All You Need to Know About Distemper in Cats

April 23, 2020

All You Need to Know About Distemper in Cats

Your cat may be infected by various diseases which may affect its health. Distemper is one of the dangerous diseases that you should make sure that your cat does not suffer from it.

There are various vaccinations that can be given to a cat to protect it from such diseases. Distemper can be kept at bay if you vaccinate your cat before being infected.

What is Distemper?

Distemper is a deadly contagious disease that is caused by various. It is also known as panleukopenia or cat plague.

Your cat can be infected by being in contact with an infected cat. The disease can be spread through infected cat’s saliva, nasal discharge, urine, faeces and blood. Distemper virus enters the cat’s body through the mouth and nose.

Kittens can distemper from the breast milk of infected mother. Distemper spreads faster during the warmer months of the year.

The disease severity can differ; some years can be better while other years can be worse. The disease can lead to the death of cats depending on the severity of the disease and the immune system of the cat. Some cats can be treated and survive. 

Other pets in the house like dogs are safe from the virus.

The virus affects cats only. Human beings are also safe, they cannot contract the disease. Pregnant cats who are infected with the distemper virus may have a stillbirth 

Distemper symptoms

  • Diarrhoea
  • Blood in stools
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Anorexia
  • Lack of appetite
  • Difficult to walk
  • Running nose and excessive sneezing
  • Discharge from eyes

Treatment

Your cat and kittens must be vaccinated against distemper disease to avoid future attacks. Your cat must be given the distemper shot yearly. The cat that is already infected can be treated.

However, the cat may continue showing symptoms even after being treated. The cat may keep on showing symptoms for 6 weeks after being treated. 

Treatment of infected cats may include use of antibiotics, Vitamin B injection, blood transfusion, anti-emetics and more. During a distemper outbreak, unvaccinated cats may be given anti-FPV serum which contains FPV antibodies.

This treatment may protect cats for 2-4 weeks.  

How to Avoid Infections

If your cat has distemper symptoms, take your cat to the vet for proper examination 

The virus can be carried by fleas, human beings, bedding, and other stuff that may come into contact with the infected cat. Disinfect those items to avoid spreading of the virus. Make sure that your health cat does not come into contact with a sick cat.

If you have a cat with symptoms of distemper, you can isolate it from other cats so that does not infect others or spread the disease.

Disinfect the areas being soiled by a sick cat to avoid infecting other pets in your home. Human beings must wash or sanitise their hands after cuddling with their cat. 

However, the virus is stubborn and it may survive for a long period of time in the contaminated areas, even after disinfecting.

Summing Up

Your cats must be protected from the distemper disease by vaccinating your lovely cats. When your cat is infected; take it to the specialists for examination and treatment.

Isolate the infected cat to avoid the spread of the disease to other cats. Ensure that the surfaces that are contacted by an infected cat are disinfected. Make sure that you feed your cat properly to boost its immune system. 

Have questions? Let us know in the comments, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can!


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