Influenza and panleukopenia

Influenza and panleukopenia
Photographer: Lance McCord, under Creative Commons licensing

I got my flu shot today at work. I presume it was free because it’s cheaper for the university to pay for the flu shots than it is for them to pay their share of increased insurance bills. Also, there’s nothing like making sure all your employees are at their peak productivity all winter, right?

It was painless. Well, besides the skin prick, but seriously, some years the shot felt like OMGWTFBBQ FIRE IT HURTS AAAAAAGH! while my arm is dripping with blood, enough to draw any nearby vampires also seeking the protective properties of the vaccine. This year, I braced myself, and all of sudden I had a bandaid on my arm.

It’s a little sore now, and despite my best intentions of working on school and cleaning up the house, I’m going to go to bed early again. Of course I had time to write. I like to write, and I can write without a properly functioning brain. On the other hand, if I try to work on a paperĀ  for school in my slightly impaired mental state, I always have to spend a lot of time fixing my work.

Also, I totally meant to go running tonight. I had Sunday off of running, and so that makes today running day. Unfortunately, the animal shelter called us on Sunday to let us know that they tested the kittens’ mother, and she had panleuk, and to watch out for it in the kittens. This morning, one of our kittens, Steve, was acting very lethargic. He was the curious one, constantly trying to escape from their room, wanting to play with our cats. He loves to be held. But then he must have gotten down sick overnight, and this morning when I picked him up, he didn’t want to be held. He wanted back down, and he acted strange, and went back to his bed and laid down funny.

I recognized the symptoms. Last time one of our fosters acted like that–Cyla–we took her in after she refused to eat for little over a day, and kept throwing up the water I tried syringing to her. It turned out she had panleuk, and it was too late. My husband and I were so sad–I felt like we let her down. I cried much in the same way I did when my mom miscarried baby #7, who would have been my 4th little brother or my 3rd little sister. Panleuk is incredibly deadly in kittens–any kittens younger than 2 months generally don’t survive. The sooner you take the kitten in, the better their chances are of surviving.

I woke my husband up, and we decided he would take Steve in ASAP this morning. I didn’t really have the vacation time to take off, and his internship would probably be more flexible with his scheduling. I went to work while he hopped on a bus to the shelter’s foster clinic. I thought of St. Francis.

Jeff sent me an email as soon as he got word from the vet, while at the foster clinic. Both Steve, and his sister Betsy, had panleuk, but we got them in just in time, they would both survive. Thank God!! The kittens had to stay at the clinic, probably for acute care and IV fluids and all the veterinary care they need to beat the dreaded panleuk.

So, back to cleaning the house. To kill panleuk, only two things really works. Trifectant, or bleach. And bleach has to sit for 10 minutes to kill it properly. Otherwise it can live for over a year on surfaces. I was going to mop and bleach everything, but after going to the store and making dinner, and thanks to the delayed flu shot effect, I simply ran out of energy.

And ran out of energy to run. That will be a task for tomorrow–running and bleaching.

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