If you are a pet lover and treat your cat like your child, you need to be wary of cat distemper symptoms and take immediate action, if you see any. Known as cat distemper or Feline Panleukopenia, this disease is a nightmare for millions of cat lovers around the globe. It affects all animals belonging to the cat family, including endangered species of big cats.
However, dog lovers need not worry because this disease does not spread to man's best friend. It is quite a rampant infection, especially in cities and it spreads from cat to cat through contact with an infected animal. Nevertheless, it is not necessary that keeping a cat away from direct contact with an infected animal will do the trick.
The disease can also be contaminated through the infected animal's secretions or any article that has been previously contaminated through contact with the infected cat. Human beings are safe from Feline Distemper, but they also act as carriers of the infection.
If your hands or clothes are contaminated with secretions of the infected animal, another cat coming near you will be exposed to the disease and get infected. Fleas are also carriers of this infection. If you notice cat distemper symptoms in your dear pet, you can be rest assured that the infection has found its way into your cat's body through one of the sources mentioned above.
Since kittens do not have a highly developed immune system, they are at the receiving end of cat distemper symptoms. Thus, one needs to be extra careful when dealing with kittens because they tend to get this disease very often.
The usual cat distemper symptoms include high fever and loss of appetite. However, in some cats, vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration are also indicators of feline distemper. As soon as you notice these symptoms, you must rush to the vet because this disease is a killer. Till date, there is no specific treatment for the disease, but early detection and use of supportive fluids and antibiotics can go a long way in ensuring that the cat lives.
The best way to keep your cat safe from this deadly disease is vaccination. Kittens, sometimes, inherit a short-lived immunity from their mothers but it is nothing permanent. The first doses of the vaccine should be given when the kitten is six to eight weeks old. The vaccination needs to be repeated when the kitten is twelve weeks of age and sixteen weeks of age. This completes the dosage but an annual booster is required to ensure that the cat remains immune to the disease.
Keep your cat away from strays and other cats until its vaccination is administered properly. Even in instances where you rescue cats or bring new ones home, avoid bringing them in contact with others before vaccination. Take care of your cats and ensure that you take them to the vet immediately in case you see any cat distemper symptom.
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