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CalCatDoc, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 341
Experience:  I have 31 years of clinical experience, with the past 22 years being in a feline-exclusive practice.
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False positive it possible that panleucopenia

Customer Question

False positive it possible that panleucopenia virus DNA can be found in fecal PCR tests because of vaccination? My vet feels a fecal test may be possitive due to being vaccinated a week ago. Is there a guideline for time between PCR and vaccinations or is there a chance that a pos result may always come back. This is a breeding /new kitten check, not about a sick cat. Question #2-Also regarding UPPER respiratory PCR's in general. I spend $$$$ having P C R tests done on new kittens, a kitten from new litters. Some vets do not recommend doing them at all as they can be false ne/pos/ depends when last vaccine was pos.. without symptoms they (some) don't even do them at all. As a breeder maybe I'm overkill with tests, just wish there were more definitive answers. I think one vet summed it best when she said the only virus free cats are laboratory animals.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  CalCatDoc replied 1 year ago.

Hi! I'm CalCatDoc and I can help with your question.

Expert:  CalCatDoc replied 1 year ago.

Everything I have read says that cats can shed panleukopenia virus in the feces for a variable period after vaccination. I would assume that this would show up in the test just like the pathogenic strain. I can't find any information about reasonable waiting periods because, frankly, few people test healthy cats for panleukopenia. There really isn't a legitimate rationale for doing so, since there isn't an asymptomatic carrier state.

Panleukopenia should be an extremely rare condition for your cats. The vaccine produces great immunity, so queens, especially if given annual boosters, will pass on substantial immunity to kittens during nursing, and that immunity should last well into the vaccination period for kittens.

Expert:  CalCatDoc replied 1 year ago.

I have advised breeders in the past to do the following:

Keep queens (and toms) current by vaccinating against panleukopenia annually.

Allow kittens to nurse until 8 weeks - start them on canned and then kibble food as early as they are interested so that the weaning process at 8 weeks is minimally stressful.

Begin vaccination of kittens at 8 weeks, followed by more at 12 and then 16 weeks.

8 weeks: FVRCPC #1

12 weeks: FVRCPC #2, FeLV #1

16 weeks: FVRCPC #3, FeLV #2, Rabies

To avoid any exposure of the kittens to panleukppenia virus, do not allow any cats into the home who have not been vaccinated for it at least 1 week prior to entry, and do not bring any sick cats into the cattery.

The only cases of panleukopenia I have ever seen or even hears of in private practice have been in stray/homeless/shelter kittens that probably didn't nurse, or nursed from an unvaccinated mom, then came into a crowded, unsanitary situation full of unvaccinated animals. It's just not going to be an issue in a situation with owned and properly cared-for cats that is closed to outsiders.

Expert:  CalCatDoc replied 1 year ago.

I'm not sure if this actually addresses your concerns. Please let me know if you have further questions or need clarification.