Like most cats, I prefer to spend my time lying in a sunny spot, being petted by as many people a day as possible, and eating. I like eating so much, in fact, that sometimes I eat too much too fast. Other times I fill my belly and then start playing with my friends, running around like a wildcat. Oops. Bellyache. I lose my cookies all over the floor. I’ve also been known to cough up a nasty hairball now and then. Gross, I know.
Luckily, the humans who take such good care of me don’t seem to mind cleaning up my messes. Well, not too much anyway. They haven’t kicked me out yet, probably because I am so darn cute.
Your cat probably does the same things I do. Most of the time, it’s nothing to worry about. But if your cat or dog ever starts vomiting frequently, doesn’t seem himself, or has other odd symptoms, be sure to call the office here and make an appointment.
Sometimes vomiting in pets is a sign of a serious illness or parasite infestation. The good folks here can take a look and find out exactly what is going on to soothe your friend’s tummy troubles. I better go now. Time for my nap. Then dinner!
Feline panleukopenia, commonly called feline distemper, is a highly contagious virus that can be fatal to cats, especially kittens. Panleukopenia, which can also be found in mink, ferrets and raccoons, is spread by direct contact with infected animals or their secretions. Food dishes, bedding, litter boxes and even the clothes and hands of cat parents can become contaminated by a carrier of the disease and pass it along to healthy felines. Kittens can be infected before or shortly after birth, and typically don’t survive.
Among the first signs of the disease are loss of appetite, apathy, fever and severe vomiting. Infected cats may also have abdominal pain causing them to cry out. Diarrhea often comes after the initial symptoms. Because the disease ravages white blood cells, a white blood cell count is typically used to confirm a diagnosis. The outcome of infected cats depends largely on how quickly the illness was detected and is treated. If you have any degree of suspicion that your cat might have the disease, we need to see her right away.
Panleukopenia is a hardy virus and can live on carpets, furniture and other household surfaces for more than a year. It rarely responds to household disinfectants, but can be eliminated with a solution of bleach diluted with water (1:32). Like many serious diseases, panleukopenia is much easier to prevent with regular vaccinations than to treat after it’s contracted.