Is it possible for cats to contract parvo from dogs? Parvo can be transmitted from dogs to cats. Researchers discovered that canine parvovirus infection is transferred from dogs to cats and vice versa. It is possible, even though it is uncommon and impossible.
This goes against popular belief, which has held sway for years, that cats cannot get parvo from a dog. This was based on the supposition that cats could only contract their type of canine parvovirus, known as feline infectious enteritis (FIE) or feline panleukopenia virus (FPV).
While this is valid in the vast majority of cases, inter-species contagion is uncommon. According to a 2012 study by Clegg et al., canine parvovirus can infect cats on occasion.
Here’s Proof that Cats Can Contract Parvovirus from Dogs
For several years, it was thought that dogs got canine parvovirus and cats got feline panleukopenia virus(FPV), which is a closely related and similar disease. New strains of canine parvovirus evolved and mutated over time, and scientists discovered that it could infect cats’ cells.
Although parvo could infect cat cells in a lab setting, it was believed that this would not occur in the real world, where dogs and cats live together.
What Are The Symptoms And Signs Of Parvovirus:
To grasp how parvovirus affects cats and dogs differently, it’s essential first to understand the differences between canine and feline parvovirus strains. To be clear, the term “parvovirus” refers to all viruses belonging to the Parvoviridae taxonomic family. On the other hand, cats and dogs have parvovirus strains that are unique to their genus. The feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) is the cat strain’s name, and it poses a significant disease threat to the feline community.
Furthermore, the majority of research suggests that FPV cannot be transmitted to dogs. However, some studies have shown that a mutated strain of the canine parvovirus (CPV) can infect cats. Cats may contract parvovirus from dogs, even though this is a rare occurrence. Cross-contamination is a risk, for example, if a parvo outbreak happens in an animal shelter. As a result, if a cat has come into contact with a dog that has parvo, the cat should be treated as potentially infectious and isolated from other animals for at least a few weeks.
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How Do The Viruses Vary from One Another?
According to veterinary and animal studies, FPV and CPV’s DNA sequences vary by just 0.5 per cent. Despite their similarity, each virus strain has its own unique set of symptoms:
Feline panleukopenia virus (FPV): Also referred to as feline distemper, feline infectious enteritis, cat typhoid, and cat fever. FPV is a highly contagious, life-threatening viral disease that affects cats. It is closely linked to canine parvovirus. This vicious virus targets the body’s blood cells, mainly those in the bone marrow, skin, and intestines. FPV, in essence, kills the body’s protective cells. This virus will put the feline at risk for other infections, both bacterial and viral, in addition to anemia.
The following are some of the symptoms of FPV:
- Anemia is a condition due to lowered red blood cell count
- Loss of hydration
- Diarrhea/diarrhea with blood
- Fever (high)
- Loss of appetite for food
- Excessive nasal discharge
- Signs of the nervous system (for example, a lack of coordination)
- Coat of coarse hair
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of weight
It’s also worth noting that FPV damages the cells that line the intestines severely. It also attacks the cat’s lymph nodes and bone marrow, causing a deficit in all types of white blood cells (panleukopenia) and red blood cells (anemia). Pregnant cats, kittens (between the ages of 2–6 months), and immune-compromised cats are the cats most at risk of developing severe FPV symptoms.
Canine parvovirus (CPV): Canine parvovirus (CPV) is a highly infectious virus that affects the dog population. However, there are two types of viruses that cause this disease.
The more common of the two is CPV-1, a highly infectious gastrointestinal form of canine parvo marked by symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, and a severe lack of appetite (anorexia). In dogs, the cardiac type of parvovirus is known as myocarditis, also known as CPV-2 or heart inflammation. This strain, which is sometimes fatal, attacks the heart muscles of canine fetuses and newborn puppies. Canines are highly susceptible to both strains of CPV.
The virus is most commonly found in puppies between the ages of six and twenty weeks, but it can also affect older animals. Fortunately, since the 1970s, when canine vaccines and boosters for puppies became the standard, the incidence of canine parvo infections has decreased significantly. It is also significant for dog owners to adhere to a basic vaccination schedule to avoid canine parvo and other contagious diseases.
The following are some of the symptoms of CPV:
- Bloating and stomach pain
- Anorexia nervosa (no appetite)
- Diarrhea with blood
- Loss of hydration
- Rapid weight loss
- Hypothermia (low body temperature)
- Tiredness/chronic fatigue
- A quick heartbeat
- Gums and eyes that are red
- Severe septic shock
While CPV can be found in almost any situation, not every puppy or dog that comes into contact with it will become infected.
What can be done to help keep cats from contracting parvo from dogs?
However, given the findings of the 2012 report, you should accept it as a possibility, no matter how distant.
- If a cat has been subjected to a dog with had parvovirus, it should be deemed at risk and kept away from unvaccinated dogs and puppies.
- Puppies and kittens should be separated in animal shelters before all puppies have been vaccinated to prevent the spread of parvo as an airborne virus.
- To prevent the spread of parvo from dog to cat, cats do not eat dog feces and vice versa.
Conclusion: Is it Possible for Dogs to Contract Parvo from Cats?
As you would suspect, the parvovirus is also infectious in the opposite direction, with dogs prone to parvo from cats.
Although we now know that cats can contract canine parvovirus in addition to the more common feline panleukopenia virus, FPV cannot be transmitted from cats to dogs.