June 19, 2020

Learn about panleukopenia, also called feline distemper, in cats, including risk factors, signs, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Feline panleukopenia requires aggressive treatment if the cat is to survive, as this disease can kill cats in less than 24 hours. Learn about the veterinary topic of Overview of Feline Panleukopenia. (Feline infectious enteritis, Feline parvoviral enteritis) . Treatment and Prevention.

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March 23, Accepted: April 17, Published: J Vet Sci Med Diagn 6: We treamtent a successful approach for treating feline panleukopenia, a fatal and highly contagious disease. It involves recognizing the disease early though the uses of parvo test kits or low neutrophil count; applying the drug Neupogen filgrastim ; and providing antibiotics, SC fluids and other supportive therapies.

Feline panleukopenia – Wikipedia

The protocol can be done in a rescue environment with subcutaneous SC injections and SC fluids. We have had 11 cases in which we used Neupogen and 15 cases without Neupogen, with 0. Parvo test kits and prescriptions are required. Over many years of feline rescue work, I have developed a successful course of treatment for feline panleukopenia virus FPV also referred to as feline distemper.

I have encountered about 30 cases. FPV is a highly contagious, fatal feline disease that is also stubbornly persistent in the environment.

The FPV disease results in multiple deaths in rescue and shelter environments. It affects mostly unvaccinated kittens and younger cats. Poor prognosis is linked to lower leucocyte count, lower serum albumin or lower potassium in the literature [ 3 ]. Much of the success in treatment provided here is due to catching the disease in earlier stages and proceeding with aggressive treatment, including Neupogen.

Prevention through vaccine is by far the best way to handle the disease as outlined in ABCD guidelines [ 4 ]. However, we follow a more aggressive vaccination schedule for younger kittens and vaccinate at weeks of age.

The information is divided into two parts. Part I provides general instructions in treating FPV. Part II outlines case histories.

If you identify it before symptoms appear, you have excellent chance of survival. If you catch it late, when the WBC count has already dropped and symptoms are apparent, you have a very good chance as well with aggressive treatment.

They have higher numbers of cats in their study. We have had good success with even young kittens in the range of 5- 6 weeks of age. We 1 identify the disease; 2 start immediate treatment with Neupogen and an antibiotic active against e-coli gram negative ; 3 address the first stage of the disease -high fever, diarrhea, and vomiting; 4 address complications in the second phase – dehydration and high liver enzymes; and 5 minimize septicemia in the third stage. A few veterinary studies have reported using Neupogen in the feline.

Neupogen or filgrastim is a recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor rG-CSFs designed to induce early release of leukocytes, the cells which fight infections. The results from these veterinary studies were mixed at first, but seem to be converging on the result that Neupogen does increase leucocyte counts in felije feline with a variety of diseases, and in the healthy feline.

Kraft and Kuffer [ 6 ] report the puzzling result that their feline controls 6 cats had a higher rebound of WBC count than the G-CSF Neupogen treatment group 10 cats ; however, they report only losing one cat in the study.

Kuffer-Frank [ 7 ] in reverse ffline finding two authors are the same on both papers and report very good rise in WBC counts following Neupogen in the feline with FPV when compared to controls. Use of Neupogen in the feline with primary neutropenia not from an infectious agent leads to a rise in the WBC count of the feline and resolution of symptoms and treatments, which indicates the WBC count does respond to Neupogen in the feline under primary neutropenic conditions [ 10 ].


Several researchers state that in addition to increasing neutrophil counts, the administration of rG-CSF has also been shown to improve the microbicidal activity of neutrophils against geline and fungal infections in humans [ 1213 ]. Weiss lists a number of other uses for rG-CSF in the cat, including in conjunction with cancer treatments when neutropenia is present [ 14 ].

Kraft and Kuffer [ 6 ] report a good leukocyte response for parvovirus in the dog, but Mischke et al. A different version of the G-CSF is now available which is specifically for canine. It has been reported that the canine version, rCG-CSF, also panleeukopenia an increase in neutrophils in the healthy feline [ 16 ]. The advantage is that the feline does not produce antibodies to the product and it can be used longer term.

It becomes a curable disease. We have used the procedure described here or panleuoopenia others in doing so in about 15 cases and lost very few. We lost a young kitten to sudden death at weeks of age, and were easily able to save the other 3 kittens in the litter.

We just aided a rescuer whose 8 month old male feline had a WBC count of 0. Feline survivors and non-survivors with FPV with and without use of Neupogen. Signs of the Disease: Most veterinarians do not see many cases of distemper and may not recognize it early. In addition, it is difficult to panleukopeniaa it early since the symptoms overlap with other conditions and the disease progresses rapidly. One important tool is early testing using a canine parvo test kit on fecal matter [ 1819 ].

They are inexpensive, sensitive, easy to use, and will pick up cases before symptoms appear. It can be kept on hand in rescue or shelter and run when you suspect a case or have lost a cat suddenly.

The second essential tool is the use of the drug Neupogen. Experienced cat rescuers will recognize signs of full blown panleukopenia, cats crouching in front of water bowl, lethargy, fever, and diarrhea with distinctive odor. Be aggressive in treating FPV: A negative test on parvo test kit does not eliminate FPV as the cause of panleukopehia. False negatives are relatively common. False positive parvo results are not very common, however, modified live panleukopenia vaccines can result in a positive parvo test immediately following vaccination and this positive result rarely can extend up to 2 weeks after the vaccine [ 20 ].

We typically run a small blood panel pre-op with CBC and that will give indication of kidney, liver enzymes, and proteins, for other diagnostic purposes. If the feline is positive for parvo OR has a very low WBC count, felline obtain the drug Neupogen though a prescription given by a veterinarian.

If the white count is suppressed considerably or the parvo test is positive, do not wait treatjent minute, one hour, and one day. Get Neupogen and inject first dose as soon as possible. Human pharmacies dealing with cancer patients or hospital pharmacies generally have it.

Progression of the disease: Cats incur high fever, vomiting, lethargy and diarrhea, and succumb to dehydration, high liver enzymes, and later, septic shock from secondary infections, as a result of the low WBC counts.

Feline panleukopenia

If you have a sudden death of kitten or adult, suspect FPV until you know otherwise. Panleukopenia can result in the death a cat at three different stages, but if you start protecting preparing for the 3rd stage early in the process, you will increase survival rates considerably, and that is what Neupogen does. It also seems to have an immediate effect. It has been shown to stimulate the white blood cell production and appears to prevent losses due to secondary infections in the third phase.


If you can keep the kitten or cat alive for the first days after symptoms appear, the Neupogen will help prevent septic shock and bring you to a successful outcome.

To save a distemper kitty with full symptoms and low WBC count, you must be willing to care for a debilitated feline with the idea that the cat can fully recover. Giving fluids, and stopping the vomiting must be addressed.

Neupogen filgrastim dose and schedule: Give Neupogen, by direct SC injection, once a day for two to three days, then a day off and then again on the fourth or fifth day. This works well most of the time. This is a dose of about 6 mcg per kg. If you have measured the WBC count and its low, use the higher dose. The pre-loaded needle has mcg in 0. The easer-to-use packaging is a vial with mcg per 1 ml, which can more easily be drawn into sterile syringes for a cat.

The two packages differ in concentration by a factor of two. If you are unlucky enough to get the syringe with 0. The amount of fluids needed is about 3 to 4. You can subtract the volume you are able to feed. Sub-cutaneous SC fluids should be given slowly in sick animals. Limit yourself to ml in an adult at one time and scale down for kittens.

Use warm fluids 80 to 90 degrees if body temperature is degrees or below, and use room temperature RT fluids to bring higher temperature — above Deliver the fluids slowly if they are RT.

We prefer gauge 19 needles for adults and gauge 20 for kittens. Cats with low WBC counts must be given full spectrum antibiotics immediately upon diagnosis. If the temperature of the cat is low, it may require IV antibiotics. Most important is to cover e-coli pathogen, so a gram-negative antibiotic that penetrates tissues well is a good choice.

If there is a lot of vomiting, use only injectable antibiotics. We inject SC, if you are controlling the vomiting, it may be ok to use oral Clavamox with injectable Baytril. I generally find that injectable Baytril and injectable penicillin is good coverage.

Never use over 5mg per kg of injectable Baytril because it can cause blindness [ 2122 ]. If you want an extra margin of safety, inject the Baytril though IV fluid port while delivering SC fluids, to dilute it further.

We give Baytril to feline at every age and have treahment yet had tendon damage reported in young dogs [ 23 ]. Treatmfnt B12 injections 0. Vitamin B12 is more comfortable, but diluted Vitamin B-complex which is painful on injection can be used if you give slowly in IV fluid line port or inject into the fluid bubble under the skin of the cat after fluids are administered SC.

The temperature should be monitored and kept under If it gets above F, bring it down slightly with fluids or cold pack or anti-inflammatory drugs Onsoir, Metacam, or ketaprofen. A temperature of We suggest just enough feeding to keep from developing hepatic lipidosis, but not so much to induce vomiting a teaspoon to tablespoon, several times a day.

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