- Presumptive diagnosis may be made on clinical signs, vaccination status, also often on a history of recent possible exposure.
- Diagnosis may be confirmed by blood smear stained by Giemsa or methylene blue, and found to be nearly devoid of leucocytes.
- Laboratory haematology shows white blood counts below 7 x lO9/litre, and often below 2 x lO9/litre; after a week or so of illness a neutrophilia with a left shift may be present.
- In fatal cases gross post-mortem findings may be helpful. For histopathology, samples of jejunum and ileum, mesenteric lymph node and spleen should be taken into formal saline.
- Specialist virology laboratories can confirm the diagnosis, although false negatives do occur as the virus can be difficult to isolate.
- From live animal: oropharyngeal swab, faeces, and, if possible, acute and convalescent sera should be sent by first class post.
- From dead cat: fresh samples of spleen, mesenteric lymph node, ileum and faeces sent as above.
- Kits for the detection of canine parvovirus antigen in faeces may also detect FPV in faeces of many, but not all, cases of FP.
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