Feline Parvovirus (FPV)
Feline parvovirus causes severe disease in cats, known as feline infectious enteritis (FIE) and feline panleukopenia. Except for FPV, the disease can also be cause by canine parvovirus (CPV). The virus is extremely resilient and can survive in the environment for long periods of time, presenting a source of infection for healthy cats.
Sample: Rectal swab, 0,5 ml EDTA-blood
Modes of transmission
Most cats contract Feline parvovirus from a contaminated environment via infected feces. Most cats will only shed FPV in their feces for a couple of days. Feline parvovirus can survive in the environment for up to a year and a specialized disinfectant is required to kill it.
Sings of the infection are a variable temperature, usually raised in the early stages, and low later on, vomiting, hunger and thirst with an inability to eat or drink and watery diarrhea with or without blood. If a pregnant queen is infected with Feline parvovirus, the brains of her unborn kittens may be damaged. When they are born they will have problems with their balance. At weaning they may have difficulty feeding. In most cases postnatal or fetal death occurs.
There is no cure for Feline parvovirus but if the disease is detected in time, the symptoms can be treated and some cats recover with intensive care including good nursing, fluid therapy and assisted feeding. Administration of broad spectrum antibiotics is required for preventing secondary bacterial infections.
Vaccination is the main method of prevention. Primary vaccination courses usually start at nine or eleven weeks of age. Adult cats should receive regular boosters. Good hygiene and isolation procedures of infected cats is imperative to prevent spreading this disease to other susceptible cats.
FPV infection has a high mortality rate, ranging from 25% to 90%.
Meli, M., Kipar, A., Müller, C., Jenal, K., Gönczi, E., Borel, N., Gunn-Moore, D., Chalmers, S., Lin, F., Reinacher, M., et al. (2004). High viral loads despite absence of clinical and pathological findings in cats experimentally infected with feline coronavirus (FCoV) type I and in naturally FCoV-infected cats. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 6, 69–81.