I'm sorry if this has been handled elsewhere ~ I don't see any posts or resources that address this issue.
I volunteer in a resource-poor program in the tiny Balkan country of Montenegro. There are gazillions of community cats, and people are beginning to invest more time and love into caring for them (they don't have money). There are NO shelters, rescues, foster homes...
We have a mixed colony of adult cats and kittens that were dumped over the summer. Some people discovered them and started feeding. There is suddenly a great deal of sickness killing the kittens that sounds like panleukopenia. When kittens were taken to a local vet, he didn't give a diagnosis but said to "give them water".
Does anyone have recommendations for supportive care and treatment within a "colony" environment? I would love to share information with a nearby partner vet to see if we can help the feeders feel supported and the remaining cats and kittens suffer less, and perhaps survive.
We have vaccines available... for cats and kittens that appear healthy and aren't running a temp. does it make sense to use these? The vets in this country need guidance, as they just recently started working with "street cats".
Sorry to hear you are dealing with this awful disease. Hopefully something in here may help?
Shelter Diseases -Prevention and Management - PDF.pdf U.C. Davis also has some good resources and trustworthy info.
Thank you so much, Amber! Yes, this is a great resource, and it's on our list for translation to provide to vets, foster homes, and community caretakers. The better the understanding of panleuk and it's spread, the more successful we'll all be in preventing it!
I'm flying over tomorrow with 2 new box traps, each holding a gallon of Rescue and a container of Rescue wipes, as I've noticed that nobody uses bleach effectively. I've tried to get the one importer licensed for importing "chemicals" to import some accelerated hydrogen peroxide (Accel) from Europe, but so far no luck. The market is just too small . Fingers crossed that the box of traps and Rescue aren't held up along the route will enter the country smoothly!
------------------------------April KingVolunteer and Board MemberKotor Kitties+1 206 407 5336http://www.kotorkitties.org------------------------------
------------------------------amber dennisonOriginal Message:Sent: 10-01-2023 11:37 AMFrom: April KingSubject: Panleukopenia in cat colony
#Medicine,SurgeryandSterilization------------------------------April KingVolunteer and Board MemberKotor Kitties+1 206 407 5336http://www.kotorkitties.org------------------------------
Oh my April, how heartbreaking and tragic. Panleuk is a horrible and nasty disease even when a kitten is under full time care and observation. I lost two of my own fosters to panleuk and was able to save two siblings...but it was touch and go for two weeks. From what I understand it's basically therapeutic treatment for the symptoms while their bodies fight off the virus. We used over the counter famotidine (pepcid) for upset tummys, unflavored electrolytes in the water, scrambled eggs and forti flora for easily digestible high protein food and probiotics. I'm not sure what food options there are where you are, but eating and drinking are critical to recovery. As for those not showing signs, I would think a vaccine would be warranted at least for a little protection. Our vets and fosters operate under that platform and while not guaranteed, it seems to have benefit. In my experience hydration and food are the two most critical things panleuk kittens need. So if you can get water and electrolytes down them that is the best first step. I wish you all the best in your amazing efforts and will keep you in my thoughts.
Thank you, Monica, that is great, practical advice! I'll share it with the caretakers and vet, along with some Rescue disinfectant I'm taking for the cat houses. The vast majority of these cats are very friendly--which leads to people contributing to the spread, but also means it would be easy to vaccinate and do minimal treatment, if only the caretakers could be organized enough to do it.
Hello April . . . thanks for everything you are doing for the cats.
Panleukopenia outbreaks in community cat colonies can be devastating, with high fatality rates within a short amount of time. It can be so sudden and severe as to mimic poisoning.
The best way to deal with FPV is to prevent it. Fortunately, the vaccines against FPV are very good, and a single dose given at the time of spay/neuter to cats 5 months and older is likely to protect for several years (maybe even most of a lifetime). Response to vaccination in younger cats is less predictable due to some kittens having maternal antibodies from colostrum.
TNR is usually the most effective way to manage free-roaming community cats, especially when resources are scarce. TNR should include spay/neuter, rabies and FVRCP vaccination, ear-tipping, and spay/neuter tattoo as a baseline care package.
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