People and pets routinely died from infections before penicillin, the first antibiotic, was introduced in the first half of the 20th century. Today, veterinarians use antibiotics to treat many typ ...View Article
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Posted on 09-20-2017
On September 6, our blog focused on protecting your dog against zoonotic diseases. Today, we are going to turn our attention to cats and some of the zoonotic diseases they can carry. Remember, zoonotic diseases are diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans. If a pet is infected with a zoonotic disease, this does not automatically mean the average person will also contract the disease. However, it is important to understand which diseases may pose a risk to humans and always practice good sanitation and hygiene. Also, note that individuals with underdeveloped or weakened immune systems (e.g., infants, elderly, those with suppressed immune systems) could be more susceptible. Always consult your healthcare provider for questions regarding human health.
Many of the topics we discussed in our blog about dogs and zoonotic diseases also apply to cats. Keeping vaccines current (most specific to this discussion – the rabies vaccine), utilizing a routine prophylactic dewormer (such as monthly Revolution), having an annual fecal sample analyzed, and keeping cats out of situations where they can encounter wildlife are all excellent steps to take. But there are some other items that we should also discuss that are more specific to your feline friend – take a look...
For felines, the most important vaccine to consider in a discussion about zoonotic diseases is the Rabies vaccine. North Carolina law requires that all cats and dogs be kept current on the rabies vaccine at all times. As a reminder, Lawndale Veterinary Hospital is holding a rabies vaccine clinic in honor of World Rabies Day on Thursday, September 28, 2017 from 8 AM to 5 PM. Vaccines will be $12 and walk-ins are welcome. Should your pet need other veterinary services though, please schedule an appointment.
Year-round flea and tick prevention is best. Both fleas and ticks can transmit zoonotic diseases. For cats, one of the zoonotic diseases you may have heard about is Cat Scratch Disease. This is caused by the bacterium Bartonella henselae, which can be transmitted by fleas (either through flea bites or flea feces). Many cats infected with this bacterium do not show signs of disease. They can transmit the infection to humans through a scratch, bite, or licking an open wound on a person’s skin.
Cats can develop a fungal skin infection called ringworm. Some cats can carry this fungal organism without showing symptoms. Others can develop skin lesions such hair loss, scaling, or a change in skin color. We tend to see ringworm in cats who came from an environment that housed a large number of animals.
Being outdoors and/or around wild animals can cause cats to be exposed to some zoonotic diseases. Keeping cats indoors can protect them from many of these concerns. Here are some things a cat could encounter:
Author: Dr. C. Noureddine, DVM, MS, MS
Photo Credits: www.pixabay.com