• Feline parvovirus infection;
  • Feline parvovirus;
  • Outcome;
  • Prognosis

Background: Feline panleukopenia is a highly contagious and often lethal disease.

Objective: The purpose of the study was to identify prognostic factors for survival of cats with panleukopenia.

Animals: Between 1990 and 2007, 244 cats were diagnosed with panleukopenia in the Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, LMU University of Munich, Germany. Diagnosis was established by electron microscopy, polymerase chain reaction of feces or blood, antigen ELISA of feces, pathognomonic histopathological lesions at necropsy, or some combination of these procedures.

Methods: Medical records of each cat were evaluated retrospectively.

Results: Survival rate was 51.1%. No significant correlation was found between outcome and living conditions, age, vaccination status (unvaccinated versus one or more vaccines administered), or severity of clinical signs. However, of the vaccinated cats, none had received a vaccine later than 12 weeks of age as a kitten. Nonsurvivors had significantly lower leukocyte and thrombocyte counts at presentation compared with survivors. The relative risk of death for patients with <1,000/μL leukocytes was 1.77 times as high as in patients with a leukocyte count of 1,000–2,500/μL (P= .038), and 1.85 times as high as in patients with >2,500/μL leukocytes (P= .001). The likelihood of a fatal outcome was higher when serum albumin concentration was <30 g/L or serum potassium concentration <4 mmol/L.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Vaccination strategies that do not include vaccination of kittens beyond 12 weeks of age may not be adequate to prevent panleukopenia. Leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, hypoalbuminemia, and hypokalemia are negative prognostic factors in cats with panleukopenia.