Infectious Diseases of Cats

CATS

BACTERIAL INFECTIONS

    1.      Borreliosis (Lyme disease group) (Dog >>Cat)

Borreliosis is a tickborne, bacterial disease of domestic animals and humans. The importance of borreliosis as a zoonotic disease is increasing; although the incidence of disease in a geographic area is similar in animals and humans, animals, especially dogs, are at significantly higher risk. Tick avoidance plays a role in disease control. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    2.      Clostradial disease –Tetanus

Tetanus toxemia is caused by a specific neurotoxin produced by Clostridium tetani in necrotic tissue. Almost all mammals are susceptible to this disease, although cats seem much more resistant than any other domestic or laboratory mammal. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    3.      Mycobacterial infections (Cat>Dog)

    1. a.      Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious, granulomatous disease caused by acid-fast bacilli of the genus Mycobacterium. Although commonly defined as a chronic, debilitating disease, TB occasionally assumes an acute, rapidly progressive course. The tuberculin skin test is considered unreliable in cats. Affected cats should be euthanized because of public health concerns. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    1. b.      Mycobacterial infections other than tuberculosis

Mycobacteria found in soil and water have been isolated from tissues of animals. Mycobacterium fortuitum has been associated with cutaneous lesions in cats and dogs. M lepraemurium, a nonphotochromogenic, slow-growing, acid-fast bacillus, causes a disease in cats similar in some respects to leprosy in humans. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

RICKETTSIAL INFECTION

    1.      Ehrlichiosis related infections

A monocytic ehrlichiosis caused by Ehrlichia canis has been identified in cats in Africa, France, and the USA; however, the exact species has not been determined. The brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, transmits these agents. Prevention is enhanced by controlling ticks and using seronegative screened blood donors. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    2.      Eperythrozoonosis – Hemobartonellosis (Feline infectious anemia)

Feline infectious anemia (FIA) is an acute or chronic disease of domestic cats, seen in many parts of the world, caused by a rickettsial agent that multiplies within the vascular system. FIA is caused by an epicellular RBC rickettsial parasite, Haemobartonella felis. Any anemic cat may be suspected of having FIA. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.                

PROTOZOAL & MISCELLANEOUS INFECTION

    1.      Amebiasis

Amebiasis is an acute or chronic colitis, characterized by persistent diarrhea or dysentery. It is common in people and nonhuman primates, sometimes seen in dogs and cats, and rare in other mammals. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    2.      Babesiosis

Babesiosis is caused by intraerythrocytic protozoan parasites of the genus Babesia. The disease, which is transmitted by ticks, affects a wide range of domestic and wild animals and occasionally humans. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    3.      Coccidiosis

Coccidiosis is a usually acute invasion and destruction of intestinal mucosa by protozoa of the genera Eimeria or Isospora. In cats, it is less often diagnosed but can result in clinical illness. Many species of coccidia infect the intestinal tract of cats. Sanitation is important, especially in catteries and kennels. Raw meat should not be fed. Insect control should be established. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    4.      Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite that infects humans and other warm-blooded animals. Felids are the only definitive hosts of T gondii; both wild and domestic cats therefore serve as the main reservoir of infection. T gondii is an important zoonotic agent. Pregnant women should avoid contact with cat litter, soil, and raw meat. Pet cats should be fed only dry, canned, or cooked food. The cat litter box should be emptied daily, preferably not by a pregnant woman. Gloves should be worn while gardening. Vegetables should be washed thoroughly before eating because they may have been contaminated with cat feces. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    5.      Trypanosomiasis (Rare)

    1. a.      Tsetse-transmitted Trypanosomiasis

This group of diseases caused by protozoa of the genus Trypanosoma affects all domestic animals. In dogs and cats, T brucei is probably the most important. Most tsetse transmission is cyclic and begins when blood from a trypanosome-infected animal is ingested by the fly. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    1. b.      Chagas’ Disease (Trypanosoma cruzi infection)

The common transmission cycle of Chagas’ disease is between opossums, armadillos, rodents, and wild carnivores, with bugs of the Reduviidae family serving as vectors. Chagas’ disease is important in South America. The trypanosome is pathogenic to humans and occasionally to young dogs and cats; other domestic animals act as reservoir hosts. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    6.      Cytauxzoonosis

Cytauxzoonosis is caused by the Theileria -like parasites of the genus Cytauxzoon of the family Theileriidae. Cats are febrile, anorectic, weak, depressed, dyspneic, and dehydrated. Exclusion of cats from areas likely to be infested with the tick vector is the best method of control. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

VIRAL INFECTION

    1.      Rabies

Rabies is an acute viral encephalomyelitis that principally affects carnivores and bats, although it can affect any mammal. It is invariably fatal once clinical signs appear. Rabies is caused by lyssaviruses in the Rhabdovirus family. Cats are the most commonly reported rabid domestic animal in the USA. Recommended vaccination frequency is every 3 yr, after an initial series of 2 vaccines 1 yr apart. Because of the increasing importance of rabies in cats, VACCINATION OF CATS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    2.      Feline leukemia virus, FeLV

FeLV is a retrovirus in the family Oncovirinae. Despite the widespread use of vaccines, feline leukemia virus (FeLV) remains one of the most important causes of morbidity and mortality in cats. FeLV vaccines are intended to protect cats against FeLV infection or, at least, to prevent persistent viremia. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    3.      Feline immunodeficiency virus, (FIV, feline T-lymphotropic lentivirus)

Feline immunodeficiency virus is a related lentivirus that has been identified in domestic cats. Virus is shed mainly in the saliva, and the principal mode of transmission is through bites. Free-roaming (feral and pet), male, and aged cats are at the greatest risk of infection. FIV infection is uncommon in closed purebred catteries. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    4.      Feline infectious peritonitis and pleuritis (Feline coronaviral vasculitis)

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), caused by a feline coronavirus, is seen worldwide. Although a large number of cats may be infected with the feline coronavirus, only a few develop clinical FIP. An intranasal, modified live virus vaccine to help prevent FIP is available. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    5.      Feline enteric Coronavirus

Feline enteric coronavirus is an enveloped single-stranded RNA virus that is highly contagious among cats in close contact. In catteries, the virus may be a cause of inapparent to mildly severe enteritis in kittens 6-12 wk old. Vaccination with the temperature-sensitive intranasal vaccine for FIP may protect against challenge with virulent enteric coronavirus. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    6.      Feline respiratory disease complex

Feline respiratory disease complex includes those illnesses typified by rhinosinusitis, conjunctivitis, lacrimation, salivation, and oral ulcerations. The principal diseases, feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) and feline calicivirus (FCV) infections, affect domestic species. Two types of modified live virus FVR-FCV vaccines are available. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.             

    7.      Feline panleukopenia

Panleukopenia is a highly contagious, sometimes fatal, viral disease of cats that is seen worldwide. Kittens are affected most severely. Panleukopenia is now seen infrequently by veterinarians, presumably as a consequence of the widespread vaccine use. For an adequate vaccination, please contact your veterinarian. For more information click here or call your veterinarian. 

    8.      Poxvirus

Poxvirus infection in domestic cats has occurred sporadically in the UK and possibly Western Europe. Affected cats usually have multiple skin lesions, although respiratory and other signs also may be seen. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

FUNGAL INFECTION

    1.      North American Blastomycosis (dogs>cats)

Pyogranulomatous lesions in various tissues characterize North American blastomycosis, caused by a fungus. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    2.      Histoplasmosis (cats>dogs)

Histoplasmosis is a chronic, noncontagious, disseminated, granulomatous disease caused by the dimorphic fungus. The signs vary and are nonspecific, reflecting the various organ involvements. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    3.      Cryptococcosis (cats>dogs)

Cryptococcosis is a systemic fungal disease that may affect the respiratory tract (especially the nasal cavity), CNS, eyes, and skin (particularly of the face and neck of cats). For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    4.      Candidiasis

Candidiasis is a localized mucocutaneous disease caused by species of the yeast-like fungus, Candida. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    5.      Coccidioidomycosis

Coccidioidomycosis is a dustborne, noncontagious infection caused by the dimorphic fungus Coccidioides immitis. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    6.      Aspergillosis

Aspergillosis is caused by several Aspergillus spp, especially A fumigatus and A terreus. It is primarily a respiratory infection that may become generalized. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    7.      Hyalohyphomycosis

Hyalohyphomycosis is infection caused by nonpigmented fungi that in tissue form hyphal elements with hyaline or clear walls. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    8.      Mycetomas  

Mycetomas are granulomatous nodules of the subcutaneous tissues that contain tissue grains or granules. Within the grains are dense colonies of the organism. When fungi cause such lesions, they are known as eumycotic mycetomas. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    9.      Oomycosis (Pythiosis, Lagenidiosis)

Oomycosis is caused by pathogens in the class Oomycetes. Organisms of significance in veterinary medicine include various species of Pythium insidiosum, the cause of a cutaneous and paranasal disease of cats. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    10. Paecilomycosis 

Systemic (mainly pulmonary) mycoses caused by Paecilomyces spp have been described in humans and various other animals. In cats, it can cause nasal granuloma. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    11. Penicilliosis

Infections with Penicillium spp are rare in domestic animals. However, the fungus has been isolated from a case of feline dermatosis, from orbital cellulitis and sinusitis with pneumonia in another cat. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    12. Phaeohyphomycosis

Phaeohyphomycosis is a broad clinicopathologic designation that refers to chronic cutaneous, subcutaneous, or mucosal infection caused by one of several genera and species of pigmented fungi of the family Dematiaceae. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    13. Rhinosporidiosis

Rhinosporidiosis is a chronic, nonfatal, pyogranulomatous infection, primarily of the nasal mucosa and occasionally of the skin of cats, caused by the fungus Rhinosporidium seeberi. It is uncommon in North America. For more information click here or call your veterinarian.

    14. Sporotrichosis

Sporotrichosis is a sporadic chronic granulomatous disease of humans and various domestic and laboratory animals caused by Sporothrix schenckii. The cat may be the species with the greatest zoonotic potential, and transmission from cat to human has been reported.  For more information click here or call your veterinarian.