Warning after outbreak of 'potentially deadly' cat virus in Derby

This post first appeared on Derby Telegraph. Read the original article.

A Derby vet has said it has seen a number of reported cases of a potentially deadly virus for cats.

Saint Leonard Veterinary Centre said cat owners need to be made aware of the symptoms of feline panleukopenia virus (or FPV), which is also known as feline enteritis.

And the RSPCA has also said pet owners need to be aware of the importance of vaccinations as the disease can prove fatal.

Cat Carter, from Saint Leonard vets, in Osmaston Road, said the practice had seen “several reports of feline enteritis in Derby” recently.

Several cases of feline enteritis have been reported in Derby

Several cases of feline enteritis have been reported in Derby

Petwebsite.co.uk says FPV is an extremely serious, highly contagious viral disease with symptoms appearing within 10 days after infection that can then lead to death within three to five days of symptoms occurring.

The disease is spread through contact with an infected cat, its equipment and can also be carried by humans on their clothes and footwear that has had contact with the cat, its equipment or living area that may be contaminated with the disease.

The main symptoms are high fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, depression, low appetite, abdominal pain and severe dehydration that can lead to death.

It says kittens are highly vulnerable to the virus as their immune systems are underdeveloped and most often die.

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Intensive veterinary treatment can be given to adult cats and treatment can consist of re-hydration, antibiotics, blood transfusions and vitamin supplements. Any infected cat must be placed in strict isolation and protective clothing must be worn, hands washed thoroughly after handling, etc to avoid the spread of the disease.

FPV can be prevented by vaccination. Two vaccines are required initially with kittens normally vaccinated at nine and 12 weeks of age and then booster vaccinations should be repeated annually.