The Lyme disease is one of the dangerous you can have our feline friend. The risk of suffering from it one day will vary whether or not it goes abroad and whether we give it some antiparasitic treatment, since the cause is, indeed, a parasite. Specifically, the tick.
This is a parasite that we all know, especially those who live with the occasional domestic animal. The hot and dry climate favors it, so it is during the summer when we can see it most. But, if we are not careful, we could end up having a cat suffering from Lyme disease. But what is it and how is it treated?
What is Lyme disease?
This is a disease caused by bacteria transmitted by ticks . When these parasites bite the animal, they cause the microorganism to enter its body and begin to multiply rapidly. Taking this into account, the symptoms will appear soon, and if it is not treated in time, the consequences could be fatal.
The stages through which the disease develops are as follows:
- Phase 1: starts in the first days. The infection is localized, that is, it has not spread to the rest of the body. It is important to say that it takes 18 hours for the tick to infect the cat.
- Phase 2: this is when the bacteria begin to reach other parts of the body.
- Phase 3: it is in which the bacteria have spread throughout the body, months or years after infection.
Although there are several methods to prevent it, as we will see later, we must bear in mind that when we go outside ourselves, we could serve as a means of transport for an infected tick. So we not only have to protect our friend, but also ourselves.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms can vary depending on the stage of the disease. The most common are :
- Phase 1: fever, loss of appetite, listlessness, depression, muscle stiffness, swollen lymph nodes, and you may walk with an arched back.
- Phase 2: shortness of breath, nervous system disorders, heart problems.
- Phase 3: diarrhea, vomiting, kidney failure, fluid accumulation, muscle numbness.
Diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease in cats
Once we suspect that our furry friend could have this disease, it is important that we take him to the vet as soon as possible. The provider will do a blood test and check to see how your joints are doing. Thus, you will be able to know in what state of health the cat is and, if the diagnosis is confirmed, in what phase it is, something that is very important to be able to treat it.
Afterwards, and as long as a minimum of 18 hours have passed since the infection, you will begin to treat it with antibiotics . In the event that the disease is very advanced, he will give you intravenous serum to avoid dehydration and will also treat the symptoms with anti-inflammatories. Unfortunately, when it reaches phase 3 the chances of improvement are slim.
How can it be prevented?
Despite how serious and dangerous it can be, Lyme disease is one of the best preventable. To do this, you must do the following:
Deworm your cat
There are several types of antiparasitics on the market: collars, sprays, pipettes and pills. What is the difference between them?
- Collars: they are put around the neck of the animal. They are effective for one to six months depending on the brand, and usually prevent against the main parasites, including ticks.
- Sprays: they are used by spraying the cat’s hair, avoiding the eyes, nose, mouth and ano-genital area, whenever necessary.
- Pipettes: these are antiparasitics that are sold in very small plastic “bottles” inside which is the liquid. The cap is removed, and it is placed on the back of the neck, usually once a month.
- Pills: the vet must recommend them. They are antiparasitic pills that act from within the body of the furry. They are used in cases of really serious infestation, or when the other antiparasitics do not have the desired effect.
Regardless of which one you choose, you have to be very careful with them and use it first in a small area to see if it causes a reaction. In addition, we can always opt for other more natural remedies .
A vaccinated cat will hardly have Lyme disease or, if it were to become infected, it would be easier for him to overcome. For this reason, it is very important to follow the vaccination schedule that the veterinary professional will recommend.
Especially if it goes outside, it needs to be checked to see if it has any ticks. Above all we will have to inspect the ears, legs and in areas where there are skin folds since they are those where these parasites feel most comfortable.
Clean the house
This is something we already do, but we must try to clean everything well with hot water : the blankets, the sheets, the tablecloths, the floor (and especially the corners), cabinets,… in short, everything. From time to time we can add a little antiparasitic liquid to the water to make sure that we eliminate any traces of parasites.
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