Cats, however, like other pets, are prone to many diseases. Some of them will help to avoid timely vaccinations. Some of the viruses can be fatal to pets. For example, cat distemper or viral enteritis. At the same time, there is no danger of panleukopenia in cats for humans. No matter how terrible this disease is for a cat, it poses no threat to humans.
When deciding to purchase a pet, a person must really evaluate that this is not a toy, but a living creature, he is now responsible for the cat’s health, and he also needs care.
Even if it is assumed that the cat will live in the house, it will not protect it from many diseases. Because viruses can be brought from the street, even on the sole of shoes by humans. And this, unfortunately, cannot be avoided in any way.
A disease such as panleukopenia does not pose a threat to the health of the cat owner. But for the animal itself it can become fatal. As a preventive measure, timely vaccinations are necessary. A vaccinated animal, even if it becomes ill, will suffer a mild illness.
What is this virus
The panleukopenia virus is parvovirus. And the name suggests that the disease can be large-scale in precisely this is the danger of the panleukopenia virus. And part of the word leukopenia indicates damage to the blood of the animal, namely, a catastrophic decrease in white blood cells occurs in the blood.
Parvovirus is a small DNA fragment, usually parvoviruses are species-specific, i.e. one species of animals is affected. Together with cats, the virus infects minks and raccoons. Dogs suffer from a disease similar in symptoms, they have a similar virus that causes parvovirus enteritis.
It follows that for cats, panleukopenia is a very dangerous disease, but this virus cannot infect humans and dogs.
Since panleukopenia is a highly contagious disease, it is quite simple to get infected. At the initial stage, the disease can be transmitted by airborne droplets. Then, up to 14 days, the virus can be in the feces of a sick animal and this is another way of transmission. Especially dangerous is the disease for street cats and cats in places of their mass congestion. But even if the cat is completely domestic, the virus can be brought from the street by a person.
Cats most often become infected:
- In contact with a sick animal. Panleukopenia virus contains: saliva, discharge from the nose and eyes, cat feces.
- During contact with objects used by a sick cat: bowls, deck chairs, toys and other things.
- Just being in the same room where the sick cat was. The virus is able to persist indoors for a long time.
- Skidding home from the street on the sole of shoes, clothes, paws of dogs.
The effect of the virus on cats
For cats, panleukopenia is a very dangerous disease. Once in the body, its active introduction and reproduction in the gastrointestinal tract begins, lymphoid tissue, bone marrow suffer, white blood cells are destroyed, without which no living organism can function normally. If a pregnant cat becomes infected, the panleukopenia virus will also penetrate the placenta, adversely affecting future offspring. The danger of infection threatens to become a miscarriage or the birth of a sick offspring. If kittens are infected, then most often, in 90% of cases, the offspring do not survive. If the animal was vaccinated in a timely manner, then the disease proceeds in a mild form with a favorable prognosis.
Panleukopenia in cats is diagnosed based on the symptoms listed. A specialist, analyzing a detailed story about a cat's well-being, can compare the symptoms and draw the appropriate conclusions. To avoid a diagnostic error, when contacting a veterinarian, you will need to take a urine, feces, blood test.
A blood test will show a reduced white blood cell count, ESR may be increased. If the white blood cell count is below 2-109/ l we can speak of an unfavorable prognosis. Also, the doctor suggest taking virological tests. Using the ELISA method, one can determine by blood whether there are antibodies to the panleukopenia virus. When using the PCR method, stool fragments are taken and see if there is a virus in the material.
However, not for all animals the ELISA method will be informative. In the event that a cat has already suffered panleukopenia in her life or has recently been vaccinated against this disease, antibodies will be shown in her blood.
Threat to man, truth or myth
Not all cat owners have a veterinarian education, and are well versed in the intricacies of medicine. Therefore, you can often hear that the disease panleukopenia of cats is dangerous for humans. This is a myth, this is not true and a person has no reason to be afraid of this deadly disease for cats.
Therefore, having received the diagnosis of panleukopenia in a cat, you need to discard fears and panic, soberly reason and consider a plan for saving your pet. In many cases, a cat can be helped.
What can a cat owner do to help her recover faster:
- It is natural to think about such a disease before acquiring it and to do timely vaccinations. They will help to transfer the disease easier if it could not be avoided.
- You can’t leave the animal to its own devices, justifying that the disease is dangerous and threatened the life of the family. This is not true. This virus is not afraid of any of the people, the danger of the panleukopenia virus for humans is contrived.
- The cat should be taken to the veterinarian as soon as possible, be tested and receive treatment recommendations. Treatment must be strictly observed and the number of days that is indicated in the recommendations, even if the cat is better.
- Provide the cat with a clean, dry place where she will undergo treatment.
- Provide the animal with medicines. They are prescribed by the doctor, depending on the situation.
Important! 4-5 days from the onset of the disease are considered critical. If the cat survived these days, then we can say that her body will cope with the virus. Otherwise, death occurs.