Infectious diseases are infected not only animals that live on the street. Domestic cats, due to their own curiosity and playing habits, may well get a disease called chlamydia. What are the symptoms and treatment of chlamydia in cats will be discussed in this article.
Chlamydia is a rather dangerous infectious disease. It is provoked by microorganisms called Chlamydia. They do not apply to viruses and bacteria. They are a special type of microorganism that harms the organs of humans and animals. But cats are much easier to catch diseases than humans. Chlamydia is able to spread by airborne droplets, as well as by contact and genital tract.
What kind of danger does this disease carry? Chlamydia enters the cells of the body and causes disturbances in the functioning of organs. It can cause chlamydial conjunctivitis, affect the nasopharynx, mucous membranes in the body and the genitourinary system. In some cases, the microorganism causes pneumonia.
In pets, two types of this microorganism are most often detected:
- Chlamydia cati,
- Chlamydia pneumoniae.
The first type causes inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eyes, and the second causes the development of pneumonia. If symptoms of chlamydia in cats are detected, then the further development of the disease should not be allowed. If there is no treatment, then this leads to constant ailments, infection of the household. How can a cat be infected?
Causes of the disease
Stray animals, birds can act as a carrier of such an infection. In order for the infection to occur, the cat does not need contact with the individual who is sick. The causes of chlamydia can be:
But most often cats become infected by airborne droplets or sexually. The second place is infection after contact with the waste products of sick animals. Kittens become infected if their mother is ill with chlamydia. The microorganism Chlamydia has a life cycle of 48 hours. After this time, the diseased cell divides, and others become infected.
In cats that become infected with chlamydia, the disease progresses gradually. First, the epithelial cells are affected, after that the mucous membranes, and after the microorganism is in the nasopharynx, directly in it, in the digestive tract and in the genitals. In those situations where treatment was not started on time, chlamydia penetrates virtually all organs of cats and the brain, which ultimately leads to the death of the animal. Therefore, it is important to understand the symptoms of chlamydia in cats. This will help in time to provide first aid.
Symptoms of Chlamydia
How soon the infection will be detected is determined not only by how careful and caring the hosts are, but also by the location of the bacteria. Not the last role is played by the strength of the immune system. Sometimes the incubation period can last up to several weeks, with no symptoms of the disease. And then the disease caused by chlamydia, to identify at the initial stage is not easy.
The following symptoms are characteristic of chlamydia:
- Red eyes,
- nasal discharge
- spasms of the eyelids.
Later, several other symptoms appear, among which:
- purulent discharge
- conjunctival color change,
- pathology of intestinal microflora.
Often with complications, sneezing and rhinitis occur. Lost appetite, there are other indirect signs. What can happen if treatment is not started in a timely manner? The disease goes into a chronic stage. An adult becomes barren. Perhaps the birth of dead kittens. Tumors in the genitals occur. Gradually, Chlamydia spreads to other organs and tissues in the body and the animal dies.
Discharge from the eyes
If the animal becomes infected with chlamydia, eye damage occurs. It is accompanied by serous discharge. In this case, changes in the cornea are most often not. However, cases where the appearance of ulcers on the cornea were described were detected. Blepharospasm is an involuntary contraction of the eye muscles. This provokes a spasmodic closure of the eyelids. Chemosis is called conjunctival edema. Often it is so large that it swells, the eyeball closes almost entirely.
When a cat is infected with Chlamidia psittaci, a miscarriage occurs. Chlamydia can be released in vaginal smears after 8-25 days from the manifestation of the first signs of conjunctivitis. Most often in such cases, discharge from the genitals does not appear. Damage to the genital tract sometimes occurs before eye damage.
Chlamydia penetrate the gastrointestinal system. So the signs of chlamydia in a cat are manifested. After the death of some individuals, chlamydia was found in the epithelium on the shells of the gastrointestinal tract. But during life, practically no obvious symptoms of the ongoing disease were manifested. In particular, indigestion was not observed. A lot of research has been done, according to which it was noted that kittens that were born from chlamydia patients with females are usually protected from infection with antibodies that are passed through breast milk.
Diagnosis of the disease
Unfortunately, there are no rapid tests to detect chlamydia. In order to confirm or refute the diagnosis, it is necessary to send a flush from the conjunctival sac for analysis. There will be PCR (polymerase chain reaction), this is necessary to find the DNA of bacteria. Another test method is a class G immunoglobulin test. But this diagnostic method is not applicable to animals that have already been vaccinated. The fact is that in this case, immunoglobulins will be present. In this case, ELISA is performed (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) in order to determine the presence of immunoglobulins to two diseases:
Vaccination of cats against chlamydia is relevant. It will prevent serious consequences. To determine the disease, there is a way to check the smear from the conjunctival zone. However, this method is very subjective.
To carry out a flush fence, use cotton buds or a probe. With this device, the veterinarian touches the surface of the conjunctiva. Since it is important that the material is taken from different angles of the eyes, it is necessary to sacrifice the cat's comfortable sensations. When the material is taken, it is placed in a shipping container and sent to the laboratory.
Treatment for chlamydia in cats
In order to treat chlamydia, antibiotics of the tetracycline type are most often prescribed. The optimal drug is considered doxycycline. This remedy has a relatively long half-life. So, it can be taken only once a day. The dose of this drug is 10 mg per kilogram of weight. And the course of treatment is 4 weeks.
If the cat has a chronic stage of chlamydia, then the therapy will be different. Treatment is carried out for a long time, since chlamydia is a parasite that lives inside the cell. In no case should you arbitrarily stop being treated, as soon as the first signs of the disease disappear. The course prescribed by the veterinarian must certainly be continued. This is the only way the cat will not transmit the infection for several weeks.
The treatment of kittens has its own characteristics. For example, doxycycline can adversely affect the proper development of teeth and claws. There is a connection between taking this drug and indigestion. Therefore, it can be replaced with drugs such as:
- amoxicillin with clavulanic acid,
A cat is treated for chlamydia according to the veterinarian's prescription. If more than one cat lives at home, then each of them undergoes treatment. It is allowed to apply eye drops, which are made on the basis of ciprofloxacin. The drug can be replaced with tetracycline ointment for the eyes. In this case, processing is carried out three times a day.
There is a vaccine for chlamydia. But it is not an annual vaccine given to domestic cats. But if a cat participates in exhibitions, such a vaccine is mandatory for her. When the animal is treated in a shelter, the course of therapy is extended.
In cases where the cure of the animal has not finally taken place, some signs may disappear after a month of therapy, however, conjunctival edema and discharge from the eyes will continue for some time. This means that the animal is still sick, just the disease becomes hidden.