The distemper in cats
The number of cats with distemper has declined considerably since there are specific vaccines to prevent this disease, as well as fortunate that cats do not need walks like dogs. However, you should know that this is a very contagious disease that endangers your cat’s life, so keep reading this article from YourCatCareguide to learn more about distemper in cats .
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What is distemper
It is also known as feline panleukopenia and is a very contagious viral disease present in cats. Although the name is identical to the canine distemper virus has nothing to do, they are completely different viruses.
It is in the environment and all cats have been exposed to it at some point in their life. Vaccination is what determines whether it develops or not. This type of virus attacks and kills cells that divide very quickly (for example those in the intestine or bone marrow) without affecting the human being.
How can we get distemper
Distemper is eliminated through urine, feces or nasal secretions, so cats that come in contact with blood or some form of secretion are at risk of being infected. In cat shelters this phenomenon increases since even fleas can be carriers of distemper.
Although the cat eliminates the distemper virus within 24-48 hours, it remains present in the environment for periods of one year , so letting our cat walk around the garden may be a bad idea. The infected pregnant cats can give birth to babies with severe problems in the cerebellum.
It can also last in cages, food containers, shoes and clothing. If you have several cats you should isolate them all and go to the vet immediately.
What are the symptoms of distemper
There are several symptoms that may indicate that our cat has distemper, although the truth is that we can confuse ourselves with infections or poisoning by its direct attack to the intestines.
Remember that the later you detect it, the less chance your cat will have.
Be aware of the following symptoms :
- Apathy or sadness
- Nasal discharge
- Significant or bloody diarrhea
- Lack of appetite
One or more of these symptoms alone are already serious, so you should take your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible. At the later stage of the virus our cat will have convulsionsand even attacks himself , biting his tail or different parts of the body. These two symptoms manifest themselves in the most critical part of the disease.
Treatment of distemper in cats
It is usually the most common in cats less than 5 months old , those that have not yet been vaccinated and that may be in contact with adults.
There is no treatment of your own since no medication eliminates the virus, the medication is focused on reducing the symptoms you suffer and help you gradually expel the distemper virus. After five days, your chances of surviving increase considerably.
In general, the patient is hospitalized since there is a high risk of dying. The cat is usually hydrated with serum and antibiotics are given for infections. The affection and constant love of its owners increase the chances of our cat surviving, the stimulation always helps.
Prevention is key to preventing our cat from suffering from the distemper virus. Baby cats receive from their breastmilk a kind of immunity that will last at most 12 weeks. There are vaccines that offer protection against this virus, so if our cat is up to date with his vaccines and veterinary care we should not worry that he suffers from this problem.
Although our cat lives only in an apartment or house isolated from other cats and the outside environment, it is important to remember that it can still be infected by remnants of the virus that are lodged in shoes or clothing.
Caring for a cat with distemper
Once the veterinarian allows us to take our cat infected with distemper home, we must follow the advice and directions that give us, we must provide a totally disinfected environment and free of drafts.
- Give him plenty of clean water , forcing him to drink with a lint-free syringe if necessary.
- It is also necessary to nurture properly. It is preferable to offer you premium food that is usually more nutritious and appealing to them. Your veterinarian may recommend vitamins and supplements to you.
- Care and hygiene are fundamental and must be daily, so the cat will gradually expel the disease.
It is very important to isolate all other cats from home.
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.