Bacterial Breast Infection Average Cost

From 400 quotes ranging from $200 - 1,000

Average Cost

$400

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What is Bacterial Breast Infection?

Mastitis is a breast bacterial infection that affects the mammary glands of cats that have just given birth. It can cause ailments for both the mother and her kittens. The condition is painful for new moms and life-threatening for their kittens, and this is why it is important to take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as symptoms develop.

Mastitis is a breast infection that affects a single mammary gland or multiple mammary glands in lactating cats. The infection can come on without any warning and lead to pain, swelling and loss of appetite.

Acute septic mastitis causes the milk to look clear or lumpy. This breast bacterial infection is usually localized in cats, but the condition can lead to an infection in the blood that causes the cat to become ill or septic.

Symptoms of Bacterial Breast Infection in Cats

Cats suffering from mastitis will show the following symptoms:

  • Heat, swelling and pain of the infected glands
  • Depression, dehydration and loss of appetite
  • Yellow, thick or bloody milk
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Refusal to let kittens nurse from the infected gland
  • Ill or dying kittens

Taking your cat to the veterinarian at the first sign of mastitis can lead to early detection and treatment.

Causes of Bacterial Breast Infection in Cats

Mastitis is caused by ailments such as bacteria and abrasions. The bacteria involved usually includes Staphylococci, Streptococci and E. Coli. 

The following ailments are causes of mastitis:

  • Damage to the nipples due to the kittens constantly nursing
  • Bacteria entering the mammary gland due to the abrasions from the paws and teeth of the kittens
  • Infected mammary glands becoming gangrenous or developing an abscess
  • Bacteria growth after blockages occur in the milk duct
  • Another infection spreading through the bloodstream and into the mammary glands
  • Caked Breast: a build up of milk inside the breast that causes heat and pain. This condition can lead to mastitis.

Diagnosis of Bacterial Breast Infection in Cats

You should take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as you notice any symptoms of a breast infection such as mastitis. Your veterinarian will give your cat a complete physical exam and ask questions about the symptoms. 

Your veterinarian may need to perform the following tests on your cat:

  • Bacterial culture and sensitivity of the infected liquid
  • Fluid analysis and microscopic examination of the milk or discharge
  • Aspirate and cytology of solitary masses-- The veterinarian will insert a needle to remove a sample of material.
  • Complete blood count

There is always a possibility that your cat is displaying symptoms of a systemic illness from the infection. If this happens, you veterinarian will need to perform the following additional tests:

  • X-Rays of the chest and abdominal area
  • Blood cultures
  • Urinalysis
  • A biochemical profile

There is a possibility your veterinarian will be able to diagnose the infection after a physical examination. Your veterinarian will order additional tests if your cat is not displaying enough clinical signs to make a diagnosis.

Treatment of Bacterial Breast Infection in Cats

The treatment depends on the severity of the infections, but may include the following:

Antibiotics Therapy

Your veterinarian may prescribe broad spectrum antibiotics to your cat until they have received the bacterial culture results. They will prescribe a more appropriate antibiotic once receive the results. Your cat may also be given medication to help manage the pain, and there is a possibility the kittens may need to be given antibiotics.

Emptying The Glands

The veterinarian empties the infected mammary glands by manually expressing them to remove the infected milk. The mammary glands need to be lanced and drained, and there is a chance the veterinarian will need to lance and drain the glands surgically.

Treating Gangrenous Tissue

The necrotic material is removed from the gangrenous tissue.

Possible Additional Treatments

If your cat is systemically ill or septic, your veterinarian may need to administer intravenous fluids for several days. The veterinarian will also treat dehydration if necessary. Glands that are severely or chronically infected may need to be removed altogether.

Recovery of Bacterial Breast Infection in Cats

Be sure you always administer antibiotics as directed by your veterinarian. You should also schedule a follow-up appointment to ensure the infection is healing. Your veterinarian may suggest applying a warm compress and expressing the gland several times a day. You may also need to reduce food intake to stop the milk production temporarily or permanently. Kittens that are still nursing will need to be given an appropriate replacement using a bottle. If your cat has suffered from mastitis in the past, then she should be prescribed an antibiotic before giving birth to future litters. This is done to prevent the infection from returning.

Bacterial Breast Infection Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Croissant
short haired
1 Year
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Mass around teat
Swollen teat

I'm scared my cat has mastitis. She gave birth about a month ago and two weeks ago one of her teats is bigger while it has gone down slightly it is obviously larger than the others. I constantly feel around the teat to make sure she is doing okay but this afternoon I felt some weird mass. She is not lethargic, she feeds all her kittens, and is overall acting normal. Sometimes she is very vocal around her kittens however she still cares for them. I plan to take her to a vet as soon as the open since it is the weekend now. What could I do at this moment to make her feel better if she is in any pain?

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Honey
American Shorthair
1 Year
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Inflamation
Panting
Coughing

Hi. My i think my 1 year old cat has an infection she shows little to no symptoms other than her bottom two nipples are inflamed and she pants more often, sometimes she will cough maybe 3 times week at most, she still eats and drinks and is very energetic and playful.

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Fish
tabby
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

My cat gave birth to 4 kittens 6 weeks ago. She's not lethargic or have lost of appetite however she has some swollen glands it seems. Her breasts seem to be enlarged in a strange way. She is still eating she does not seem depressed and the kittens have been weaned. If the kittens do however try to feed from her she still lets them. I'm concerned that there may be some mastitis in her mammary glands.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
It is possible that there is some mastitis in her mammary glands; you could try applying a warm compress to the glands to help provide some relief, however if you notice any discharge or other symptoms you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination and some antibiotics. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Toody
Maine Coon
11 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

over-grooming
Puss in Hole of previous infection
Puss in Hole of previous infection area
Popped breast
Previously infected nipple

Medication Used

none

My cat is rather young, she's never had kittens or anything like that. Recently we noticed one of her breasts started to bulge and became firm. A few days ago it popped and she bled a little, but then it filled with white puss. now it's just a hole, but still gently leaking, and it smells. she's never had problems like this before, it's only recently. We've noticed she meows a lot and she seems to be licking off all of her fur around her tail and hind legs (not the area of the infected, now popped, breast). we can't exactly afford to bring her to a vet right now, I was just wondering if this is a serious infection problem or if it will heal on its on. She seems rather normal besides the over grooming, I'm assuming she's doing that out of the stress of having a gaping hole under her nipple. She doesn't seem to be in pain or any distress, it's very strange. Well she need to be put down? and is there anything I can do to help her out, because she may be in pain.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
You should visit a Veterinarian regardless of cost, the wound would need to be cleaned and she would require a course of antibiotics at a minimum; in a worse case scenario, surgery may be required and may involve the removal of a gland. If finances are a concern, you should try reaching out to a charity to help with the cost of veterinary care, see link below. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.dogingtonpost.com/need-help-with-vet-bills-or-pet-food-there-are-resources-available/

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Dixie
Calico
8 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

2 very swollen glands
2 very swo

Had Dixie to vet and he said mastitis. He tried to lance but only got blood. How long does it take for meds to work??? When should swelling go down??? Hasn’t got no worse but doesn’t seem to b any better yet. She has been on meds 4 days now. She never had kittens she had a false pregnancy... how will the swelling go down what will release the milk???

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. If she had a mastitis due to a false pregnancy, the glands will decrease if she isn't nursing. If the milk isn't being removed, the body tells itself to stop producing it over a period of time. Warm compresses with a warm wet towel for 10 minutes twice a day can sometimes help to relieve some of the swelling. I'm not sure what medications she is on, but if it has been 4 days and you aren't seeing any improvement, it would be a good idea to have a recheck with your veterinarian and let them know that her mammary glands are still swollen. If she isn't eating or drinking, that can be more concerning and she may need more supportive care.

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Kora
tabby
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Pink nipple
Pointy nipple

My cat is 1.5 years old. She is spayed. I noticed one of her nipples feels scabby, is more projected outward almost pointy. Area is a little pink. The other one opposite is a little pink. Could it be mammary cancer

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
From your description, it does not sound like Kora has mammary cancer, but without seeing her, I can't say for sure. It would be a good idea to have her examined by a veterinarian if you are worried or notice a change in her nipples to make sure that she is okay.

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Sassy
I don’t know. She’s grey and white and fluffy
1 Year
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Looks infected, not producing milk
Looks infected,

My cat had kittens about a week ago. So she’s nursing 7 kittens right now, and I noticed that her two back nipples are super red at the tip and they look like they could be infected. Also there is no milk coming out. I’m afraid that it could be feline mastitis?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
It is not unusual for glands to become inflamed and infected during nursing; you should place a warm compress on the glands as this may offer some relief and visit your Veterinarian to confirm whether or not there is an infection and to treat accordingly. In the meantime you should prevent any kittens from attempting to nurse from those glands. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Tiny Tina
Tabby
9 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Tired
Vomited

Medication Used

Convenia

This morning my cat who just had kitties a week ago was experiencing symptoms of mastitis with one nipple area being hard. Took her to the vet and they gave her an antiobiatict shot. We came back home she feed the kittens after about 2 hours then went back to laying by herself in another room. Is it safe that the kittens drank her milk? Will she feed them or should I feed them ?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations

If only one teat is affected and your Veterinarian didn’t advise you to stop breastfeeding then there shouldn’t be a problem, just don’t allow nursing on that teat. A warm compress may help with the pain and discomfort offering some relief. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Carmen
Calico
10 Months
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

My cat has just had kittens. She had 5 total but the last one was inside of her for 10 hours compared to the others that were out within 3 hours of labor. The 5th kitten has died but now 2 other kittens has died since and my cat is throwing up and laying around. Is this a sign of infected milk.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
Generally you would be able to tell if there is an infection of the mammary glands because they would be warm and the kittens wouldn’t want to nurse; Carmen may be vomiting due to complications of queening and it would be good to visit your Veterinarian with Carmen and the kittens to check them over in case there is an infection or something else more serious occurring. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Mami
Mix
11 Years
Critical condition
1 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Swollen nipple, smelly discharge

Medication Used

Amoxicillin

My 10yrs old unspayed cat (didn't give birth recently) has a swollen/inflamed or infected breast/nipple with smelly drainage. I noticed the smell a few weeks ago and that's also when she started peeing around the house. But didn't see what was happening to her until suddenly she became very ill. She became very sluggish and panting a lot and seems to be losing weight rapidly although she still eats and drinks plenty. I've been giving her amoxicillin about 5 days now but doesn't seem to be working. I cannot afford to have the vet run more tests to find out what it is exactly that she's suffering from. It could be mastitis or cancer. She's still in good spirits and although gets tired quickly and has to rest, she walks around to get water and food or lay in the sun. I am so heartbroken to see her like this and also feel tremendously guilty that my financial situation is causing her such pain and agony. She's been a very clean cat all her life. Always grooming herself. But now she doesn't even clean her face and she might even be urinating on herself (most likely from the pain, not from not being able to control it).
Please, give me your professional opinion on: 1. If it's cancer or mastitis, at this stage as described, is it still treatable with simple surgery and antibiotics? If so, 2. Will full recovery be expected or will it still be wait and see after the treatments? 3. At this stage, as described above, I know she's suffering. Is euthanasia be a better and humane option that I can give to her right now?

Thank you.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations

From the description you have described (with lethargy, panting, weight loss and increased thirst) it is possible that there is pain or the infection has spread from the breast; if this is the case a more potent antibiotic may be required. Infection can be present in cases of mammary tumours and may add to the complications. If the ‘problem’ (infection and or cancer) is confined to the breast then aggressive treatment or surgical removal may be beneficial; once an infection or tumour spreads systemically then the prognosis is less favourable. Without examining Mami or having results of culture and sensitivity for infection it isn’t possible to determine a prognosis based on different treatment as we aren’t aware of the severity. The final decision whether to euthanize should be discussed with your Veterinarian as I haven’t examined Mami and I am unable to make a recommendation. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Murka
Maine Coon
13 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Throwing up, swollen breasts

My cat had her first litter of kittens on April 16th and has been nursing them without any problems. A few days ago we gave away the kittens and have decided to keep one. My cat still nurses that kitten from time to time. For about 2 weeks my cat would meow a lot but we just thought she might be worried about her kittens safety since she just became a mother. Today she threw up, both of her back breasts are super swollen and she’s been lying around all day and meowing.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
It is possible that the sudden drop in nursing as lead to the mammary glands becoming inflamed due to being engorged with milk; you should try to apply a warm compress to the glands and ensure that she is comfortable. If there is no improvement in the swelling or overall symptoms you should visit your Veterinarian to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Twilah Mae
American Shorthair
2 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Tired,
Lethargy

My Queen has a clogged milk duct, I can't afford the vet nor can I get a credit line through them,what can I do to help her, I don't want to lose her she is my favorite

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
WIthout seeing Twilah Mae, I'm not sure what to suggest for her. Many veterinarians offer a free first exam that would allow you to have her seen so that you can have some sort of treatment. I hope that she is okay.

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Lucy
tabby
1 Year
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Not Eating
Swollen nipples

My cat has a litter that is 6 weeks old and we noticed yesterday that two of her breaths are swollen. She seems perfectly fine and it doesn’t seem to hurt but our local vet doesn’t open till tomorrow. Is there anything we can do from home while we wait. And should we let the kittens continue to drink from her ?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
You should not allow any kittens to nurse from the affected glands, but you could place a warm compress on the affected mammary glands which may help with a little relief but you should visit your Veterinarian in the morning for an examination and to determine whether a course of antibiotics and/or anti inflammatories is required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Hazel
Unknown( stray)
Two Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Tired

Hello my kitty has abandoned her kittens today and has been sitting and isolating herself. She had a really swollen nipple and the muscles around it are too. I was wondering if this is normal or a symptom of infection, the kittens are 5 weeks old and have been doing okay with hard food so we’re not too worried About that

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
The mammary glands may be sore due to no kittens nursing her or there may be an infection of the glands, if the glands are warm and Hazel has discomfort it is possible that there is mastitis. You should take Hazel for an examination with your Veterinarian so that they can confirm the diagnosis and prescribe treatment. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

My cat had kitten a little over 2 weeks ago. Her chest area is a hard square and I have noticed the kittens dont nurse there. Is she drying up there or could it be mastist?

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Fatin
Siamese
9 Years
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

Hi. I think my cat is having mastitis. 1 of the nipple is swollen and on the side of it have has a lump and just found out there’s a new lump on the other side of her other nipple I would like to how much will the treatment cost if i bring to vet? or is there any home treatment which i can treat it myself as i can’t afford to bring it to vet, where i can get an antibiotic that helps? Thank you

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Fatin may have mastitis, or she may have cancer. Without seeing her, I can't comment on what treatment might be appropriate, and she should be seen by a veterinarian to assess her and determine the best treatment for her. There are no home therapies that I'm aware of, unfortunately. For the cost of a veterinary visit, you'll have a better idea as to what might be going on, and what needs to be done for her.

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