Panleukopenia is a contagious disease that can infect both cats and dogs.
This highly contagious infection causes a decrease in white blood cells and can cause a whole host of issues including gastrointestinal, nervous system, and immune system problems.
Thankfully, this disease can be vaccinated against and antibodies can be passed on from a mother to her kittens which is known as passive immunity.
Infected cats spread the virus in almost every way possible, including in their faeces, vomit, mucus, and saliva.
Most cats that become clinically ill from panleukopenia are kittens under 1 year of age. Sadly, for this age there is a high mortality rate and sudden death can occur.
The main symptoms include:
Due to the contagious nature of this disease, any cat with suspected or diagnosed panleukopenia should be kept in isolation to avoid the spread of the infection to other animals.
This condition can be aggressive and sometimes causes sudden death within 24 hours. This means it requires aggressive treatment immediately, if the cat is to survive.
If you suspect that your cat is suffering from Panleukopenia or may have been exposed, you should contact your veterinary clinic immediately for advice, particularly if your cat hasn’t been vaccinated.