Treatment for feline distemper, also known as panleukopenia, includes intravenous or subcutaneous fluids to treat dehydration, medication to prevent vomiting, and antibiotics to prevent infection from taking hold. Once the vomiting has stopped, the cat can be fed small, bland meals frequently, sometimes supplemented with vitamin B, reports PetEducation.com.
Immediate treatment is crucial for panleukopenia, warns PetMD. Dehydration is the major risk factor of feline distemper, with treatment focusing on restoring and maintaining body fluid levels and electrolyte balance. However, distemper also targets the immune system. If a cat is able to survive the first 48 hours, full recovery is likely, although the entire process can take several weeks.
During treatment, the cat must have a quiet, warm space to rest that is isolated from other animals and daily life, with food and a litter box provided nearby, states PetMD. However, owners should take care not to ignore the cat while it is recovering, as the cat's mental health plays a crucial role in the recovery process. It is also important to practice strict hygiene to prevent the virus from spreading to other cats.
Once a cat survives panleukopenia, it becomes immune to the virus and does not pass it on, states PetMD.