SASKATOON, SK, November 3rd, 2014 - Saskatoon SPCA Urges Pet Families to Vaccinate in Face of Community Outbreak of Deadly Feline Disease

Twice last month, Saskatoon SPCA has had cats come to their shelter carrying a deadly feline disease called panleukopenia. The shelter is currently on quarantine as result. While not a danger to humans, the disease is both highly contagious and potentially lethal to unvaccinated cats and kittens.

The Saskatoon SPCA’s executive director, Patricia Cameron, urges all responsible cat families to get all their feline friends vaccinated, “The vaccines are very effective, and the best possible way to protect your pet.”

Cameron says that families who believe that as an “indoor cat,” their pet is safe are taking a significant gamble, “The disease spreads through feces and body fluids. A wandering cat down the block may shed the virus throughout your neighbourhood. When you take a stroll, go from your car to the house, or do yard work, the virus can come into your house on your clothes and shoes. Like its relative canine parvovirus, once in the community panleukopenia is difficult if not impossible to eradicate, and in suitable environments can survive for more than a year. The only safety any cat has is to be vaccinated.”

This disease attacks the lining of the digestive tract and causes sloughing off of the intestinal lining leading to profuse and usually bloody diarrhea, severe and rapid dehydration, and pain.  Cat owners should look for symptoms like depression, lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, vomiting, and self-biting on the tail, lower back, and legs.  A cat may sit by its water bowl for hours, yet not drink much. Panleukopenia also affects the cat’s immune system, making him or her vulnerable to other diseases.

“We urge all cat owners to get their cat vaccinated as soon as possible, and continue to keep vaccinations up to date.  If your cat exhibits panleukopenia symptoms, get him or her to vet immediately. This disease is in our community, we are already seeing cats dying from it. More pets will die if pet families do not get cats the needed veterinary care and vaccines,” says Cameron.  “Vaccinating your pet is a crucial way you can show your love for them.”


PH. 306-374-7387 ext 109 




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