Call to vaccinate cats | Northern


RSPCA Victoria and Lort Smith Animal Hospital are encouraging cat owners to vaccinate their felines repeatedly in a bid to curb a recent spike in feline panleukopenia, a serious viral disease detected within the Melbourne metropolitan area.

The organisations said the rise may indicate reduced herd immunity because of a drop off in annual vaccinations, that are required to administer the disease.

Previously three months, RSPCA has diagnosed 20 cases of feline panleukopenia in comparison with only one case in the identical period last 12 months while Lort Smith Animal Hospital has diagnosed 50 cases. These numbers should not unsubstantial as only one infectious cat has the potential to contaminate all other cats in a facility, they said.

In consequence of the recent cases of panleukopenia, the day by day operations of each RSPCA Victoria, which runs the Epping Animal Welfare Facility and Lort Smith, which has an animal hospital in Campbellfield, have been impacted with additional quarantine protocols required to curb the spread of the disease.

This has meant an prolonged length of stay for some cats before they may be adopted which has increased pressure on each organisations.

On account of the infectiousness and severity of the disease, each organisations are concerned for the welfare of Victoria’s cats and urge cat owners to maintain track of when their pet’s vaccinations are due.

An annual vaccination from a veterinarian is really useful for all cats. The disease may be very difficult to treat with about 80 per cent of unvaccinated kittens who contract the disease dying.

Symptoms include lack of appetite, extreme tiredness, vomiting, fever or fluctuating temperature, dehydration and diarrhoea (sometimes bloody).

RSPCA Victoria chief veterinarian Bronwyn Oke said feline panleukopenia spreads easily between cats, is amazingly difficult to manage and may be fatal.

“On account of the pandemic, we’re all aware of the importance of vaccinations and the way they will play an integral role in our health care and the identical may be said for vaccinating our cats against diseases comparable to feline panleukopenia,” she said.

“It is necessary to see a vet immediately in the event you imagine your cat could also be affected by feline panleukopenia.”

Lort Smith Animal Hospital head veterinarian inpatients Andrew Kapsis said regular vaccination is essential to keeping cats healthy.


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