Feline panleukopenia is a highly contagious and frequently lethal disease affecting all members of the cat family. Clinical disease can range from subclinical infection to a peracute form with sudden death. The more typical signs include fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Cats may present with vomiting and develop watery to bloody diarrhea. Patients die from complications that arise from secondary bacterial infections, sepsis, dehydration, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. The cats most affected and at risk of death are kittens up to the age of 12 months. This study looked at potential prognostic factors for survival of cats with panleukopenia. The medical records of 244 cats were evaluated retrospectively. In this study, indoor cats were more commonly affected than outdoor cats, and 14.5% had no contact with other cats indicating that indirect transmission is an important mode of transmission. Transmission can occur by means of contaminated clothing, cages, and insect vectors. The survival rate amongst this group of cats was 51.1%. Age, living conditions, and clinical signs were not associated with illness severity and outcome. It was noted that leukocyte and thrombocyte counts as well as serum albumin and potassium concentrations did represent prognostic factors in feline panleukopenia. Also, vaccination protocols that do not include vaccination of kittens beyond 12 weeks of age may not be adequate to prevent panleukopenia. [VT]Related articles:Truyen U, Addie D, Belak S, et al. Feline panleukopenia ABCD guidelines on prevention and management. J Feline Med Surg 2009;11:538-546.