Los Angeles, CA (9/27/19) – Instances of Feline Panleukopenia Virus (FPV), a highly contagious and typically fatal viral infection in felines, has been reported at Long Beach Animal Care Services (LBACS).
LBACS and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) share the campus of the spcaLA P.D. Pitchford Companion Animal Village & Education Center in Long Beach, however populations are managed and kept separately. No cat or kitten in the care of spcaLA presented with a positive FPV test at the Long Beach facility.
“The Village was designed to prevent disease transmission and provide for the well-being of all animals in the care of spcaLA and LBACS,” said spcaLA President, Madeline Bernstein. “spcaLA funded and built the LBACS cattery in 2006 as a free-standing cottage where incoming cats experience fresh air and natural light. In cases of an outbreak, the building can be easily quarantined.”
While cats in the care of spcaLA’s partner organization, LBACS, remain in quarantine, the two agencies have worked together to help animals circumvent exposure, including the strategic intake of healthy fostered and surrendered cats.
Virtually all cats will be exposed to FPV in their lifetime, making disease prevention protocols key to combating outbreaks. spcaLA staff and volunteers follow rigorous sanitation, animal housing, veterinary and vaccine protocols necessary to provide for the health and well-being of thousands of shelter pets. Further, spcaLA shelter pets receive age and species-appropriate vaccinations and routine veterinary care, and are micro-chipped and spayed/neutered prior to adoption.
“We welcome you to adopt a cat or kitten at spcaLA,” said Bernstein. “Before you bring your new pet home, make sure your pets are fully vaccinated, follow introduction guidelines, and bring your adopted pet to the veterinarian right away.”
spcaLA seeks public assistance in stemming the spread of FPV:
• Make sure your cats are vaccinated. Vaccination for FPV is highly effective if performed correctly. Kittens require an initial vaccination and boosters, while adult cats require a vaccination every one-to-three years, as directed by your veterinarian.
• Keep your cats indoors. Indoor/outdoor cats may be exposed to FPV-positive cats, or taken to a shelter where the disease may be present.
• If your cat shows symptoms of FPV such as vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, or lethargy seek immediate veterinary help. If FPV was present, thoroughly sanitize your home and do not bring a new feline into the environment for the period recommended by your veterinarian.
If you are an animal rescuer, community cat caretaker, or you work or volunteer for an animal shelter, take the following steps to prevent disease transmission and help keep your own pets healthy.
• Follow all shelter sanitation and disease-prevention protocols. If you are unsure or unclear, ask your shelter or rescue manager.
• Practice good hygiene. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water between and after interaction with animals.
• Change your clothes and shoes, before going home to your animals.
• Keep your pets up-to-date on vaccinations, per your veterinarian’s recommendations.
• Foster parents: If your foster pets show symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, lethargy, or die overnight, seek immediate help in accordance with your shelter or rescue group’s protocols.
About Feline Panluekopenia Virus
FPV causes vomiting, diarrhea, and can cause sudden death in cats. The virus is transmitted primarily by the fecal-oral route (including through exposure to objects/clothing/hands contaminated with virus from feces). FPV does not transmit to humans, dogs, or animals other than cats.
FPV is very durable and can persist in the environment for months or even years unless inactivated by an effective disinfectant. The incubation period of FPV is generally less than 14 days, and cats may shed infectious virus for two to three days before clinical signs are observed. Kittens are at highest risk for this disease, and adult cats with current vaccinations are at very low risk.
Reliable vaccination on intake, effective routine cleaning with a parvocidal disinfectant, and housing that minimizes fomite transmission will greatly reduce the risk of spread in animal shelters.
There is no cure for FPV. Treatment includes intensive, round-the-clock care focused on correcting dehydration, providing nutrients, and preventing secondary infection. The likelihood of recovery for infected kittens less than eight weeks old is poor. Older cats with early, adequate treatment have a greater chance of survival.