Bartonellosis: Another Reason for Pet Owners to Banish Fleas

Picture: Cat Scratching

Whilst you might not be acquainted with Bartonella, you’ve most likely heard of cat scratch illness, a human situation attributable to one type of this micro organism. Because the identify suggests, individuals can get this illness from the scratch or chunk of an contaminated cat. However canines and cats can get sick from these micro organism as effectively, typically from publicity to contaminated fleas.

A Threat to Your Household’s Well being

Though many animals can carry totally different types of the micro organism, together with canines, wild canines, cattle and pocket pets, cats seem to be the principle supply for human infections with Bartonella henselae, the reason for cat scratch illness (or cat scratch fever).

Whereas individuals normally change into contaminated from the chunk or scratch of an contaminated cat, they might additionally change into contaminated when the cat licks an open wound. Signs in people might embody a fever and enlarged lymph nodes, however younger kids or immunocompromised individuals might expertise extra extreme problems.

How Pets Change into Contaminated

Publicity to contaminated flea grime, or droppings, from the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) is believed to be the principle approach cats are contaminated with Bartonella. Cats don’t seem to change into contaminated by way of cat bites, scratches, grooming, sharing litter packing containers or meals dishes. Canine might purchase Bartonella although contact with fleas or a cat chunk or scratch.

The micro organism survive by dwelling in pink blood cells and the cells lining inner organs. On this approach, the micro organism can disguise from the physique’s pure immune system and antibiotics directed in opposition to them. The micro organism may infect different kinds of cells, reminiscent of these within the central nervous system and bone marrow in addition to in sure kinds of white blood cells.

Most Cats Present No Indicators of Sickness

The indicators of an infection can range relying on the totally different species of micro organism. Whereas most cats present no indicators of an infection, some might have a transient fever, lethargy and decreased appetite. If a cat is constructive for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and can also be contaminated with Bartonella, he might expertise infected gums and enlarged lymph nodes.

Scientific indicators related to bartonellosis in canines can embody fever, weight loss, decreased appetite, lethargy, coughing, intermittent joint ache and lameness, weakness, pores and skin lesions, enlarged lymph nodes and doubtlessly jaundice (yellowing of the pores and skin).

Analysis Can Be Troublesome

Contaminated cats might present transient indicators or no indicators in any respect, and routine blood work might not reveal any hints to the an infection. However when canines or cats change into ailing, your veterinarian might advocate particular blood exams for Bartonella. Pets that check constructive for the an infection are typically handled with a four- to six-week course of antibiotics.

Flea Prevention is a Should

Minimizing your pet’s exposure to fleas is a very powerful technique of decreasing transmission of Bartonella in addition to different disease-causing organisms carried by these pests. Your veterinarian can advocate an efficient product that’s proper for your cat or canine.

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