Toxoplasmosis in Cats
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Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease that can affect cats as well as dogs. The disease can be worrying if the cat's owner is pregnant; although it's difficult, the disease might be transmitted to the fetus. If someone at home is pregnant and you suspect your cat has toxoplasmosis, go to the doctor and the vet just in case.
Are you wondering how to know if your cat has toxoplasmosis? Stay with us at AnimalWised and learn all about toxoplasmosis in cats, including its common symptoms, infection process and its treatment.
What is toxoplasmosis?
Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease, that is, a kind of infection. Although it doesn't tend to cause any symptoms in adults - and many are infected without noticing - infection by Toxoplasma gondil can cause aches, eye problems and seizures in people with weaker immune systems. The infection can be passed on to a fetus, which can cause congenital toxoplasmosis. However, the odds are low.
The bacteria that cause toxoplasmosis can be found in raw meat and infected cat feces; direct contact with either of these two elements can transmit the disease. It is very important to clean the cat's litter box properly, as not doing so can cause the spread of the disease. If you're pregnant, have someone else wash the box.
10% of cats around the world suffer from toxoplasmosis, and 15% carry the disease. It usually spreads when the cat eats wild animals such as birds and mice.
How is toxoplasmosis transmitted?
As discussed above, toxoplasmosis is spread through direct contact with the feces of an infected animal or raw meat. This is why many veterinarians recommend collecting the feces in the litter box with gloves, and this prevents direct contact. They also recommend not handling raw meat.
Among non-pregnant adults, transmission may have happened without us noticing. As toxoplasmosis is usually an asymptomatic disease, there are no obvious symptoms to identify the disease.
Symptoms of toxoplasmosis in cats
As discussed above, toxoplasmosis is an asymptomatic disease. That means that at first the infected cat does not show any clear signs suffering from a disease. Still, you may detect some abnormalities if your cat is suffering from toxoplasmosis:
- Low defenses
- Lack of appetite
- Difficulty breathing
In order to detect toxoplasmosis in cats, vets usually carry out a blood test. This is the most reliable test that will reveal whether or not the animal is sick. Stool analysis is not advisable, because is does not always show the disease at all of its stages.
Preventing toxoplasmosis in cats
Toxoplasmosis can be prevented with a proper diet based on packaged products. These may be dry or wet food, both of which are the main elements in the best diet for cats. In order to prevent toxoplasmosis in cats, the most important step is to avoid giving and even touching raw meat.
Many domestic cats live at home, which is why if the animal receives its vaccinations on time, eats prepared food and doesn't have contact with other animals outside, you can rest assured that your pet is very unlikely to suffer from the disease. Many people wonder whether it is bad to keep the cat at home; discover the answer in our article.
How is toxoplasmosis in cats transmitted?
After performing a blood test and checking for the presence of toxoplasmosis in your cat, the veterinarian will issue an official diagnosis. Then you can start the treatment to combat the disease.
Generally, antibiotic treatment is given for two weeks either parenterally or orally, although the second option is more common. AnimalWised would like to remind you about the importance of following the vet's instructions if your cat is suffering from the disease. You must be careful to carry out all the steps you are given, especially if there is someone pregnant at home.
Pregnancy and toxoplasmosis
If your cat has been infected for a period of time, if you have ever had an infected cat, or if you have had toxoplasmosis before, you may have attributed the symptoms of toxoplasmosis to those of a cold.
Infection can happen at any stage of pregnancy, although it is especially serious when it happens in the first three months when the embryo is forming.
If you're pregnant and worried about toxoplasmosis you should know that there is an effective treatment for it. More often than not treatment isn't required if there are no obvious signs of the disease; ask your doctor about it.
This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to Toxoplasmosis in Cats, we recommend you visit our Infectious diseases category.