Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  Panleuk Nursing Kittens

    Posted 01-10-2020 08:26 AM

    Hello everyone,

    My rescue took in about 30 cats from a hoarding case in October. The adults were in bad shape: worms, flea dermatitis, coccidia, anemia, etc. There were also two nursing mothers with four kittens each.

    The first litter was vaccinated (modified live) and separated from mama. They were healthy weight, active and eating well. They all passed away within 10 days of being away from mom and tested positive for panleuk. I thought the foster had been negligent because a kitten from a different litter was put with the others and her foster status was ended.

    Fast forward 8 weeks later. The other 4 kittens are given FVRCP, rabies, spayed/neutered and sent to new foster without mom. Healthy weight, active and eating. These kittens had been to the vet four times with their mom for treatment for diahrrea and ringworm after they were removed from the hoarding home and before they were weaned and taken from mom.

    Then again, 10 days after one of the kittens died and tested positive for panleuk. We quickly got the remaining kittens into treatment before symptoms set in.

    These kittens were never in contact with any other Panleukopenia positive cats. Their fosters were our healthy cat fosters. We only have one foster home that takes in panleuk positive cats and these kittens had never been there or even been in a carrier from that home.


    1. Did these kittens have the panleuk for their whole life? Was the mother's milk keeping them safe?

    2. Our veterinarians don't like to test for panleuk because of the false positives, but we want to catch it as quickly as possible for better outcomes. Does anyone have advice on testing?

    3. Any other advice on treatment would be great. The number of cases has increased since flooding this spring. Our home care protocol has been pretty successful with help from our veterinarians but it's still devastating to have so many cases.

    Thank you for your advice!



  • 2.  RE: Panleuk Nursing Kittens

    Posted 01-11-2020 10:43 AM

    We deal with this in TX. When it is humid and warm we seem to have more kittens and even unvaccinated adult cats get it. We think this weather keeps the virus alive and active. 


  • 3.  RE: Panleuk Nursing Kittens

    Posted 01-11-2020 10:38 PM

    I am friends with a vet who works for Tulsa Animal Welfare, and she helped me recently by sending me her panleuk protocol, after 3 of my foster kittens died very suddenly and tested positive. The remaining 3 survived and are doing good. Maybe your organizations can share experiences?


  • 4.  RE: Panleuk Nursing Kittens

    Posted 01-11-2020 10:43 PM

    On another note, I heard plasma therapy helps FPV kittens. I have not tried it (yet), but recently obtained and froze plasma from a healthy/vaccinated donor cat (my own). I would love to talk to people who have first-hand experience with plasma therapy.


  • 5.  RE: Panleuk Nursing Kittens

    Posted 01-12-2020 11:58 AM

    Hi Morgan,

    I am so sorry this is short notice, but I just saw your post.  The National Kitten Coalition has a webinar about Panleukopenia today at 3:00 PM EST, and we will be addressing a lot of your questions like the testing, treatments options etc.  Here is the link if you are interested in joining us.  I would also encourage you to pass along the registration link to your colleageues.  Unfortunately, at this time the webinar will not be available as a recording.

    Kierianne Hansen, LVT

    Educational Programs Manager

    The National Kitten Coalition



  • 6.  RE: Panleuk Nursing Kittens