What is dangerous in cats toxoplasmosis?
Fluffy and affectionate cats - one of the most desirable pets. When such an animal appears in the house, the atmosphere immediately becomes much warmer and more pleasant. But, like all pets, cats are prone to various diseases, one of which is toxoplasmosis.
Pet health is in your hands
Probably, many have heard this term, but, unfortunately, few owners of tailed friends know how serious the disease is. What is toxoplasmosis?
Medical reference books say that this is a disease with an infectious origin. Both humans and animals can be ill, but the carrier of the infection is precisely the representatives of the feline genus, including wild individuals.
How does the infection occur?
There are several ways that lead to infection in cats:
- eating raw meat products that may be contaminated;
- if the animal has eaten an infected rat or mouse;
- contact with another sick animal;
- sometimes the hosts can bring the infection on their shoes.
Toxoplasmosis is dangerous due to the fact that while the parasite is in the animal's body in a passive state, it cannot be "neutralized". The disease manifests itself in the event of a decrease in immunity, passing into the acute stage. The infection enters the environment with feces, becoming infectious for humans.
Small kittens under the age of 1 year and cats older than 6 years are most susceptible to the disease, since both those and others have immunity, as a rule, is weakened.
The development process and the main manifestations
There are several forms of the disease that differ in their symptoms.
Latent phase.During this period, the parasites are simply in the cat's body, not showing themselves. If the animal is completely healthy, then the parasite has no chances for reproduction.
Acute form.As a rule, it begins 2-3 days after the onset of reproduction of the infection. The main features of this period:
- increase in temperature (even up to 41 degrees);
- swollen lymph nodes;
- vomiting, diarrhea;
- lack of appetite, lethargy;
- muscle spasms may occur.
Chronic form. Some symptoms may even appear for several months, which indicates the transition of the disease to the chronic stage. Sometimes it happens that a pet has a few days of nasal discharge, indigestion, redness of the eyes, but over time they pass.
Toxoplasmosis is especially dangerous for pregnant cats, as it can cause significant pathology of the fetus and abortion.
How to identify and treat?
The most effective and reliable way to determine the parasite in the body is a blood test. Many people are mistaken in thinking that it is possible to identify them by doing an analysis of feces. But dangerous cysts are allocated with feces only the first 2-3 weeks from the time of infection, that is, usually before any symptoms of infection appear.
Veterinarians take blood serum for analysis, liver tests are done, as well as swabs from the nose and mouth of the animal.
The treatment process is quite lengthy. First of all, the doctor prescribes antibiotics, and if the condition of the pet is severe, they can even put droppers with saline. After the course of such medications, you will need to give your pet vitamins and immunostimulating drugs.
During the treatment process, the veterinarian will have to take blood samples every 1-2 weeks to determine the level of antibodies to toxoplasma. There is currently no vaccine against toxoplasmosis, so a cat that has had it once needs special attention and care to prevent re-infection.
In order to maximally protect your pet from an unpleasant and dangerous disease, it is worth remembering simple rules:
- meat intended for feeding must be boiled beforehand or at least frozen;
- Coming from the street, make it a rule to wash shoes;
- clean the tray regularly and disinfect it every 3 days;
- periodically wash and disinfect toys and cat litter;
- Visit the vet once every six months.
Pets are our true friends, so do not forget that we are responsible for them. Follow the health of your pet, and he will respond to you with attention and affection.
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