What Are The Most Common Types Of Infections In Cats
Abscess: Another common type of infection in cats is a bite wound abscess, usually caused by cats fighting. Due to the nature of a cats teeth, which are sharp, bacteria are injected under the skin, causing bacteria to form an abscess. Un-desexed cats are especially prone to developing bite wound abscesses due to the fact they are more likely to roam and get involved in fights with other cats.
Eye infections are common and can be viral, bacterial or fungal.
Urinary tract infectionsare a leading cause of litter tray problems .
Parasitic worms: There are several types of worm to infect cats. The most common is roundworm. Cats may not display any symptoms of a worm infection until heavily infected. It is essential to maintain a regular worming schedule for all cats, even indoor ones.
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Signs That Your Cat Is Sick
Illustration: The Spruce / Ellen Lindner
Could your cat be sick? It may be difficult to know if subtle changes in your cat indicate a health problem. Cats are experts at hiding illness. In the wild, this instinct can protect them from predators or other cats that might be a threat. Today’s house cat has the same tendency to avoid vulnerability, even if the only potential threat is a housemate. Even cats in single-pet homes tend to have the instinct to self-protect.
There is another reason why cats and many other animals are less likely to show pain or illness: They simply do not have an emotional relationship with their discomfort. Animals tend to accept the pain or illness as the new normal and move on. It may not be until they are extremely ill that their sickness becomes obvious to humans.
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Are There Other Signs I Should Watch For
Vomiting and nausea may occur during the acute phase of otitis interna. If the facial nerve, which is located in the area of the inner ear, is damaged by an inner ear infection, your cat may develop some of the following symptoms:
- drooling from the side of the mouth
- difficulty eating and dropping food
- inability to blink
- development of dry eye in the unblinking eye or Dry Eye in Cats)
- eye discharge
- drooping of the eyelids, lips, and nostrils on the affected side
- symptoms of Horners syndrome which include uneven pupil size, called anisocoria, prominent third eyelid, and drooping upper eyelid on the affected side.
With long-term facial nerve paralysis the face may actually twist toward the side of the ear infection.
Additional signs include redness in the affected ear and discharge with a foul odor. The outer ear canal may become thickened and hard to the touch from chronic inflammation and the lymph node at the base of the chin on the affected side may become enlarged. Your cat may become reluctant to move at all, preferring to sit or lay in one spot and her head may actually swing from side to side, even at rest. You may also notice short, rapid side-to-side movements of the eyeballs called nystagmus.
My Daughter Got Scratched By The Neighbors Kitten And Now My Husband Is Worried About Cat Scratch Disease How Worried Should We Be
Most cat scratches do not result in cat scratch disease, and short of cleaning the wound with soap and water, there is no particular action to take. If your child develops a fever enlarged, tender lymph nodes that develop 13 weeks after being scratched or a pustule at the scratch site, please take her to your health care provider. Treatment with antibiotics is usually not necessary but may help reduce lymph node swelling.
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Selecting The Right Treatment
Although you may have to learn how to hold your feline friend in order to administer the medication, ophthalmic antibiotic drops and gels are commonly used to treat bacterial infections in cats eyes. Your veterinarian can show you how to do this.
Oral treatments are often unnecessary unless there is a systemic infection involved. Viral infections require the consistent use of an anti-viral medication. However, some vets will suggest letting a viral infection run its course. An antibiotic may be prescribed, as some viral infections are found alongside bacterial eye infections.
Common Types Of Cancer In Adult Cats
Cancer is an unfortunate disease in all species and can develop in many forms and organs. Symptoms depend on which organs are involved. The most commonly diagnosed cancers in cats are lymphoma, FeLV, mammary cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, and fibrosarcoma.
Lymphoma can be localized, affecting an organ such as a kidney, or be disseminated throughout the intestines. Intestinal lymphoma can cause vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss with a good appetite, and lethargy.
Blood work and x-rays or ultrasound with biopsy are usually required to definitively diagnose any form of cancer. However, there are many other types of cancers affecting any organ in the body. Any mass should be checked by your veterinarian. Oftentimes, cancers cause weight loss despite a good appetite.
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What Are The Signs Of Infection In Cats
Clinical signs will depend on the pathogen. But usually, the symptoms your cat is displaying can give your veterinarian a clue as to possible causes. Not all of the symptoms below mean your cat has an infection for example, a cat vomiting may be suffering from poisoning or diabetes.
Diagnosis Of Bacterial Infection In Cats
The diagnosis of a cats bacterial infection is based on symptoms.
Health exam: Veterinarians will check your cats health through a physical examination and review his medical history and symptoms for initial diagnosis.
Additional tests: If required, they will suggest some blood tests, skin biopsies, sensitivity testing and cultures for your cat, too. These tests are performed to determine the cause of bacterial infections and diagnose the disease.
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How Can Fp Be Prevented
Cats that survive an infection develop immunity that likely protects them for the rest of their lives. Mild cases that go unnoticed will also produce immunity from future infection.
It is also possible for kittens to receive temporary immunity through the transfer of antibodies in the colostrum the first milk produced by the mother. This is called passive immunity, and how long it protects the kittens from infection depends upon the levels of protective antibodies produced by the mother. It rarely lasts longer than 12 weeks.
Prevention is vital to your cats health. Today, there are vaccines that offer the best protection from feline parvovirus infection. Vaccination is just as important for strictly indoor cats as for indoor/outdoor cats because the virus is everywhere in the environment. Most young kittens receive their first vaccination between 6 and 8 weeks of age, and follow-up vaccines are given until the kitten is around 16 weeks of age. Adult vaccination schedules vary with the age and health of the cat, as well as the risk of FP in the area. Consult your veterinarian for advice on an appropriate vaccination schedule for your cat.
Preventing Your Cat From Getting An Ear Infection
The best way to prevent painful ear infections in cats is to regularly check the ear to ensure theres no odor, residue, redness, swelling or other symptoms. Have any issues treated before they worsen, and ask your veterinarian to show you how to correctly clean your cats ears, or bring them in for regular cleanings.
Unless your vet instructs you to do so, do not insert cleaning devices into your cats ear canal.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
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What Changes Should I Look For In The Litterbox
Both diarrhea and constipation are indicators of disease in cats. Diarrhea is usually easy to recognize in the litterbox, but constipation can be more problematic to notice. Small, hard, dry stools are never normal and are often an early indication of kidney disease.
Increased amounts of urine in the box indicate an of inability to properly conserve water and may mean that your cat is developing kidney or liver problems, or diabetes mellitus.
How Is Otitis Interna Treated
Otitis interna is a very serious condition. If your cat is unable to eat or drink normally due to nausea or disorientation, then hospitalization for intravenous fluid therapy is generally warranted. Nausea must be controlled and dehydration avoided. It may also be necessary to sedate or anesthetize your cat in order to adequately see the ear tissues, take samples for bacterial culture, and appropriately clean the ear.
Treatment of the underlying infection is very important, and your veterinarian will prescribe the appropriate medications. Medications will be administered directly in the ear and orally. Antibiotics will be prescribed for a bacterial infection for 6-8 weeks minimum. If the infection is fungal in nature, an anti-fungal medication will be prescribed. Whatever medications are chosen, it is critical that they be given precisely as prescribed.
If your cat has an altered balance, restrict her activity during treatment to prevent falling injuries. These cats should not have access to stairs as they may take a tumble. You may also need to hand feed your cat temporarily – reaching down into a dish may stimulate nausea.
“Cats with otitis interna occasionally require surgery if they have relapses, they do not respond to medical management, or if they deteriorate in spite of treatment.”
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Should I Get My Pet Treated For Bartonella Just To Be Safe
Treatment is not recommended unless your pet becomes sick. Treating Bartonella with antibiotics can take a long time and its considered safer and more practical to let the pet handle the infection naturally. For cats that do become sick, the illness usually consists of fever for 2-3 days, with the cat recovering on its own. Symptoms requiring veterinary care include fever, vomiting, lethargy, red eyes, swollen lymph nodes or decreased appetite.
Frequent Trips To The Litter Box
If youve ever experienced a UTI yourself, you can imagine how it can make a cat feel.
When a cat has a urinary tract infection, they will visit the litter box a lot more often than usual. Its because the urinary tract disease is causing inflammation that makes it feel like they constantly have to go to the bathroom.
They have the urge to go often, but that doesnt mean theyll release urine every time. If your cat is trying to pee often but doesnt always leave a wet mark in the litter, it could be a UTI.
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What Are Urinary Tract Infections In Cats
Urinary tract infections are not common in cats. Only 1-3% of cats with signs of urinary tract disease will have a urinary tract infection.
Because they can resemble so many other conditions, UTIs need to be distinguished from other conditions, such as crystals in the urine. Fortunately, by running some simple tests, your veterinarian will be able to tell the difference.
In most cases, UTIs in cats are usually caused by bacteria. Bacterial urinary tract infections in cats are generally relatively easy to treat and respond well to medications. Chronic infections, or those that do not respond to regular medication, can require more testing to figure out why your cat is at higher risk for urinary tract infections.
Diagnosis & Treatment Of Fungal Infections In Cats
Some fungal infections are not always easy to diagnose, as they are rare. When you visit your vet, its helpful to know your cats medical history and when the symptoms of infection started to appear. The vet will perform a complete physical exam and take blood for laboratory tests.
The vets at Western Carolina Regional Animal Hospital & Veterinary Emergency Hospital have years of experience in diagnosing and treating internal conditions. We make diagnoses and treatment recommendations based on a comprehensive assessment of your pets health issues.
A CBC, or complete blood count, urinalysis and chemical blood profile will help reveal the cause of your cats symptoms. In some cases, the vet may take a tissue sample to assist in diagnosis.
Usually, your cat will be anesthetized for this and the tissue sample would be taken during surgery, then analyzed in our in-house lab. Our advanced tools and technology at Western Carolina Regional Animal Hospital & Veterinary Emergency Hospital help us provide quick, accurate diagnoses for medical conditions.
As for treatment, depending on the type of fungi causing the issue, your vet may take different measures such as hospitalization to reduce the risk of infection to you and your family.
If you choose to keep your cat at home, you may receive instructions on how to prevent infections – including wearing gloves and a mask while handling your cat, and when changing litter.
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What To Do If Your Cat Is Sick
If your cat is displaying any unusual behaviors it’s worth a trip to the vet for diagnosis and treatment. Early detection and treatment of illnesses can help to prevent conditions from becoming more severe or potentially life-threatening.
Cat injuries or illnesses often require urgent medical attention, surgery or even emergency care. It is essential to seek professional veterinary advice as soon as possible. The sooner treatment begins, the sooner your furry friend will be acting more like themselves again.
Urinary Tract Bladder And Kidney Infections
Cats usually develop an infection in the urinary tract first andthen it may spread to the lower urinary system including the bladderand even the kidneys. You might initially notice your cat exertinghimself when trying to urinate. You may also notice that he is going tothe litter box more often. Youll also notice, however, that less urineis being produced. The pressure of the inflammation makes your cat feellike he has to urinate more but you’ll see less clumps of urine in thebox.
He may begin to associate pain with the litter box and thus urinateoutside the box. If you hear him making distressed noises in the litterbox, he’s probably in pain. If the infection worsens, his bladder maybecome obstructed. A cat with an obstructed bladder is in extreme pain,and it’s an emergency situation. He’ll yowl and hide under beds orfurniture, and you should seek veterinary assistance immediately.
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How To Confirm A Parasite Infection
Now that you know what the warning signs are, you may have noticed your cat experiencing some symptoms. Here are several ways to confirm a parasite infection in your cat:
- Contact your local veterinarian office for an appointment.
- Collect a fecal sample at home, and mail to a laboratory for testing.
There are many options available for confirming a parasite infection. Taking your pet for a checkup to your veterinarians office is a good idea. Though there are alternatives to a costly vet visit available. You can now purchase a home testing kit of sorts. Collect a small fecal sample and mail it directly to a lab. You will receive results in 24 hours after the sample arrives at the lab.
How To Treat Ear Infection In Cats
Treatment for feline ear infections isnt usually complicated. To start, your vet may need to clip the fur around the cats ear canal to help keep it clean and dry.
If the infection has reached the middle ear but the eardrum is untouched, oral or injectable antibiotics may clear up the infection.
Treatments for ear infections in cats that are caused by bacterial or yeast infections, or ear mites, may be treated with corticosteroids, antifungals, antibiotics or anti-parasitics in ear drop form.
At-home treatment for your kitty’s ear infection involves monitoring the condition of your cat’s ears to check that the interior of the ear flap is clean and that the canal is clear. If your vet has prescribed ear drops, gently lift the ear flap, then squeeze the solution into the ear canal, massaging the base of the ear to help the medicine work its way into the ear canal.
Early treatment of infections is essential since ear infections can turn chronic and lead to facial paralysis and hearing loss.
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T Gondii And Human Pregnancy
If a pregnant woman is infected with T gondii during her pregnancy, there is a risk that the infection may spread to the unborn foetus. This will only happen if the woman is infected during pregnancy, and prior infections carry no such risk.
In around 20-50% of women infected during pregnancy, infection will be passed on to the foetus. In many cases, even if the foetus is infected, it will remain asymptomatic, but in a minority of cases the infection can result in abortion, birth defects, neurological problems or ocular problems. However, these problems can only occur if a woman contracts toxoplasmosis for the first time during her pregnancy.