Typhus or Feline panleukopenia

By the Veterinary Doctor Nathalie Vidal-Terrier


It’s a disease caused by a virus, parvovirus, infectious, especially to cats. Clinically, it is characterized by a state of prostration associated with gastroenteritis.


A. Etiology – Epidemiology

Typhus is due to a parvovirus infection by enterovirus class, very tough to external environment (several weeks to several months), a study has shown that it can resist 5 to 10 months in the external environment where a significant risk of contagion.

Contamination can be direct (cat sick cat healthy) or indirectly through the middle.

Virulent material: blood, nasal mucus, throat, saliva, urine and feces.


B. Pathogenie

The virus enters through the oral-nasal. It then multiplies in the mucous membranes and wins all the cells.

Unfortunately it is often fatal, there can be healing (often cats over 1 year), the cat carrier and then remains a shedder of the virus for several weeks, so it is contagious during this time.


C. Clinique (Symptômes)

The incubation period is 2 to 10 days.

There are several forms of interference.

C.1. Hyperacute form

Is most often the case in very young kittens. The hyperacute form is fatal in 12 to 24 h

C.2. Acute form

Evolution acute form lasts 2 to 7 days:

Clinical signs are:

  • anorexia (the cat eats more)
  • hyperthermia (40°C)
  • severe fatigue
  • apathy

Then progresses to:

  • hypothermia (35-36°C)
  • the animal is lying on his stomach (ulcers sterno-abdominal) and unresponsive to external stimuli (state tuphos)
  • shaggy
  • white mucous
  • severe dehydration
  • digestive symptoms variables: anorexia, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain
  • hematological: leukopenia (low white blood cells), often anemia (low red blood cell)

NB: We can see some complications with oral mucosal ulceration.

In this final phase, the state is moving towards healing or death.

C.3. Subacute

It is found mainly in the adult cat with signs gastrointestinal changes which lasts 8-10 days and recovery.

NB: in the kitten there is a rare form due to a violation fatal : cerebellar ataxia

Virus crosses the placental barrier in training, in early pregnancy, abortions, and in the second half of pregnancy fatal anomalies (hydrocephalus, brain damage etc …)


D. Traitement

The animal must be placed in intensive care as soon as possible (if you want me to develop this passage please ask, but of no particular interest and care that are not possible at home, hospitalization “mandatory”)


E. Prophylaxie

It is strongly advised to vaccinate the kittens and adults.

The first vaccination is between 8 and 9 weeks, the recall between 12 and 14 weeks, then annual booster for adults.

It is obvious that the vaccine induced response depends very much on the individual and his immune apparatus. Some may not develop antibodies or badly needed for the immune defense.

Do not forget the basic rules of hygiene that should always be careful, especially after an infection with parvovirus when using disinfectants parvicides.

Another rule to never forget: the quarantine of all new arrivals (invariable regardless of the pathology or the individual)

Reminder: Typhus is a fatal flaw (see the chapter).

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