This is Simon, a 6-month-old domestic short-hair cat (DSH). Simon suddenly started acting sluggish and then he began vomiting. His parents knew he wasn’t feeling well, so they took him into the vet’s office. There, the vet determined that Simon had panleukopenia, also known as distemper and feline parvovirus. Simon needed treatment immediately if he was going to survive this deadly disease.
Simon's parents don't have a savings, they are struggling financially, and didn't have the funds for an expensive vet bill. They were also scared because Simon has a sister, who, like Simon, was not vaccinated for distemper. They applied to Fur Kids Foundation for help, and we were able to help with the bill. We're happy to let you know that Simon was a champ through treatment and is now home, being a naughty kitten with his sister.
For those who don’t know, distemper is lethal. This highly contagious virus attacks cats’ intestines, just like the parviovirus does in dogs. Cats can get infected when they come into contact with infected bodily fluids (blood, nasal discharge, saliva, urine), feces, or fleas that have been feeding from an infected cat. It is a very hardy virus can easily be carried on shoes and human clothing into your household. This virus is resistant to disinfectant and can remain in the environment for as long as a year, waiting for an opportunity. (So, even indoor cats that are not current on Feline Distemper Vaccination can be infected.)
The virus can also be passed along by people who have not washed their hands appropriately between handling cats, or by materials such as bedding, food dishes or equipment that has been used on other cats. (Washing your hands with soap and water directly after handling any animal will minimize the chance of passing infections to healthy animals.)
Signs of feline distemper include:
• Complete loss of interest in food
• Diarrhea/blood in the stool
• Difficulty walking, weakness or loss of balance/uncoordinated movements
• Excessive sneezing and a runny nose
• Eyes are running and watery
• High fever (over 104 degrees)
• Loss of energy and excessive sleep
• Weight loss
• Withdrawl, or hiding themselves
If your pet is showing any of these symptoms, take them to the vet immediately! There is no cure for panleukopenia—and without treatment from a vet your beloved pet will die. The best way to avoid your kitten or cat getting infected is to prevent the disease with a vaccination. Kittens between the ages of two to six months are at highest risk for developing severe disease symptoms, as well as pregnant cats and immune compromised cats. In adult cats, usually occurs in mild form and may even go unnoticed. Fortunately, cats that survive this infection are immune to any further infection with this virus. If you have a kitten/cat that needs their vaccination, schedule it today.
Fur Kids Foundation is grateful for the dedication of our volunteers and supporters who have helped local families stay happy and healthy, and together! If you would like to help Fur Kids Foundation continue to help families in Campbell County, Wyoming with animals, please consider making a tax-deductible donation. The money helps families during a time when they may not be able to afford adequate veterinary care. Check out more Success Stories.
Created in November 2011, the Fur Kids Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides education and aid to promote the well-being of animals in Campbell County.
Your donation saves lives. It goes to work helping animals in Campbell County receive adequate veterinary care during a time when their family may not be able to afford it. Please contact the Foundation to learn more or donate now using PayPal.
The Fur Kids Foundation blog is written by board member and Founder Felicia. If you have ideas that you would like to see published in the blog such as concerns about pet-focused topics in the community or a funny story, please contact the Foundation. Enjoy!