What is Bacterial Infection?
Because of various exposures and several modes of disease transmissions, your cat can get many bacterial infections. As a responsible pet owner, it is important for you to know some common infections that your cat can easily get. A bacterium is a single cell organism that grows with multiple cell divisions. Harmful bacteria can cause severe illness and infection in cats. If left untreated cats will develop major health complications, just like humans.
Symptoms of Bacterial Infection in Cats
The symptoms and signs of bacterial infections in cats are always infection specific. While a streptococcal infections result in pain and fever, surface bacterial infections can result in inflammation, redness, and discomfort. Here are some common symptoms of bacterial infection in cats.
- Skin abscesses
- Indigestion and lack of appetite
- Skin lesions and wound infections
- Coughing and runny nose
- Red and runny eyes
- Constant vomiting
- Multiple infections, including skin, eyes, ears, upper respiratory tract and urinary tract
- Skin inflammation and redness
- Pain and lethargy
- Open fractures and pus oozing from the wounds
There are a number of bacteria that can lead to infections. The most common ones are:
Causes of Bacterial Infection in Cats
There are various types of bacterial infections that can affect your cat and its major organs. Age also determines the propensity of bacterial infection in cats. While young felines have a better immunity against major bacterial infections, the youngest ones are more prone to infections because of the lack of major antibodies. Similarly, old cats with weaker immune systems have a decline in antibodies. This is a major factor that causes bacterial infection affecting the skin, eye, ear, and many other major organs. Some of the major causes and risk factors of bacterial infections in cats are:
- Weakened immune system
- Poor diet
- Underlying illness
- Exposure to other animals that carry the parasites
- Disease transmission through air, water, food and soil
Diagnosis of Bacterial Infection in Cats
The diagnosis of a cat’s bacterial infection is based on symptoms.
Health exam: Veterinarians will check your cat’s health through a physical examination and review his medical history and symptoms for initial diagnosis.
Blood work: If required, they will suggest some blood tests, skin biopsies, sensitivity testing and cultures for your cat, too. These tests are performed to determine the cause of bacterial infections and diagnose the disease.
Additional tests: It may be necessary to perform some additional tests in order to rule out any other conditions in your cat.
Treatment of Bacterial Infection in Cats
Depending on the type of bacterial infection, its causes, and your cat’s health condition, the veterinarian will decide the treatment option for your cat. The chief aim of bacterial infection treatment is to clear the infection.
Antibiotics: In most cases of bacterial infections, your cat may need some antibiotic treatments. These prescribed antibiotics should be given to your cat per the veterinarian’s instruction. The antibiotic and dosage is determined based on your pet’s overall health and infection. Sometimes, your veterinarian may put your cat on a long-term antibiotic treatment plan. It is essential to do the entire course and until the symptoms have passed. The infection can return even worse than before if your cat has a small amount of bacterial infection remaining.
Topical Medication: For skin bacterial infection and secondary symptoms, your veterinarian may prescribe some topical drugs and medications. These ointments help to reduce inflammation, skin redness, teary eye and runny nose symptoms and pus formations. Certain shampoos may be prescribed to relieve skin itching and inflammation in case of a major bacterial skin infection.
Fever and Pain Medication: If your cat has a fever and body pain, his specific treatment plan may include pain relievers and fever medication too.
Specific Treatment Plans: Specific treatment plans are often prescribed for cats with unusual symptoms while having a bacterial infection. Your veterinarian will decide if your cat requires a specific treatment plan depending on the level of infection he has. In some cases, the veterinarians also perform a minor surgery to anesthetize the cat in order to clean and drain the infectious liquid from a deep bone wound.
Recovery of Bacterial Infection in Cats
Bacterial infections in cats are often long-lasting. Monitoring your cat’s health, conditions, and managing his diet will fasten the process of recovery. If your cat has open wounds, you will have to ensure getting his wound cleaned and dressed regularly. This procedure will speed up the recovering and healing too. Take your cat back for regular follow-up appointments and ensure to follow the treatment and infection management plan diligently for your cat’s effective and speedy recovery. It is also important to create a comfortable space for your cat during the healing process and limit his outdoor time to prevent other infections too.
Bacterial Infection Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
My cats got neutered and one came back with these symptoms. Almost 2 weeks ago. He's getting back to normal but the other has the same problems now. Only worse. Can I just let it ride out or should they both see a doc?
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