Glanders (Farcy) Average Cost

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$1,500

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What is Glanders (Farcy)?

A cat infected with glanders is in serious danger, and because of its contagious nature, infected cats put other animals and humans at risk of contracting the disease. Contact a veterinarian the moment you begin to notice the formation of ulcers on your cat’s skin or inside his mouth or nose. Even if it is too late to get treatment for your cat, you will need professional help with preventing the disease from spreading to others.

Glanders is a serious disease caused by the Burkholderia mallei bacteria, which can be transmitted orally or through direct contact. Although glanders is often associated with horses, it can actually infect any mammal, including cats, dogs, and even humans. This disease is mainly characterized by ulcerating nodes, which usually appear on the skin or along the respiratory tract. Currently, there are no known cases of glanders in the United States, however, it is found in various other parts of the world, including South America, Africa, and Asia.

Symptoms of Glanders (Farcy) in Cats

The most obvious sign of glanders is the presence of ulcerating nodules, which can occur on the respiratory tract, lungs, or the skin’s surface. In addition these ulcers, you may notice:

  • Yellowish green nasal discharge 
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • High fever
  • Chills

Though you may not detect them, your cat may also experience symptoms such as:

  • Muscle aches
  • Tightness in the chest

Causes of Glanders (Farcy) in Cats

Glanders is caused by the Burkholderia mallei bacteria, which is highly contagious. Cats may develop glanders after coming into direct contact with the bacteria or ingesting it. Although it is not nearly as common in cats as it is in horses, when cats do develop this disease, it is usually after eating contaminated meat. 

There are no known cases of glanders in the United States, but cats in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and South America are at risk of developing this disease.

Diagnosis of Glanders (Farcy) in Cats

If you notice signs of glanders, it’s imperative that you bring your cat into a veterinarian right away. Let your vet know what symptoms you have observed, when they began, and if your cat has been in contact with any other animals. If you live in a rural area and your cat spends a lot of time outdoors, it’s important to mention this to the vet as well.

The vet will likely begin by conducting a complete blood count and blood chemistry profile test to look at your cat’s overall health. These tests should show elevated levels of white blood cells, which indicate your cat is fighting off some form of infection. 

The vet will also take a sample of the affected tissue to perform a bacterial culture. Tissue can be taken from one of the ulcerating nodules, or if there is a lot of nasal discharge, a sample of this could be taken instead. Once these results are in, the vet should be confident in making a glanders diagnosis.

Treatment of Glanders (Farcy) in Cats

Antibiotics may be given to your cat to treat this bacterial infection, however there is little research on which antibiotics are the most effective. Treatment may need to continue for several months if the glanders is severe. If your cat has developed abscesses as a result of the glanders, these may need to be drained by the veterinarian to ensure they heal properly.

Glanders is highly contagious and can spread between animals and from animals to humans. Because of this, most of the treatment will center around preventing an outbreak by quarantining your cat. You may need to leave your cat at the vet’s facility, where he can be properly monitored and handled by people who have the appropriate safety equipment.

Unfortunately, many animals that are diagnosed with glanders are immediately euthanized. This is done to prevent an outbreak, and in some cases, the owner may have no choice in the matter. 

Recovery of Glanders (Farcy) in Cats

There is no available information on the recovery rate of cats with glanders if they are not euthanized by the vet. If you do get to bring your cat home, you will need to keep him completely separate from other animals and humans. Any time you interact with your cat, you will need to wear a mask, face shield, and gloves to avoid catching the disease. 

After your cat has recovered, you will need to thoroughly sterilize anything he may have touched while infected. This includes his bedding, toys, water and food bowls, and scratching posts. Talk to your vet about the best way to disinfect all of these items. 

It’s important to note these items will need to be disinfected even if your cat is euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease to other people in your household.