Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Infectious Disease

Panleukopenia in Cats

Animals Affected – Cat

(Parvovirus Infection, Feline Distemper)

General Information
Feline distemper is a highly contagious viral disease. Although it occurs most often in kittens under 6 months of age, cats of any age may become infected. The death rate is highest in young kittens and old cats.

Signs develop 2 to 5 days after exposure to the virus. The disease runs its course in 2 to 14 days. Severe diarrhea is the most consistent sign of the disease, but fever, lack of appetite, vomiting, dehydration, and profound depression are also common. Affected cats often develop secondary pneumonia because the virus severely depresses the cat’s resistance to other illness.

Cats become infected by direct contact with an infected cat or its bodily secretions, especially feces. The virus survives in the environment for long periods, so a cat may become infected merely by visiting an area where an infected cat has been. Cats that contract the virus during pregnancy pass it to their kittens in the uterus. These kittens may be born with a brain defect.

All kittens should be vaccinated for feline distemper, and adult cats should be given yearly booster vaccinations.

An Important Update From Animal & Bird Medical Center On COVID-19

We are committed to offering a safe and healthy environment for our clients, pets and hospital team here at Animal and Bird Medical Center. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.

In being cautious and mindful of everyone’s safety, we are actively working to minimize your exposure to crowded exam rooms and long waits in the lobby.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our protocols in-hospital for the time-being…

In order to limit exposure while still providing quality care for your pet, we will be implementing special protocols to keep you safe.

We will have our veterinary technicians get a history of the patient’s symptoms and owner’s concerns via phone prior to coming into the clinic.

Our goal is for you to be able to bring your pet in for medical care but have no risk for you or our dedicated staff of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The Doctors and staff are dedicated to making sure your pet’s medical needs are taken care of during this national crisis.

We can still fill prescriptions for pick up, however, for those who prefer, non-narcotic and non-urgent prescriptions can be mailed to your home.

As always, careful hand-washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.