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Can Cats Get Parvo- Symptoms & Treatment


Many people associate parvovirus in cats with a common intestinal disorder. It is why sometimes overlooked, believing that it's nothing to worry about and that a gentle diet will do the trick. Veterinarians are well aware of the dangers of the disease. This article talks about the severity and Can Cats Get Parvo- Symptoms & Treatment.


Parvovirus in cats is a problem of the digestive tract, more specifically the intestines. It causes severe inflammation in the small intestine, involving the inner mucous layer and, in some cases, even the serous membrane. As a result, all gastrointestinal functions are impaired. The symptoms are diarrhoea, refusal to eat and severe pain.

What is parvovirus enteritis?

So far, we have talked in general terms about what it is. Parvovirus in cats is divided into many types and subtypes, each with its own distinctive characteristics. There are several classifications:

  1. The first indicates a lesion.
  2. The second indicates the origin of the disease.
  3. The third separate putrefactive or fermentative processes in the intestine.
  4. The fourth indicates the course of the disease.

The nature of the inflammation also varies. In particular, doctors divide it into catarrhal, haemorrhagic, fibrinous, necrotic and ulcerative. Treatment, in this case, involves the insertion of drainage tubes and is supervised by a doctor in the hospital.


The primary and secondary form

As a rule, a healthy animal that has been vaccinated at an appropriate age and is fed a good quality feed is less likely to become ill. Parvovirus is often not an isolated disease but a symptom of an underlying illness. A distinction is, therefore, made between primary and secondary cases:

  • The primary ones can include foodborne infections. That is opportunistic microflora, salmonellae, E. coli and anaerobes that develop from poisoning with lousy food. This can also include bacterial infections and mycotic infections that develop when eating mouldy food.
  • Secondary parvovirus develops against the backdrop of infectious processes of viral origin.

Another consideration is the internal environment's pH. Acidic and alkaline inflammation are differentiated according to this parameter. At first glance, this information seems redundant. But it is crucial for the physician. The correct diagnosis and its future treatment depend on this knowledge.

If the inflammation is acidic, fermentation occurs, releasing carbon dioxide and methane. An alkaline inflammation is rotting, which produces large quantities of poisonous substances. Of course, both are hardly favourable. It is merely a peculiarity of the disease that has to be taken into account when diagnosing and prescribing treatment.


It is impossible to help an animal without knowing what parvovirus is. In cats, this disease quite often leads to death. The rate of death is exceptionally high among kittens and older animals. Their weight is relatively low, and dehydration sets in within a few days.

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It is an extremely high contagious disease. Its other names are infectious enteritis and feline panleukopenia. The agent is extremely persistent in the external environment. That is why it is a headache for catteries and shelters for homeless animals. They are always full of pets, and complete disinfection is extremely difficult. Once a sick animal enters them, the pathogen settles in the wooden floor's cracks with faeces or vomit and is then passed from one to the other.


When a cat becomes infectious to parvo

This is an essential question because usually, we only start to think about it when we see that a pet is unwell. Symptoms of parvovirus in cats appear on day 4-6, but the pathogen begins to be excreted in the faeces on day two of infection. Kittens at 12 weeks of age are most susceptible. At this time, the number of antibodies in the blood that has been obtained from the mother reduces sharply. And new ones have no time to develop. But unvaccinated adult cats are no less susceptible to the disease.

First symptoms

  • Severe vomiting. The attacks are intense; the animal turns itself inside out. If you are sure there is nothing to poison it, you should see a doctor immediately. Signs of parvovirus in cats increase rapidly. Sometimes the owner will find the cat vomiting in the morning and then come home from work in the evening to see it in a pool of vomit and bloody diarrhoea, half-dead and exhausted.
  • Fever. In the most severe cases, the temperature starts to drop. This tells you that death is coming.
  • The animal may become very thirsty and hungry but becomes so weak that it cannot eat or drink.
  • Diarrhoea with or without blood. Diagnosing parvovirus in cats can be difficult when the clinical picture is mixed. But diarrhoea should not go unnoticed. Make sure you contact your vet if you see black faeces that look like tar. This happens when the upper intestines are affected.

Unfortunately, the owners do not always have time to react. The animal dies in just a few hours.

What is important for the doctor to know about

Treating the symptoms of parvovirus in cats is complicated by the fact that they can be similar to acute poisoning. It is important to gather medical history. Tell the doctor:

  1. When you notice the first change.
  2. When the vaccine was last given.
  3. The nature of the faeces.
  4. How long ago was the last worming treatment.
  5. What has been fed for the last two days?


The worst case is when an animal is brought in already in a severe condition. The doctor is then faced with the difficult question of how to treat parvovirus in a cat if there is little or no time to diagnose it. The most common treatment is an injection, which reduces dehydration and regains strength in the pet's body. Depending on the condition of the animal, vitamins, blood thinners and other medications are added.

At the same time, the veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics to stop the development of disease-causing bacteria. Do not forget that the doctor must choose the antimicrobial medication itself and its dosage.

Preventive measures

They are quite simple. When you consider how difficult and expensive it can be to diagnose and treat parvovirus in cats, it becomes evident that these measures must be followed throughout the furry pet's life. Prevention boils down to the following points:

  1. Timely vaccination against viral and bacterial infections.
  2. Prophylactic deworming, timing to be determined by the vet.
  3. Only quality food should be fed.
  4. There should always be clean water in the bowl.

In conclusion

Any cat's illness is a misfortune for the loving owner. The more serious the cat's condition, the greater the guilt. That you didn't take care of it, that you didn't look after it. Unfortunately, some illnesses develop at lightning speed. In some cases, no more than a few hours pass between the first symptom of parvovirus and the cat's death. Clinics are not always open at weekends and night, so you might not get there in time if you want to. To be on the safe side, you should have several medications at home to help and 'hold off' until a vet is available.

© 2021 Anjlee Yadav

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