper is vaccination. Since there are currently enough vaccines, the doctor chooses at his discretion. Popular drugs are: Nobivac, Multifel, Feleniffa.

Kittens are vaccinated for the first time at 1.5-2 months, and after 3-4 weeks they are revaccinated. Subsequently, the vaccine is administered once a year.

It is possible to prevent a deadly disease if you do not let newborn kittens out into the street, prevent pets from escaping and communicating with unfamiliar family members. In addition, it is necessary to monitor the immune system of a mustachioed friend, providing the cat with full nutrition and vitamins.

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