Signs of distemper in cats: symptoms and how to treat

Viral diseases – the scourge of our time. They come suddenly, sometimes out of nowhere, and at the lack of attention causes serious complications that represent a serious threat not only health, but also the patient’s life.

Not all know that cats are also susceptible to viral diseases as humans, including feline panleukopenia, viral enteritis or in people’s interpretation of the distemper.

Feline distemper is a fairly common viral disease, the final common outcome of which is the death of a pet.

This disease is characterized by strong resistance both to low and high temperatures. The causative agent of this viral infection is parvovirus, which can persist in the environment more than 1.5-2. If you do not start reading it in a timely manner, the disease is, as already mentioned, will kill your pet.


The symptoms of distemper in cats appear quickly but the incubation period of the disease lasts from 2 to 10 days. After this time, begin to occur the first clinical signs.

It is difficult to imagine their particular list, as they vary greatly depending on:

  • the age of the cat,
  • the degree of pathogenicity of the pathogen,
  • immunity from the ill animal, and so on.

Therefore, we only mention some of the most characteristic features:

  • the behavior of a sick animal and suddenly changes significantly.
  • pet hiding in secluded places,
  • the temperature rises,
  • often a dry hot nose,
  • at a temperature are looking for a cool place
  • hunched over, sitting in a dark place,
  • can lie with his head thrown back and outstretched paws,
  • Pets have lymph nodes enlarged,
  • if the cat is already of age, the disease may cause her pulmonary edema, which is characterized by moist rales when breathing.
  • cats often sit above the water for long periods of time and not drink it.

The last symptom in the list is that, despite the fact that the body of the cat is very dehydrated and requires fluid replenishment, the animal is unable to drink because of the typical symptoms of abdominal pain. It is called fluid and accumulated toxinsthat jostle the intestines and cause the painful feelings. In connection with the dehydration cat begins to lose weight. Regardless of age, Pets may fall into a coma, which may be accompanied by convulsions.


Least likely at risk of infection with distemper get healthy and young cats under the age of six years. This should digit statistics. However, with time and maturation of the protective potential of the body of the animal are exhausted, which leads to the fact that cats age 6-8 years old are most at risk for this viral infection.

This group are also still quite young (under one year). In this period of time, the body of a kitten are still weak and can not resist the action of the virus of this dangerous disease.


Often infection of pregnant cats. This is due to natural causes of low immunity in connection with the cherished offspring. In the end, babies are born viable. Feline panleukopenia can also cause miscarriage in cats, as well as mummification or resorption in the womb of the fetus.

Old individuals

Also often sick after old cats. The body becomes unable to offer sufficient resistance to the onslaught of the disease.

Diagnosis of the disease

Distemper in cats symptoms and treatment which should be fully under the control of the specialist assumes a high level of awareness of responsibility for the life and health of its master. In the case of tracking the health of a pet is invalid and self-initiative. Even if your pet entire set of these symptoms, to diagnose feline distemper is only entitled to a veterinarian. Remember that overconfidence may cause death of your pet. Diagnosis is not enough to identify the symptoms. Must pass the appropriate tests, and correctly read them.

To identify the true causes of the symptoms of distemper will need to take the analysis of blood, urine and feces of the animal. In some cases, doctors may resort to the study and nasopharyngeal flushing.

By the way, a stool sample can detect the presence of the virus feline panleukopenia even on the first day of the disease. So, if you have unfounded suspicions about the serious health disorders of your pet, you should seek the advice of experienced specialists who recommend in such cases, immediately contact the veterinary clinic for early detection of the reasons for using tests.

How is distemper in cats

Every cat, regardless of age, breed, gender, place and conditions of detention, may be at risk. A carrier of the parvovirus may be the man himself. People are not susceptible to this infection. However, a person can bring her into the house on shoes together with particles of the earth. If the cat is a lot of time spends on the street, the risk of Contracting this disease increases.

Recently recover from distemper cat some time also transmit the virus. A healthy animal can be infected through contact with the saliva of recently former cats. This may be enough to drink from the same bowl with him, or even just to smell the feces of an infected animal recently.

Passing on the grass or the ground, where he went before the carrier of the virus, the cat has all chances to get sick.

On the above it is easy to conclude that it is not necessary to have close contact with the pet to make him sick. In the house where he lived or was visiting sick cat, virus may persist from six months to a year. In this regard, if there is the death of the animal, to get another pet, it is advisable after this time period. Unfortunately, to destroy the virus feline distemper is not possible by any disinfectants.

What is distemper in cats

Ignoring this disease is very difficult. She comes quickly and the contrast becomes particularly evident that with an animal there is something wrong.

Panleukopenia can have several different forms.

  1. Lightning (super acute).
  2. Sharp.
  3. Subacute.
Lightning form

This form of distemper most often occurs in young individuals. In cats the symptoms occur mainly in the noticeable weakness and lethargy, every minute, significantly increases. The pet’s body begins to decline, and he refuses to eat and drink. One of the notable characteristics is that the coat of the pet instantly gets dirty and sticky.

If the virus has infected more nervous system, the kitten begins to thrash from side to side. It tries to find a dark secluded place, is showing signs of photophobia. Because of this behavior inexperienced owners often confuse the distemper virus with the rabies virus.

The disease develops further, so: the animal almost all the time and is not responding to any external stimuli.

These are the first signs of distemper. In cats in cases of heavy flow, the disease can cause vomiting with foam yellow, and foul-smelling bloody diarrhea.

Super acute form of distemper flow will require the owner assemetrical treatment to the vet in the first couple of hours.

The acute form of the flow distemper

This form of course of the disease distemper is characteristic mainly for adult cats.

Symptoms of course of this form of the disease sufficiently pronounced to ignore them can be difficult.

  1. At first onset of the disease, the animal refuses to eat, almost all the time is in the supine position, can always sleep and do not respond to external stimuli.
  2. There is vomiting of yellow-green diarrhea bright colors.
  3. The temperature either drops to 37 or rises to 41 degrees.
  4. In 48 hours, vomiting may begin to show spotting.

The disease can lead to serious complications. If any comes, it suffers mainly the cardiovascular system.

It will be noticeable on such grounds:

  • dry cough,
  • wheezing in the chest,
  • possible suffocation,
  • sick pet can start to breathe open mouth.

Sometimes there is discharge from the eyes and nose. The eyes become red, the nose becomes hot and dry. On the skin appear purple spots, in some cases, there may be pus formation.

The cat will constantly wish to drink, but to fill the fluid balance in the body it will not work, as this will prevent spasms in the larynx.

To recover from distemper independently, without recourse to the vet and out of the disease healthy almost impossible. However, if such a miracle did happen, we can safely assume that you are lucky. While the surviving cats for many years will developed immunity to the disease.

If the animal is not killed within three or four days, the chances of recovery is significantly increased. There are rare cases when the distemper is virtually asymptomatic. But then the pet 2 or day killed. In this regard, one should not expect a miracle of self-healing, and immediately take the pet to a veterinary clinic for professional assistance. Otherwise, the animal will simply die.

The subacute form of the flow distemper

The subacute form of occurrence of this virus is typical for adults who have a strong immune system. In exceptional cases, this form may occur in vaccinated animals and healthy elderly cats.

In the subacute form of distemper in cats symptoms that are identical to the symptoms of acute course of disease lasts 1-3 weeks. While the disease is not so acute, and the chances of a favorable outcome, i.e., recovery, is very high.

Treatment of distemper

To date, such diseases as distemper, threatens almost every household pet. Treatment of cats aimed at helping the animal to pet was able to cope with the disease themselves. There is no special designed wonder drug. In this regard, the treatment of distemper in cats will be able to competently carry out only a veterinary surgeon and only after careful examination of the patient and the test results.

Based on a complex set of factors (the severity of the disease, symptoms, age of cats, the disease and the individual characteristics of the animal), the doctor will be able to pick up individual treatment. If you have no special medical training, you should start to engage in independent action based on the information from even professional sources. For your pet only answer you have to understand that in the case of misinformation, and as a result, errors in treatment, no one will bear any responsibility. And your pet may die.

Fragmented and incomplete information on the treatment of the animal from distemper and actions according to this information can cause in the animal a backlash to aggravate the disease.

Moreover, almost always the treatment of feline panleukopenia is in the hospitals by injection of drugs through a statement droppers.

Against dehydration, intoxication, as well as to restore the balance of cellular metabolism in clinics used medications that contain salt, glucose, vitamins and minerals , as well as antibiotics and sometimes the means to stimulate immunity. There are cases where to defeat the disease obtained through gastric lavage.

The healing process may take 1-2 weeks. It is important to take the entire course, prescribed by a veterinarian, to the end, even if the cat looks healthy. The treatment process must be monitored by a specialist to be able to timely adjust the medication.

Let’s summarize.

  1. To prevent infectious diseases their Pets, every year to carry out vaccination activities.
  2. It is advisable in parallel with vaccination against distemper to give an injection and rabies.
  3. If the animal is still dead, then to have another pet only a year later, however, he must be vaccinated against distemper.
  4. If the house is home to a few cats, and one of them got sick, the other on Pets should be promptly vaccinated to avoid infection.
  5. Symptoms of distemper can be easily confused with other similar diseases, so self-diagnosis is invalid.
  6. In no case should not self-medicate. It is necessary at the first suspicious signs to contact your veterinarian.

By following these simple rules your beloved pet for many years will delight you with its stunning society.

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