Treatment for Cats with FPVtreattreatment

Feline panleukopenia is rarely seen by veterinarians due to the increasing use of vaccines.  However, it is still important to know how to recognize and treat it as prompt intervention is essential for survival. There is no cure for FPV, but early treatment is necessary to keep the cat alive until its immune system reacts to the infection.  Untreated, FPV has a mortality rate of approximately 90%.  The survival rate of kittens under eight weeks old is even lower, regardless of treatment. 

The most important treatment for FPV is supportive care such as IV fluids and electrolyte therapy.  Dehydration can be extreme and develops quickly.  The fluid used should be an isotonic crystalloid solution (such as lactated Ringer’s solution) supplemented with B vitamins and potassium.  Glucose may also be added if the cat is hypoglycemic.  Treatment should be given to reduce vomiting and diarrhea and prevent further fluid loss from the animal.  Treatment will also help to reduce nausea which will allow the cat to start eating again.  Parenteral nutrition should be provided if the cat will not eat on its own.

Other possible side effects of FPV include secondary infections, blood loss and anemia.  Treatment should include measures to prevent or deal with these consequences.  Broad-spectrum antibiotics can be administered to prevent secondary infections.  It should be noted that drugs that could potentially damage the kidneys should not be used until the animal is no longer dehydrated.  If anemia or hypovolemia occurs, a transfusion of fresh-frozen plasma or whole blood can be given.  The plasma will help to restore blood pressure and could provide essential clotting factors if the cat is hypoproteinemic.  Whole blood is necessary to treat anemia.