Feline mycoplasmosis – Symptoms and treatment
La feline mycoplasmosis o feline infectious anemia it is a disease caused by parasitic bacteria Mycoplasma haemofelis that usually goes unnoticed in individuals who suffer from it, however, in the most severe cases manifests as a severe anemia in cats, which can eventually cause the death of the individual.
In this article we will explain everything you need to know about feline mycoplasmosis, most common symptoms of the disease and the treatment to follow. However, if you suspect that your cat has feline infectious anemia, it will be essential visit your veterinarian to be able to make a differential diagnosis.
Mycolpasma in cats
La feline microplasmosis (Mycoplasma felis), also known as feline infectious anemia, is a disease that can be transmitted through the bite of infected ectoparasites, that is, parasites that are found on the skin of animals. The most common vectors are fleas and ticks, which is why prevention is so important by regular deworming of the feline.
However, it can also appear caused by iatrogenic transmission, as a consequence of a medical act, through the blood transfusion contaminated
Causes of microplasmosis in cats
Once enters the bloodstream through the bite of infected fleas and ticks, the Mycoplasma haemofelis it partially adheres to the surface of the red blood cells causing their hemolysis, that is, destroying them, and thus causing the appearance of anemia in the cat.
Studies state that two different subspecies of Haemobartonella felis: a large and relatively pathogenic and more dangerous form, which causes severe anemia, and a smaller and less virulent form.
It is important to note that, even having been in contact with the bacteria, there are animals that do not develop the disease and that they are also asymptomatic: they do not show symptoms of illness. In this case we speak of carrier animals that do not manifest the disease but can transmit it.
This pathology can also be kept dormant and manifest when the cat is weak, stressed or immunosuppressed, for example in animals suffering from the feline immunodeficiency virus or feline infectious peritonitis, since this bacterium takes advantage of the animal’s weakness to reproduce.
Transmission of feline microplasmosis
The transmission of microplasmosis in cats occurs by contact or through saliva. However, interactions that involve aggression, such as fights, bites or scratches they can finally cause transmission, since in these cases the animals can be exposed to the blood of an infected animal. Any cat can suffer from this pathology, regardless of age, race or sex.
According to several studies, males appear to be more predisposed to suffer it than females, mainly due to the Street fights, especially during the times of spring and summer, when the number of fleas and ticks is triggered, thus increasing the risk of infestation.
Symptoms of mycoplasma in cats
While some cats show obvious clinical signs, others do not, because it depends on the pathogenicity of the agent, the ability of the agent to cause the disease, the health status of the animal and the amount of agent inoculated during the fights or the bite of the animals. vectors
So, the infection it can be asymptomatic, as in mild anemia, or very obvious clinical signs may appear. Next we show you the symptoms of microplasmosis in cats more obvious:
- Enlargement of the spleen
- Weight loss
- White mucous
- Yellow mucous
Diagnosis of microplasmosis in cats
To identify and visualize the parasite, the veterinarian usually carries out the following diagnostic tests:
- Blood smears
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
However, it can happen that the molecular PCR technique is not available in our country or clinic and that the blood smear is a little sensitive, causing the presence of Mycoplasma in the cat be hard to recognize. Likewise, patients who give positive results in CRP can be carriers of the disease but not express it actively, in which case it will not be necessary to treat it.
The veterinarian can also suggest a complete blood count o Blood count (CBC) to visualize in detail the general state of the animal and thus help to offer a definitive diagnosis.
El Differential diagnosis This pathology is usually very complicated, so all possible aspects of the animal should be considered, including the clinical history, clinical symptoms, various analyzes and complete examinations. In addition, they should not be considered only in cats that have anemia, but in all those that have a recurrent history of parasitic infestation.
Treatment of feline infectious anemia
In general, the treatment indicated in a case of feline microplasmosis consists of the administration of antibiotics in cats, corticosteroids, fluid therapy and, in some cases, a transfusion. Do not forget that the treatment must always be prescribed by a veterinarian, who will adjust the doses according to the weight, the needs of the patient, the patient’s clinical history and the results of the tests.
An appropriate and personalized treatment, as well as support care, are fundamental to ensure the success of the treatment and the quality of life of our feline. Likewise, an early diagnosis is essential for a successful treatment.
Does mycoplasma have a cure?
Feline infectious anemia yes it has a cureIn addition, a recovered animal will no longer present any symptoms of disease. However, cats that have overcome this pathology become asymptomatic carriers indefinitely, either for a few months or until the death of the animal.
Prevention of feline mycoplasmosis
The main measure of protection against mycoplasmosis is to avoid the presence of ectoparasites through deworming the cat. While spring and summer are the times of greatest risk, due to climate change this routine must be present during all year. In addition, we must comply with the cat vaccination schedule to prevent certain immunomediated diseases from triggering the mycoplasma.
Castration of the cat is also advised, a surgical procedure in which the sexual organs are removed. This favors the reduction of behaviors related to aggression, escapism and marking, behaviors that provoke predisposition to suffer a parasitic infestation and participation in fights.
This article is merely informative, in .com we do not have the faculty to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or discomfort.
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