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What are Clostridium perfringens?

Clostridium perfringens

enterotoxicosis in cats is a complex syndrome that causes spontaneous diarrhea in felines. Experts estimate that nearly 15-20 percent of all feline diarrhea cases are Clostridium perfringens related.Clostridium perfringens is a bacterial infection of the intestines with which most cats develop long-term clinical symptoms of diarrhea and clinical signs associated with gastrointestinal disease. Any cat can be affected the bacteria, but Clostridium perfringens is poorly understood, leaving veterinarians unaware of the exact cause for the bacterial overgrowth. Cat owners will notice spontaneous diarrhea lasting from a couple days to a few weeks, which leads to life-threatening dehydration that must be addressed by a veterinary professional. 

Clostridium perfringens Average Cost

From 588 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$250

Symptoms of Clostridium perfringens in Cats

Clinical cases ofClostridium perfringens in cats is associated with acute diarrhea lasting for about five to seven days. Chronic cases of Clostridium perfringens in cats, however, is characterized by intermittent episodes of diarrhea recurring about every four to six weeks. A chronic case of this intestinal disease could persist over a month’s time or several years. Common symptoms of a cat affected by Clostridium perfringens includes: 

  • Acute hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (intestinal inflammation paired with blood in the stomach) 
  • Mucus-covered stools 
  • Bright red blood covered stools 
  • Watery stools 
  • Tenesmus (straining to defecate) 
  • Hematochezia (blood upon the passage of a bowel movement) 
  • Flatulence (passing gas) 
  • Vomiting 
  • Abdominal discomfort  
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Causes of Clostridium perfringens in Cats

It is unclear whetherClostridium perfringens is a healthy bacterium normally found within the intestine of the feline, which simply overgrows due to certain conditions, or Clostridium perfringens is an infectious bacteria. Researchers have found the Clostridium perfringens widely distributed within the soil, but it is unknown whether the bacteria thrives in the environment or was shed through mammalian feces. Veterinarians have been able to link the bacterial infection to certain conditions, such as stress, which brings experts to believe  Clostridium perfringens is an opportunistic pathogen. A pathogen that is characterized as an opportunistic pathogen does not cause harm to a healthy feline, but can inflict harm if the feline’s immune system becomes unbalanced. 

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Diagnosis of Clostridium perfringens in Cats

Your veterinarian will begin the diagnostic process with a review of your cat’ medical history and a physical examination. In the case of Clostridium perfringens, your feline may appear to have abdominal discomfort upon palpation of the abdomen during the physical examination. The symptoms associated with Clostridium perfringens are rather vague as, intestinal complications can be the clinical sign for a variety of underlying causes. Therefore, your veterinarian will likely discuss any changes in your cat’s diet as well as run a fecal examination to detect the presence of internal parasites. A fecal examination proves ineffective for detecting Clostridium perfringens as only the enterotoxins produced by Clostridium are a true diagnosis of this bacterial infection. Your veterinarian will likely conduct a cell cytology assay and ELISA test on the feline’s blood samples, combined with an anaerobic culture. A PCR test which is used to distinguish strains of non-toxigenic agents from toxigenic strains may also be completed. 

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Treatment of Clostridium perfringens in Cats

The majority of feline patients diagnosed withClostridium perfringens are treated as outpatients, but if the feline’s diarrhea has caused severe dehydration, a short hospitalization period may be required to supplement with fluid therapy. All activities will be restricted during your cat’s recovery time and a diet high in fiber will likely be advised. High fiber diets reduce the number of Clostridial bacteria, while acidifying the inner intestine, which will reduce the growth of intestinal bacteria. An antibiotic medication may not be necessary, but chronic cases of Clostridium perfringens in cats may be prescribed antibiotic therapy. 

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Recovery of Clostridium perfringens in Cats

The majority of felines respond very well to therapy against Clostridium perfringens, but chronic cases may require long-term control of bacterial growth. Your cat will likely remain on a high fiber diet unless the feline remains stable without dietary changes. A clean and stress-free environment can help to prevent Clostridium perfringens from recurring or overgrowing to a point of causing intestinal disease. 

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Clostridium perfringens Average Cost

From 588 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$250

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Clostridium perfringens Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Gus

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Ragdoll

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6 Months

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Flatulence
Loose Stools

My 6 month old Ragdoll has had stomach issues ever since we brought her home. Initial tests showed coccidia. This was treated with sulfatrim. Her symptoms improved slightly, but she was put on stomorgyl for 10 days as her stools were still loose. We have been giving her a probiotic throughout this period. A second round of tests were positive for cryptosporidium and clostridium. Vets have now put her on a hydrolyzed diet and metronidazole, which has given her explosive diarrhea! Their recommendation was to just keep giving her the full 10 day course of metronidazole. I'm really not happy with this as it has made her stomach much much worse. What other options are there?

Sept. 14, 2018

Gus' Owner

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A

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Domestic shorthair

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5 Years

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Moderate severity

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2 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Flatulence

I have two 5 y/o cats (litter mates) who started having loose stools in May. They were first prescribed Metronidazol for a week and it seemed to help a bit, but then loose stools came back. They were put back on metro but it was discontinued after 3 days as it didn't seem to help. One of the kitties improved, but the other didn't so he had fecal PCR panel and came back positive for CPA and CPE (all else was negative). He was then put on Tylan for two weeks and PCR came back negative for CPA/CPE (and all else). The other kitty was also put on Tylan a week after bc her stool got softer as well. Her PCR was slightly positive for CPE (but not medically significant). However, their stools remained soft. Because it wasn't forming their stools, the vet took them off of Tylan, but I just redid their PCR and both are now significantly increased for CPA/CPE. We are now on BOTH metronidazol and tylan! The vet is saying that loose stools are due to the IBD. What are your thoughts? Is that definitely the case or could it be that they have loose stools bc their food intake (calories AND type of food) were drastically changed over a super short period of time in May and changes continued to be made every couple of weeks. What are the chances that loose stools will resolve once food is fully stabilized?

July 7, 2018

A's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

It is possible that the food changes are making recovery from the bacterial overgrowth much worse. If you are able to feed them both a gastrointestinal diet for a month or two (there are prescription diets available from your veterinarian), and continue treatment, you may be able to allow the intestines to heal sufficiently to overcome the infection. Continuing the probiotics should help as well.

July 7, 2018

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Nacho

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eu

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10 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Pancreatitis
Letargy
Liver Problem

Hello, I have two cats. One is 10 months old and the other one is 10 years old. They have been having diarrhea on and off for some time. They simultaneously get it and then simultaneously get better. A few days ago my older cat got very lethargic and both my cats got diarrhea. Older one only gets up to eat and poop ( diarrhea 8 times a day). He has appetite. He prefers to lay on cold surfaces. I brought him to the local vet for blood tests. Turned our the results show problem with liver, pancreas and little bit with the kidneys. Vet administered and injection. Now I give both my cats digestive foo and probiotic. Vet doesn't seem to know where the problem is. I think that maybe it's something both cats share, but I don't know what. Yesterday my older cat's poop was dark green, today their both poops are between orange brown and greenish. Please help me figure out what is wrong with my cats :(

June 29, 2018

Nacho's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

The colour of the faeces can be related to liver issues and the speed of gastrointestinal transit, however it is possible that flare ups of diarrhoea and digestive issues may be related to infections, parasites, diet, treats, environmental sources among other causes. Without knowing the specific findings your Veterinarian found on the blood tests (what did they indicate specifically) I cannot make any specific recommendation. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 30, 2018

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Thinking of adopting her

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Persian

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2 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Clostridium Perfringens

Can Clostridium perfringens be passed on to dogs? I have two jack-a-poos & a 6 year old child and have just lost our much loved & much missed little girl cat Bobby at 17 years old to stomach tubers. Read more at: https://wagwalking.com/cat/condition/clostridium-perfringens

June 16, 2018

Thinking of adopting her's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Clostridium perfringens is commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract of healthy asymptomatic dogs, the problem arises when there is a bacterial overgrowth which may lead to symptoms. So dogs can definitely pick up Clostridium perfringens but normally do so when licking or eating something outside, but generally isn’t an issue. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 17, 2018

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Tigger, Grey, Stone, & Kyra

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Domestic shorthair

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4 Months

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Vomiting
Gas
Gas In Multiple Cats

I have several of my cats with gas, one has diarrhea, and the other vomited. Tigger our oldest had Chronic gas and we brought her to the vet who prescribed her an antibiotic (I think it was an amoxicillin strain). It didn’t help so he prescribed her another Antibiotic called metronidazole. This helped for a while but now we have other 3 cats with gas issues. Could this bacteria be the cause of it?

June 5, 2018

Tigger, Grey, Stone, & Kyra's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

It is possible that all four kittens have picked up the same infection, kittens are prone to picking up infections due to an underdeveloped immune system; Clostridium perfringens among other infections may cause similar symptoms, it may be worth having a stool sample taken for culture and sensitivity testing. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 6, 2018

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Mia and Kira

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Main Coone mix and domestic shorthair

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9 Months

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Stool Sometimes Mucousy

Following a recent surgery for a perforated ulcer and lengthy hospital stay, I acquired Clostridium Difficile. I didn't allow my two cats to come home until I was asymptomatic because I was worried about infecting them...they seem to have brought some visitors when we were reunited, and just finished up Febendazole for tapeworms. The rice-like segments in their stool appear to be gone. They don't have diarrhea, but have the most god-awful smelling poo!!!! They are active, but still overeating with little to show for it. Kira, the six month old in fact has a bloated tummy. Could this be C. Diff, or some other form of Clostridium? (Remembering the malodorous effect C. Diff had on me). Meanwhile, I suspect I might have picked up some form of parasite from them & will be discussing with PCP tomorrow... It would seem in our tiny little apartment we are in a parasitic circle of sorts, despite my constant bleaching.

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Jo

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Siamese

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2 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Fever
Lethargy
Vomiting
Not Eating
Not Drinking
Uncontrollable

My 2.5 year old male cat died very suddenly last week. He was vomiting, lethargic and had a fever. Our other cat soon began exhibiting the same symptoms and they both had to be hospitalized. Our boy died 24 hours later. Our other cat survived and we just got the results of the fecal analysis from the make cat and it was clostridium perfringens type a. His death followed a seizure and drop in temperature which the vet believes is was due to a build up of enterotoxin. I work on a dairy farm part time and my vet said that our cats death was likely due to my introducing clostridium perfringens into our home from the farm. Is this the case? I feel like I caused his death. It came out of nowhere but feel like it's my fault. Does anyone have any more insight into this?

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Onyx

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domestic shorhair

dog-age-icon

1 Year

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Mild severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Blood In Stool

My cat came out positive for C. Perfringens Alpha Toxin (CPA) Gene RealPCR . We did an ultrasound and she came out normal .She was prescribed Amoxicillin she’s been on it for 4 day and at the endings of her stool she had a decent amount of blood more than usual . We have her on Id for digestive sensitivity and are giving her the PURINA PRO PLAY FORTIFLORA probiotics . I want to know why today she had more blood at the end of her stool . Any feed back will be greatly appreciated . Thank you

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Martha Stewart

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domestic short hair

dog-age-icon

13 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Not Eating Or Drinking Much
Vomiting Liquid

My thirteen year old healthy cat was vomiting liquid on and off for a day or so when I brought her to the vet. they did some quick blood work, sub q fluids, an acid reducer and cerenia for vomiting. As the next day progressed, she was not feeling well and died that night. The vet did a necropsy and thought it was a rare, quick and lethal reaction to clostridium. But my cat had no diarrhea.

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Sasha

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Ragdoll

dog-age-icon

4 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea

Hi, We have just been diagnosed with Clostridium perfringens I have been doing some research and found this useful information shared by other cat owners about successfully treating Clostridium perfringens related diarrhea with specific probiotics containing Saccharomyces Boulardii Please follow this link https://thecatsite.com/threads/trouble-in-raw-paradise-clostridium-perfringens-and-my-cats.259985/ The probiotics mentioned in the thread: Nexabiotic Multi Probiotic with Saccharomyces Boulardii, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, B. infantis, Prebiotic https://www.amazon.com/d/Probiotic-Supplements/DrFormulas-Probiotics-Saccharomyces-Lactobacillus-Acidophilus/B0050FKPU0 Jarrow Formulas Saccharomyces Boulardii + MOS https://www.amazon.com/Jarrow-Saccharomyces-Boulardii-Intestinal-Digestive/dp/B0013OVW0E Here you can read the reviews of cat owners on Amazon who tried it and very happy with the results DrFormulas Nexabiotic Probiotics for Cats Powder | Treats Diarrhea for Pets with Saccharomyces Boulardii Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Best Probiotics Supplement for Digestive Health 30 Capsule https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0746849T4/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_5xD.BbANEPTVT

Clostridium perfringens Average Cost

From 588 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$250

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