Feline Distemper (Panleukopenia) – AKA Panlu
Feline panlu is a highly contagious viral illness that affects cats. The symptoms can be similar to those seen in dogs with parvo (see our other blog on this) so this disease is sometimes called feline distemper. Common symptoms include vomiting and diarrhoea (often with signs of blood) as well as dehydration, weight loss, high fever, depression, loss of appetite and lethargy.
Panlu in young unvaccinated kittens is usually fatal. Most kittens under 11 weeks of age have some residual protection against the virus due to the temporary immunity passed to them through their mother’s milk. But after that time, and until about 16 weeks of age when their immune system is fully functional, many will die if exposed to the virus.
Panlu is spread via contact with faeces or bodily fluids of infected animals. Cats are dedicated groomers, so any virus that comes in contact with its fur is soon ingested as the cat grooms itself.
Recently there have been a number of reported parvovirus incidents within the UAE, with cats contracting this virus becoming very ill and some dying. Please ensure all of your pets are appropriately vaccinated to protect against such illnesses. If you suspect you or your pet has been around an infected animal contact your vet to discuss immediately.
Please do your research and speak to your vet if you have any questions or concerns about your cat or this virus.