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WEATHERFORD (CBSDFW.COM) – The Weatherford Parker County Animal Shelter has recently received an abnormally high number of cats with confirmed cases of Feline Panleukopenia.

“It appears to be a regional issue that is not limited to the city limits of Weatherford,” said Shelter Veterinarian Dr. Kent Glenn.

Known as Feline distemper, Feline parvoviral enteritis (FPV) or cat plague, is a viral infection that can affect both domesticated and wild feline species. Once contracted the infection is highly contagious and can kill other cats or kittens.

Symptoms of FPV include lack of appetite, fever, vomiting and diarrhea. FPV in young unvaccinated kittens is usually fatal. It is spread primarily through contact with an infected animal’s bodily fluids, feces, fleas or other fomites.

The shelter is taking proactive measures, including diagnostic testing, revaccination, constant observation, and selective humane euthanasia as necessary.

They’re taking isolation protocols and are deep cleaning intake rooms to help control the spread of the virus once at the shelter.

Cat adoptions and the barn cat program continue to operate as a direct result of these proactive measures, allowing the animal shelter staff to isolate the viral infection to intake areas only.

An unfortunate number of cats infected with the virus have been humanely euthanized and the Weatherford Parker County Animal Shelter is working with the nonprofit organization Parkers Paws in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. Parker Paws has recently rescued 17 cats to provide additional space for the shelter and is continuing to provide additional support as needed.

“Unfortunately, we have recently lost several of our foster kittens due to FPV,” said Parker Paws President Barbara Pursley. “Shelters and rescues are both limited by resources as to how many pets we can care for at any given time. We appreciate the community’s support of Parker Paws and we will continue to rescue as many pets as we can from the shelter.”

FPV is spread by cats that are not vaccinated. The shelter is urging everyone who owns a cat to make sure it is current on core vaccinations. Any local veterinarian can administer the needed vaccinations.

For questions, please contact the Weatherford Parker County Animal Shelter at 817.598.4111 or animals@weatherfordtx.gov.

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