Cats + Infectious Diseases + English

  • Antibodies are specialised proteins (immunoglobulins) that circulate in the blood stream. They are produced by a white blood cell called a plasma cell.

  • Cat scratch disease, or cat scratch fever, is a disease of humans, not of cats. A cat scratch is often associated with the disease, however this is not believed to be the means by which infection occurs. Recent evidence suggests that the major route of infection is by flea bite. The disease is caused by a bacterium-like organism called Bartonella henselae. Bartonella henselae is sensitive to a number of antibiotics.

  • Vaccination has become much more of a contentious issue in recent years. People sometimes ask the questions: Feline vaccinates: are they safe?

  • Feline chlamydiosis is caused by a bacterium-like organism. Because chlamydia lives inside cells of the body and is not able to survive for long in the environment, spread of infection relies on direct or close contact with an infected cat. The bacterium primarily infects the conjunctiva (the delicate membrane lining the eyelids and covering the edges of the eyeballs) causing inflammation (conjunctivitis). Since chlamydia is a bacterial infection, it can be successfully treated with a course of oral antibiotics.

  • FIA is caused by a very specialised group of bacteria called mycoplasmas, which attack the cat's red blood cells, leading to anaemia. The earliest indication may be pallor of the mucous membranes. FIA is treated with specific types of antibiotics. Sometimes infection can recur once treatment is stopped so careful monitoring of blood tests is required.

  • Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is an uncommon but fatal disease of cats caused by a virus called a feline coronavirus (FECV). The first signs of FIP may be very vague: dullness, lethargy, and inappetance are common findings. FIP is a fatal illness, and essentially all cats that develop clinical signs will go on to die of the disease.

  • Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) is a potentially life threatening viral infection of cats. Fortunately because of attempts to control transmission and with the availability of good vaccines to protect against FeLV, the disease is much less common. As its name implies, FeLV is able to cause neoplasia (cancer) of the white blood cells (leukaemia), but in addition the virus may also cause the development of solid tumours (lymphomas) at various sites in the body. There is currently no specific treatment for FeLV infected cats (i.e., no treatment that is able to eliminate the virus from the body).

  • Tapeworms and roundworms are two of the most common intestinal parasites of cats. Tapeworms are long flat worms composed of many individual segments whereas round worms are much shorter and have rounded bodies.

  • Oral papillomas are benign tumours of the epithelial lining of the mouth and throat caused by papillomaviruses. The viruses are specific for that species of animal and fairly site specific but can be transmitted to skin or eyes if the protective outer epithelium is damaged.

  • Papillomas are benign, but sometimes multiple, tumours caused by viruses. They are commonly known as warts.

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