A Cat Virus, that has not been seen in Australia for over 40 years, has forced the Blacktown Council’s Animal Holding Facility to close its doors. Stray Lane Cove Council Dogs and Cats, that cannot be reunited with their owners, are taken to this facility. We asked Dr Christopher Sun, the Principal Veterinarian at Lane Cove Veterinary Hospital to tell us about the virus.
There has been a lot of concern around Sydney about an outbreak of a highly contagious cat disease which causes vomiting and diarrhoea, fever, lethargy, anorexia and even death.
The culprit as diagnosed by the University of Sydney is FPV or Feline panleukopenia virus, which spreads quickly in unvaccinated cats in particularly in kittens less than 6 months of age. Unvaccinated adult cats can also be infected.
Thankfully, current vaccination protocols can prevent this disease and at this stage, we have not seen an outbreak amongst the Lane Cove feline population. An F3 or F4 vaccination typically covers against FPV. At Lane Cove Veterinary Hospital, we recommend kitten vaccinations from 6-8 weeks every three to four weeks until 16 weeks or older. A booster is required annually to cross-protect against the virus.
There is also evidence that the canine parvovirus can also cause this disease in cats so it is also recommended to vaccinate dogs that your cat may come in contact with to reduce the risk of infection.
If you have recently adopted your kitten or cat from a shelter, your veterinarian may recommend extra boosters in the event of an outbreak. If you are concerned that your kitten or cat may be showing the above clinical signs, please contact your veterinary hospital or Lane Cove Veterinary Hospital on 9428 1174.
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