Panleukopenia in a 2 week old kitten

ashleys1215

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
11
Purraise
16
I had a litter of four kittens that were found abandoned. I started fostering them through my rescue last Monday, when they were about a week old. They are with an adult cat who is either their mother or a surrogate pregnant cat.

The runt passed on Thursday- she never ate well and then declined quickly with an episode of mucousy stool and fluid in her belly. She was humanely euthanized by the vet but they didn’t do any treatment or testing. Her sibling, the other smallest of the litter, was doing okay until today. She was never a great eater but would take some from a bottle and the rest from a syringe. But today she had decreased appetite, lethargy and a raspy cry. There is a firm lump on one side of her neck. I took her to an emergency vet and they said she was positive for panleukopenia. She’s getting supportive care but I know that her prognosis at 2 weeks old is extremely poor, even though she isn’t having vomiting or diarrhea yet.

When I got home I tested the two remaining kittens and the mother using a SNAP test. They were all negative. At this point they had all been together for a week. What are the odds that this kitten (and possibly the one who passed) are infected with panleukopenia but the other two and the mother are not? I know that panleuk is highly contagious and incubation is usually about 5 days. So if my hospitalized kitten truly has panleuk, shouldn’t the other kittens and the mother be testing positive as well?
 

silent meowlook

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
199
Purraise
263
They may just not be testing positive yet. What test kit are you using? Is it a dog par I test? I would contact the manufacturer of the test kit. Is the sample you are using a fecal sample?
if that is the mother and she had been vaccinated at some time, and the kittens are nursing, they could have obtained some antibodies from the mother. You could also call the ER vet and ask.

No matter what, if that kitten was truly positive, you must seriously quarenteen anyone that had contact with her.
Panluek, or feline distemper is incredibly contagious. The virus can survive on an inanimate surface for a year. Bleach ( diluted) is one of the only things that kill it. It’s a nasty virus.
I am sorry about the kittens.
 

StefanZ

Advisor
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Sep 18, 2005
Messages
23,837
Purraise
7,504
Location
Sweden
You handfeed them? Try to get raw goats milk. It has some theorethical possibilities to help...

Milk from a momma whom had survived distemper, or whom is a succesful semiferal, (these have immune system high above average) would be even better.
But raw goats milk is prob the practical best possible for a handfeeder.
 

Sarthur2

Cat lady extraordinaire
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Messages
31,778
Purraise
11,736
Location
Sunny Florida
A false positive is much more common than a false negative. False positives can occur up to the first 6 months of a kitten’s life due to antibodies passed on from the mom. I usually recommend kittens not being tested for six months or tested again after six months in the case of a positive. However, in this case, mom and the other two kittens are testing negative. Go with that unless and until they show symptoms.

Who is caring for the sick kitten? Is the kitten getting fluids and antibiotics? It needs both.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

ashleys1215

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
11
Purraise
16
They may just not be testing positive yet. What test kit are you using? Is it a dog par I test? I would contact the manufacturer of the test kit. Is the sample you are using a fecal sample?
if that is the mother and she had been vaccinated at some time, and the kittens are nursing, they could have obtained some antibodies from the mother. You could also call the ER vet and ask.

No matter what, if that kitten was truly positive, you must seriously quarenteen anyone that had contact with her.
Panluek, or feline distemper is incredibly contagious. The virus can survive on an inanimate surface for a year. Bleach ( diluted) is one of the only things that kill it. It’s a nasty virus.
I am sorry about the kittens.
It’s a canine parvo kit provided by the rescue. I did rectal swabs for the two surviving kittens and tested the feces of the mother.
The vet said that it was a “light positive” so we’re hopeful this kitten may have just started shedding. This litter has been isolated to one bathroom but we haven’t been diligent about changing clothing and towels that were used with the kittens have been intermingled with general laundry.

Any suggestions for cleaning carpeting and human bedding?
 

CntrldbyCats

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Messages
30
Purraise
40
I'm sorry to hear about the babies.
Panleuk is so scary and it seems to be everywhere this year (there are also more orphaned kittens this year which I'm sure has alot to do with it)
I had a Panleuk scare about a month ago from 3 babies I had briefly in my bathroom..I didn't even consider Panleuk at the time I had them as it's been a while since I took in orphaned kittens and I was so exhausted from lack of sleep. I just wasn't following strict biosecurity protocols. Once the second kitten died I suddenly realized what that could mean and panicked.
A friend of mine that works at a shelter recommended a product called Rescue One-Step (or Accel as some call it). It's a disinfectant formulated for the veterinary field and is one of the only products besides bleach known to kill the parvo virus. It's used in shelters all over the country.

I bought a gallon of it on Amazon for $50 and scrubbed my whole house from top to bottom. Took me a week, maybe more...you can use it on everything, including fabrics and even outside on the grass. And I will never know whether the two kittens that died had panleuk, the surviving kitten tested negative but that supposedly doesn't mean his siblings didn't have it. The kittens were only a few hours old and were found in a dumpster covered in maggots, so it could have been a myriad of things that killed them, including something I did (or didn't do). But I was treating it as if they were positive considering the seriousness of the disease.

So that is what I recommend as it was recommended to me.
I do hope that the test was a false positive, hang in there and stay strong... you're doing a phenomenal job.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

ashleys1215

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
11
Purraise
16
You handfeed them? Try to get raw goats milk. It has some theorethical possibilities to help...

Milk from a momma whom had survived distemper, or whom is a succesful semiferal, (these have immune system high above average) would be even better.
But raw goats milk is prob the practical best possible for a handfeeder.
The sick kitten passed last night. The two surviving that tested negative are exclusively nursing from the queen. We don’t know her health history or vaccination status, as she was living outside, but I’m hoping she has had a past infection or vaccine and the kittens are getting some immunity from nursing. These two have been healthier from the start. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for them.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9

ashleys1215

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
11
Purraise
16
I'm sorry to hear about the babies.
Panleuk is so scary and it seems to be everywhere this year (there are also more orphaned kittens this year which I'm sure has alot to do with it)
I had a Panleuk scare about a month ago from 3 babies I had briefly in my bathroom..I didn't even consider Panleuk at the time I had them as it's been a while since I took in orphaned kittens and I was so exhausted from lack of sleep. I just wasn't following strict biosecurity protocols. Once the second kitten died I suddenly realized what that could mean and panicked.
A friend of mine that works at a shelter recommended a product called Rescue One-Step (or Accel as some call it). It's a disinfectant formulated for the veterinary field and is one of the only products besides bleach known to kill the parvo virus. It's used in shelters all over the country.

I bought a gallon of it on Amazon for $50 and scrubbed my whole house from top to bottom. Took me a week, maybe more...you can use it on everything, including fabrics and even outside on the grass. And I will never know whether the two kittens that died had panleuk, the surviving kitten tested negative but that supposedly doesn't mean his siblings didn't have it. The kittens were only a few hours old and were found in a dumpster covered in maggots, so it could have been a myriad of things that killed them, including something I did (or didn't do). But I was treating it as if they were positive considering the seriousness of the disease.

So that is what I recommend as it was recommended to me.
I do hope that the test was a false positive, hang in there and stay strong... you're doing a phenomenal job.
Thank you. I ordered some Rescue and a carpet steam cleaner (thanks Amazon Prime Day). I read that the Rescue can be added to the carpet cleaner, so I’ll be doing that when it arrives.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

ashleys1215

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
11
Purraise
16
A false positive is much more common than a false negative. False positives can occur up to the first 6 months of a kitten’s life due to antibodies passed on from the mom. I usually recommend kittens not being tested for six months or tested again after six months in the case of a positive. However, in this case, mom and the other two kittens are testing negative. Go with that unless and until they show symptoms.

Who is caring for the sick kitten? Is the kitten getting fluids and antibiotics? It needs both.
The kitten was admitted to the emergency vet and received fluids and antibiotics. Even though I got her there fairly quickly after she showed signs of decline, she continued to get worse and developed tremors. The vet recommended euthanasia, and we agreed because she was suffering and so unlikely to have any meaningful quality of life in the long shot that she recovered.
I didn’t realize false positives could be that common. I’m praying for the sake of the other kittens that it wasn’t a true result, but of course we’ll be doing all the cleaning and strict isolation as though it is positive.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11

ashleys1215

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
11
Purraise
16
I'm sorry to hear about the babies.
Panleuk is so scary and it seems to be everywhere this year (there are also more orphaned kittens this year which I'm sure has alot to do with it)
I had a Panleuk scare about a month ago from 3 babies I had briefly in my bathroom..I didn't even consider Panleuk at the time I had them as it's been a while since I took in orphaned kittens and I was so exhausted from lack of sleep. I just wasn't following strict biosecurity protocols. Once the second kitten died I suddenly realized what that could mean and panicked.
A friend of mine that works at a shelter recommended a product called Rescue One-Step (or Accel as some call it). It's a disinfectant formulated for the veterinary field and is one of the only products besides bleach known to kill the parvo virus. It's used in shelters all over the country.

I bought a gallon of it on Amazon for $50 and scrubbed my whole house from top to bottom. Took me a week, maybe more...you can use it on everything, including fabrics and even outside on the grass. And I will never know whether the two kittens that died had panleuk, the surviving kitten tested negative but that supposedly doesn't mean his siblings didn't have it. The kittens were only a few hours old and were found in a dumpster covered in maggots, so it could have been a myriad of things that killed them, including something I did (or didn't do). But I was treating it as if they were positive considering the seriousness of the disease.

So that is what I recommend as it was recommended to me.
I do hope that the test was a false positive, hang in there and stay strong... you're doing a phenomenal job.
And thank you for the encouragement. I’ve never had fosters this young and to have two suddenly decline and pass has been very emotional. They also had maggots when they were found, so we didn’t start in a great place. Trying to stay hopeful for the other two.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12

ashleys1215

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
11
Purraise
16
Update: Mother cat developed mastitis so started her on clavamox and made a vet appointment. One kitten wasn’t gaining weight because he only nurses from that one blocked nipple. I started bottle feeding/syringe force feeding because he won’t suck on a bottle either. Before I took mom to the vet I decided to retest for panleuk just in case.
Both kittens tested with light positive on Bionote brand Canine Antigen test (pictures). Both are nursing, no vomiting or diarrhea, normal activity levels. Both we’re evaluated by the vet who said they look very healthy at this point. I’m just praying that these are either false positives from antibodies (I’ve been searching and searching for literature that says this is possible) or they don’t develop clinical signs. Losing them at this point would be devastating.
 

Attachments

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13

ashleys1215

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
11
Purraise
16
Does anyone know if they would still be shedding virus if they were infected in utero?
 

Sarthur2

Cat lady extraordinaire
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Messages
31,778
Purraise
11,736
Location
Sunny Florida
They have been with a surrogate mom, right? Does she test negative? Regardless, kittens who test positive should be retested after 6 months because they do pick up antibodies from the mom’s milk. As long as they are healthy and doing well there should be no problem.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15

ashleys1215

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
11
Purraise
16
They have been with a surrogate mom, right? Does she test negative? Regardless, kittens who test positive should be retested after 6 months because they do pick up antibodies from the mom’s milk. As long as they are healthy and doing well there should be no problem.
Mom tested negative 10 days ago. She hasn’t been retested yet. She has no symptoms of illness, save the mastitis which has resolved with starting clavamox. The kittens also tested negative 10 days ago but I’m thinking it might not have been adequate samples (rectal swabs but there weren’t visible feces on the swab) vs mom’s sample which was fresh stool. I read they can start shedding virus a couple of days before showing clinical signs, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed the next couple of days and hoping these are false positives!
 

CntrldbyCats

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Mar 12, 2021
Messages
30
Purraise
40
I’m keeping my fingers crossed the next couple of days and hoping these are false positives!
I'm holding my fingers crossed for you too!
My 4 resident cats and 3 fosters have their front feet crossed for you too, since it's kinda hard for them to cross their fingers.
19691231_190000_2902125007577804918.jpg
 
Top