Select a Topic
What is Cat Parvo
Feline Parvovirus (FPV) is also commonly known as feline distemper. It is a very dangerous and often fatal disease that was once the leading cause of feline death. Parvovirus attacks the immune system, destroying white blood cells. Parvo inhibits proper functioning of the digestive system, preventing digestion and inhibiting the uptake of vital nutrients and liquids. It also alters the enzymes in the liver.
Parvo is transmitted by exposure to contaminated blood, feces, urine, mucous or fleas from an infected cat. It is highly contagious to non-vaccinated cats. Kittens and cats with weakened immunity are most susceptible to parvo and have the greatest risk of death. Otherwise healthy cats can survive with proper medical treatment and once they recover will have natural immunity.
Cat Parvo Symptoms
Symptoms of cat parvo include weight loss, loss of appetite, fever, severe vomiting, and foul-smelling diarrhea that may contain blood . Cats with parvo will dehydrate quickly and must receive prompt medical care to increase their chance of survival. Infected cats can be contagious for 2 to 3 days before exhibiting symptoms. Cats are often seriously ill by the time symptoms appear.
Diagnosing Cat Parvo
Immediate treatment is necessary for survival. 90% of cats left untreated will die from the disease. A vet will recognize parvo by the symptoms and will take a blood analysis to confirm. There is no cure for the disease. Supportive treatment requires hospitalization and includes intravenous treatment with electrolytes and antibiotics to prevent secondary infection due to compromised immunity.
Preventing Cat Parvo
Cats that spend time outdoors or who are exposed to other outdoor cats should be vaccinated to prevent infection. Injections are given to kittens initially between 6-8 weeks old. Follow up vaccinations are given at 12 and 16 weeks. The series of immunizations build up their immunity to fight off the infection for life.
Help for Cat Parvo
Cat parvo is resistant to most disinfectants. A water and bleach solution is the only effective way to kill it on surfaces. Cats that survive parvo can shed the virus for several weeks. The virus itself can survive in the environment for up to a year and be potent enough to infect any unprotected cats that make contact with it. The litter boxes, food and water bowls, toys, and bedding of infected cats must be destroyed or cleaned with a bleach and water solution.
Recovering cats must be isolated from any other cats in the home. Supportive care can continue at home through the use of homeopathic remedies to soothe and promote digestive health and balance bodily fluids. Homeopathic ingredients like Arsenicum alb (6C) and Zingiber (3X) can help soothe and protect the digestive system from the dangerous effects of parvo.