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Feline Bartonellosis

If you love cats, here’s a disease you should know about! Feline Bartonellosis is surprisingly common in cats, at the rate of about 35%.  This is the causative agent of Cat Scratch Fever which is transmitted to people and can be a very serious infection. Since I have been educating my clients about this disease, I have met more than a few clients who have described the devastating effects if this illness on their own health. These include seizure disorders, visual disturbances, chronic fatigue, and high fevers.

Since my area of expertise is animals, let me briefly explain. Outwardly healthy animals can carry the bacteria,  Bartonella henselae, and transmit it to other cats or the people they live with.  Some cats with long term illnesses have been cured with treatment for Bartonella. Yes, that is the good news! It is treatable!

Signs in cats range from none to severe weight loss, mouth problems, respiratory problems, skin problems, and chronic diarrhea.  The carrier cat can be a danger to its owner especially if the person in direct contact is immune compromised, having chemotherapy, or is a small child.

The diagnostic test is a simple blood test taking 3 drops of blood from the ear or the forearm. The results come back in a week. The treatment is an oral antibiotic given daily for 3 weeks. A follow up test is recommended in 6 months.

Protect yourself and your cats by testing for Bartonella! I recommend testing every new kitten entering a household for Bartonella, Feline leukemia, and FIV. This combination test will allow early detection and treatment and prevent spread of the disease. I would love for you to go to  www.natvetlabs.org for further information on this subject.

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April 4, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment