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What is Mycoplasma Infection?

Mycoplasma infection is caused by a type of bacteria that acts as a parasite in the blood, causing anemia and other signs of infection. Antibiotic treatment may be needed to overcome the disease, especially in cats with poor immune performance.

Mycoplasma infection is a medical condition that affects cats, dogs, farm animals, and people. The bacteria are present in most environments. Most healthy animals will experience little to no symptoms, but the very young or old or those with immune disorders may have severe anemia and other signs of infection. Mycoplasma commonly causes respiratory symptoms like bronchitis and pneumonia, but can cause infection in other parts of the body as well.

Mycoplasma Infection Average Cost

From 355 quotes ranging from $150 - $350

Average Cost

$220

Symptoms of Mycoplasma Infection in Cats

The symptoms of mycoplasma infection can vary based on several factors. The most common symptom is anemia. Clinical signs can vary depending on the severity of the infection and the immune status of the cat. Symptoms are considerably more severe in animals who have immune disorders and weakened immune systems. The location of the infection also affects the type of symptoms the cat will have. Infections can be located in the respiratory system, urinary tract, joints, or reproductive system. 

Common symptoms include:

  •  Anemia
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Yellowing of skin (Icterus or Jaundice)
  • Pale skin and mucous membranes
  • Nasal or ocular (eye) discharge

Symptoms related to the infection location include:

  • Sneezing
  • Trouble breathing
  • Coughing
  • Pneumonia
  • Joint inflammation
  • Difficulty moving
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Abscesses
  • Reproductive problems (including miscarriage and poor fetal development)
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Causes of Mycoplasma Infection in Cats

Mycoplasma infection is caused by exposure to the bacteria. This can occur in almost any setting, as this type of bacteria is very common. It can spread easily between animals, making it common in shelters and kennels as well as multi-pet homes. The infection is not limited to cats, and can be caught from or given to other companion animals. Humans are also at risk of infection. Immunodeficiency and conditions that weaken or suppress the immune system increase the risk of contracting the disease.

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Diagnosis of Mycoplasma Infection in Cats

A veterinarian can diagnose Mycoplasma infection using various medical testing procedures to visually confirm the organisms in blood, urine, or other fluids. Before proceeding to this step, a physical examination and medical history of the cat are required. Be prepared to discuss the symptoms and timeframes associated with your pet’s illness. If clinical signs point to a bacterial infection, your veterinarian will collect fluids for testing purposes. The fluid collected will depend on the type and location of the symptoms your cat is exhibiting. For example, a urinalysis or urine testing are effective in situations where the animal is experience related symptoms. Joint fluid, mucus, and blood samples can also be analyzed. Dye staining has been shown to be an effective method for locating the bacteria that cause the infection in cats.

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Treatment of Mycoplasma Infection in Cats

No single treatment or protocol is considered consistently effective in treating Mycoplasma infection. Treatments will vary depending on the severity of symptoms and location of the infection within the body. Antibiotics are the most common form of treatment, but the type of antimicrobial the bacteria is susceptible to is not the same in all cases. To completely overcome the disease, treatments may continue for an extended period of time. Although treatment plans may differ, most cats will not require hospitalization unless their symptoms are very severe or in animals with poor immune function. Recommended treatments may include:

Antibiotics:

 Most cats will require a minimumseven to ten-day course of antibiotics to treat the primary infection. Because Mycoplasma infections can be hard to eradicate, more than one course of antibiotics may be necessary for a full recovery. 

Analgesics:

 If pain, inflammation, or fever is severe, this category of painkiller may be prescribed. Be sure to carefully follow your veterinarian’s instructions if you will be dosing your pet with painkillers at home. Too much of this type of medication can be very dangerous to your cat. 

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Recovery of Mycoplasma Infection in Cats

Most cats with normal immune function are expected to make a full recovery from the disease, although it may take several weeks to completely rid your pet of the infection. Once antibiotic treatment has begun, symptom improvement can be expected within a few days. Anemia symptoms may take longer to recover from. Carefully monitor your pet’s food and water intake while they are recovering to make sure your cat is receiving the proper nutrition to recover.

Reinfection is a risk with Mycoplasma, so pet areas should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Continued disinfection should be maintained until your pet has completed their antibiotic treatments. If there are multiple animals in the home, isolation may be necessary to prevent the spread of infection. Take your pet back to the veterinarian if symptoms get worse, don’t improve after a week’s time, or come back.

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Mycoplasma Infection Average Cost

From 355 quotes ranging from $150 - $350

Average Cost

$220

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Mycoplasma Infection Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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PDittyKitty

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Bombay

dog-age-icon

18 Months

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Mild severity

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1 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Conjunctivitis

Our chickens were exposed to Mycoplasma 9 months ago. I treated them with Doxycycline and their symptoms mostly disappeared. I got 2 mousers from the animal shelter about 3 months ago, and one of them showed signs of conjunctivitis a month after it arrived here. Does it seem likely that our cat PDittyKitty picked up the MC/MG from our chickens? I am ready to get rid of all my chickens and start over with MC/MG clean chickens after I clean and disinfect the entire chicken yard. Is it possible that our cats can pass the MC/MG back to the new chickens? Many thanks for any information. MaryZoe

May 24, 2018

PDittyKitty's Owner


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1 Recommendations

As you know chickens treated for Mycoplasma remain carriers after treatment, however cats should not be affected by avian types of Mycoplasma. Feline conjunctivitis may be caused by a variety of different pathogens, it would be good to treat the cat (if you haven’t already) with an ophthalmic antibiotic ointment and monitor for improvement. Before you consider bringing any new chickens into the coup, you should get rid of the old chickens, disinfect and introduce the new birds. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

May 24, 2018

Very helpful, thank you. Yes, I do plan on giving all my chickens away to someone whose flock is already MC/MG positive (I would not sell a chicken I know is a carrier, and I am SURE people know what they're dealing with before I give them away). Then I will disinfect the coop and chicken yard, wait 2-3 weeks, then start again with chickens I know are MC/MG clean. It is great news, though, that our cat cannot infect our chickens. I will treat the cat as well. Thank you.

May 24, 2018

PDittyKitty's Owner

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Skeeter

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domestic short hair

dog-age-icon

9 Years

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Critical severity

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1 found helpful

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

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Weakness
Vomiting
Loss Of Appetite
In A Lot Of Pain

My cat ate a couple June bugs a week ago and has been very sick since. We brought him to our vet a few days ago and after a few tests they believe he has multiple myeloma. They’re referring us to a specialist which is expecting to want to put him through chemotherapy and radiation. They still haven’t mentioned anything about the June bugs. Is there a chance their diagnosis is wrong and it’s just an infection from the bug and just needs antibiotics rather than cancer treatment?

May 23, 2018

Skeeter's Owner


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1 Recommendations

Multiple myeloma isn’t a common form of cancer in cats and I’m sure your Veterinarian made their diagnosis based on the presenting symptoms (which can be variable with multiple myeloma) and the results of tests. I cannot say what the diagnosis is because I haven’t examined Skeeter so I cannot question or second guess the diagnosis of your Veterinarian (from a legal perspective); however if you have concerns, you’re entitled to get a second opinion from another Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

May 24, 2018

Thank you for your feedback! It is much appreciated. We understand that there’s only so much advice you can give without examining Skeeter yourself. We don’t want to second guess the people we chose to bring him to for testing either. I’m sure they’re amazing at what they do. We simply want to do everything we can to fight for him. It’s just that he was happy, healthy, energetic and playful before the incident with the June bugs. (Yes, he’s 9 yrs old but he generally acts like a 3 year old). The very next morning is when his symptoms started. And they don’t seem to think the June bugs have a factor in any of his symptoms. I guess my question is, do you know of anyone in the twin cities area (Minnesota) that we could get a second opinion from? There are plenty of places here, we’re just trying to figure out what’s best for him. Thank you for keeping us in mind.

May 25, 2018

Skeeter's Owner

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Tilly

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Ragdoll

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1 Day

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Appetite

mycoplasma infection Queen ragdoll, went to stud and after a week was chesty. Vet swabbed positive. Is pregnant? Treatment currently asymptomatic . ? And treatment and spread to kittens

April 20, 2018

Tilly's Owner


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0 Recommendations

I’m not sure specifically what your question is here, there are different types of Mycoplasma infections which may affect cats and different approaches to treatment with different classes of medicines; are you concerned that the kittens will get infected or that the treatment will cause issues with the kittens during pregnancy? Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

April 21, 2018

Can you let us know the outcome with Tilly? Thank you. Colleen

Sept. 21, 2018

Colleen


Will the kittens be infected or need treatment? . Will the queen become ill with the infection again during her pregnancy? We are concerned as this is her first pregnancy and we love her dearly . Thank you for your answers

April 21, 2018

Tilly's Owner


Hi , the queen seems well and was treated prior to swabs with a broad spectrum antibiotic, for a chest infection taking into consideration a possible pregnancy . The nasal swab returned positive. Does she need further treatment and can she continue in the pregnancy. The vet we are consulting with has never come across this senirio and waiting advice . Can you please advice? Thank you

April 21, 2018

Tilly's Owner

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Magic

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Bengal

dog-age-icon

12 Months

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Critical severity

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1 found helpful

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Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Sneezing

Hi there, my cat has mycoplasma, and also has an antibacterial resistant bacteria. What are the best options to treat the mycoplasma? Are there any options? I believe that doxycycline is an antibacterial medication. Would steriods help at all?

April 13, 2018

Magic's Owner

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1 Recommendations

Long term treatment with doxycycline is a common treatment for Mycoplasmosis (all types) in cats, however it may only control the infection. If there is an antibiotic resistant bacterial infection it is important to have a culture and sensitivity test done to see which antibiotic the bacteria is susceptible to. You should discuss with your Veterinarian for guidance on the best course of action. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM http://veterinarycalendar.dvm360.com/mycoplasmas-feline-medicine-proceedings

April 13, 2018

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Mittens

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Ginger short hair

dog-age-icon

7 Months

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Moderate severity

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Sneezing
Running Nose

My kitten has been ill since we got him. Congested, coughing, throat infection, upper respiratory symptoms etc. Each time we take him to the vets we are given antibiotics, these work then after 3 or 4 days the symptoms come back or another symptom occurs. After tests he was diagnosed with mycoplasma infection and leukaemia & herpes were ruled out. His current symptoms are a runny nose & sneezing which isn’t going with the antibiotics given by the vet. He is 7 months old and we also have his brother who is fine. Is there anything else we can do?

Feb. 7, 2018

Mittens' Owner

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0 Recommendations

Mittens may be not responding to treatment or the runny nose and congestion may be caused by another cause like allergies, foreign objects etc… If the current course of treatment is ineffective, you should return to your Veterinarian but remember that treatment can be long in these cases as much as a few weeks so be patient. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Feb. 7, 2018

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Cleo

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Maine Coon mix

dog-age-icon

1 Year

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Pale Mucous Membranes
Decreased Appetite

My one year old fur baby Cleo was diagnosed with mycoplasma in July and received a blood transfusion. Her PCV was at 6 when I first brought her in. After a month of doxy and pred she got back up to 27. It’s October now and Cleo has relapsed and is back down to a PCV of 12. Could the relapse have occurred because of an underlying autoimmune disease or did she just not receive treatment long enough?

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Ambuya

dog-breed-icon

Siamese

dog-age-icon

12 Years

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

Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Sneezing
Runny Nose
Bubbling Chest
Itchy Weeping Eyes
Balance Affected

Currently fostering/nursing a senior Siamese cat that was dumped in the Desert and has tested positive for Mycoplasma. Very severe respiratory infection and eye infection, ear mites and severely underweight, malnourished and dehydrated. The vet released her to me 5 days ago and she is still wobbly on her pins, sleeping a lot and responsive only in short bursts, a little disorientated at times and has fairly regular violent sneezing attacks where she excretes a lot of mucous that I try and wipe away if I am present. Her little nose looks quite raw from this. She is eating, especially when I hand feed her, but the administration of the antibiotic tastes so horrible that she is put off food for a couple of hours afterwards, and similarly when I dose her ears for mites and her eyes with drops. She has had a couple of accidents missing the litter box but simply I think because she is so frail and cannot drum up the energy to get into the box on occasion. She has put on weight and her appetite is definitely increasing, she is getting more active and alert at times and seems to be happy to be out of the cage and quite affectionate, but I would be interested to know how long term her recovery will be given that her immune system has taken such an obvious beating and of course, her age.

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Sookie

dog-breed-icon

Manx

dog-age-icon

9 Years

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

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Sneezing

I have one cat that after 2 rounds of the wrong antibiotics, a nasal flush, and finally a culture was taken to see what was causing the sneezing, was diagnosed with mycoplasma. She had 10 days of doxycycline and the sneezing stopped for about a month. Although the sneezing isn't back as often as it was, i've caught her sneezing 2-3 times the past few days. I have another cat, her brother, that has no symptoms. Could the other cat have mycoplasma and have given it back to her this past month? The vet is going to give me 21 days of doxycycline today for my cat. I'm just wondering if I should give it to both cats even though one has no symptoms.

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Kali

dog-breed-icon

Oriental

dog-age-icon

10 Years

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

Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Weight Loss
Isolation
Anaemia

Steady weight loss over six months of 1.4kg. From 4.9kg to 3.5kg. Pica, floor licking. Anaemia. No d One xray two ultra sounds. Some bilarubin in per sample. Suspected intestinal thickening. Either Mycoplasma or lymphoma. Is there a large difference between the two?

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Lucca

dog-breed-icon

British short hair

dog-age-icon

5 Months

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

Fair severity

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1 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

No Symptoms

Im about to adopt a cat from a breeder, but she just found out one of the kittens from the litter has mycoplasm infection. All kittens are being treated with doxycycline at the moment, but only the one with symptoms was tested and diagnosed. The kitten Im looking to have, appears healthy. I have another cat in my household with a weak immune system. Im wondering if I should go ahead with this adoption or if Id be putting the existing cat in my household at risk?

Mycoplasma Infection Average Cost

From 355 quotes ranging from $150 - $350

Average Cost

$220

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