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Infectious Diseases

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

  • Distemper is a highly contagious viral disease of domestic dogs. Some other species, including ferrets, skunks and racoons, are also affected by the disease.

  • Canine herpes virus (CHV-1) is a common infection in dogs but its important role in neonatal mortality has only recently been recognised.

  • 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?

  • Canine coronavirus disease can be the cause of diarrhoea especially in puppies less than three months of age.

  • This is a tick borne disease caused by certain bacteria (Rickettsiae) that invade circulating white blood cells.

  • 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.

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