What is it?
• Feline Parvovirus (FPV), commonly named Feline Distemper (Feline Panleukemia), is a highly contagious disease in young or unvaccinated cats.
• It is shed in all body secretions.
• This virus affects the cells in the intestinal tract, bone marrow, and in the stem cells of the developing fetus.
• Kittens between the ages of 2 and 6 months are at highest risk for developing severe disease, as well as pregnant and immune compromised cats.
• The feline parvovirus is not communicable to dogs, nor vice versa (similarly, Feline Distemper is unrelated to Canine Distemper).

What causes it?
• Transmission occurs through contact with other infected secretions (urine, feces, blood).

• It can also be transmitted through the mother’s placenta to the fetus or through the milk of the infected mother.
• The feline parvovirus is resistant to disinfectant and can remain in the environment for a long time.
• Most cats greater than 1 year of age are immune because of prior subclinical infection or vaccination.
• Adult cats may show no signs.
• Kittens could die within 12 hours.
• Symptoms include fever, depression, lack of appetite, vomiting, weight loss, diarrhea, depression, and dehydration.
• Infection in pregnancy can lead to fetal reabsorption, infertility, or stillbirth.
• Brain abnormalities can occur in kittens that have been exposed prior to birth. 

What tests are needed?
• A complete blood cell count will show a severe decrease in white blood cells, and possibly anemia or decreased platelet count.
• Blood biochemistry profiles may show liver inflammation, altered kidney function, or electrolyte imbalances.
• Fecal tests may be positive for the virus, but false positives or false negatives may occur.
• Other tests may be needed to rule out other conditions.

How is it treated?
• There is no specific antiviral therapy for FPV.
• Medications that decrease vomiting, stomach acid, and treat secondary infections may be administered.
• For severe anemia, blood transfusions may be necessary.
• Kittens that are vomiting or have severe diarrhea should not be fed until they show no symptoms for 12-24 hours, and then small amounts of water and bland food are given.

What follow up care is needed?
• If the cat recovers, they will be immune for life.
• Precautions should be taken to prevent infection of other cats, because the virus can be shed for up to six weeks after treatment ends.
• Recovery may take several weeks.


What is it? 
• Canine Parvovirus (CPV) is very contagious and primarily causes a gastrointestinal condition.
• It can be prevented by regular vaccination.

What causes it?
• CPV is concentrated in the feces of animals.
• It persists in the environment regardless of many conditions.
• It is very resilient and can be carried on inanimate objects.
• Transmission most commonly occurs by ingestion through swallowing of the virus.
• Symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
• Fever may be present and animals can become quickly dehydrated.
• In very rare cases when the heart is affected, CPV can cause sudden death.

What tests are needed?
• A complete blood cell count early in the onset of the disease will show a serious decrease in white blood cells, and possibly anemia or decreased platelet count.
• Blood biochemistry profiles may show evidence of liver inflammation, altered kidney function, or electrolyte imbalances.
• Abdomen x-rays will help rule out other gastrointestinal ailments.
• Specific tests for parvovirus can be done on fecal samples.

How is it treated?
• Suspected cases should be kept away from other animals.
• Supportive treatment is necessary, often with intravenous fluids and possibly medications to reduce vomiting or plasma transfusions.
• Intensive therapy is needed for dogs that develop sepsis (occurs when bacteria normally limited to the gastrointestinal tract are released into the bloodstream).
• Food and water are withheld until vomiting and diarrhea have ceased for 12-24 hours.

What follow up care is needed?
• Recovered dogs usually have long-lasting protection from reinfection.
• To maintain immunity, regular vaccinations are recommended.
• Prognosis is poor for dogs with sepsis, but otherwise dogs that survive the first 2-4 days of treatment completely recover.