If you have a precious feline at home, mark your calendar for this Sunday, June 15. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Maui will host a mass vaccination clinic from 9am to 11am at their new location in Kahului to protect Maui’s cats against the panleukopenia virus that seems to be spreading across Maui.
“We hadn’t planned on putting our new clinic and office space to use so quickly,” said SPCA Maui President Sue Liscombe in a June 11 SPCA press release. “This virus could hit Maui cats hard, so we had to hit the ground running.”
Positive cases of this viral disease have been confirmed in the Kahului and Kula areas, according to the Maui Humane Society. SPCA Maui’s Peter Tierney said, “The panleukopenia virus is not contagious to humans or other animals but can be spread by human contact. The virus is highly contagious to unvaccinated cats and can be fatal to young, senior and immune impaired cats.”
Panleukopenia is also known as feline distemper. The virus tends to invade cells in the digestive system, bone marrow, lymph tissue and developing nervous system. This typically leads to a sudden onset of symptoms that include fever, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and seizures. Many older cats that are exposed to this virus show no symptoms. Cats who survive these symptoms for longer than five day usually make a full recovery.
“We feel we need to do more than just tell people they need to vaccinate their cats,” Tierney said. “We want to help them vaccinate their cats.”
Owners must transport their cats in hard-sided carriers or traps and have them covered with a clean, dry towel. All vaccines are on a first-come, first-served basis and the procedure is free, though the SPCA is strongly encouraging donations, so they can continue their efforts to protect Maui’s animals.
“Helping people fix and keep their pets healthy is the best way we know how to help keep pets out of our local shelter,” Tierney said.
There is still more construction and renovations planned for SPCA Maui’s new Kahului clinic and when it’s complete, the organization will offer on-site spaying, neutering and other vet services to Maui’s cats and dogs.
For more information about Sunday’s cat vaccination clinic, the panleukopenia virus or to contribute to SPCA Maui Clinic’s building fund, contact Peter Tierney by phone at 808-280-0738 or e-mail him at [email protected] or visit Spcamaui.org.
– Ashley Probst (@ashprobsticle)
Photo: Tiago J. G. Fernandes/Wikimedia Commons