Chlamydia are infectious agents that have adapted very well to the existence of animals. Moreover, they have two forms, one of which exists in the intercellular space, and the other inside the cell, which makes them resistant to drugs.
How to recognize an insidious infection and help your pet will be discussed later.
Causes of the disease
Methods of transmission and factors contributing to chlamydia infection:
- the weakened body of an animal, especially a kitten;
- cat walks on the street, where the presence of physiological secretions of sick animals, in particular rodents, is possible;
- intrauterine infection, when a kitten passes through an infected birth canal;
- sexual contact with a sick animal;
- aerogenic (airborne) penetration of the pathogen into the body, for example, when an infected animal sneezes;
- alimentary pathway of infection when eating raw or insufficiently heat-treated meat of an infected animal.
The main symptoms
The incubation period of the disease lasts from 5 to 20 days. Symptoms can be different — acute or sluggish, depending on the affected organ of the cat and the form of the disease (acute or chronic):
- With vaginal infection, the course of the disease is almost asymptomatic. The consequence will be unviable kittens born into the world or a miscarriage.
- If the upper respiratory tract or nasal passage is affected, the pet has a cough, runny nose, fever, and further lung damage.
- The defeat of the conjunctiva (inner surface of the eyelids, cornea) accompanied by lacrimation, purulent discharge from the eyes, their bright redness.
- Damage to the genitourinary and gastrointestinal tract can be asymptomatic, depending on the strength of the animal’s immunity. In this case, the pet becomes an asymptomatic carrier of chlamydia, secreting an infection with saliva and feces.
- The defeat of the reproductive system leads to infertility of cats and cats with inflammation of the uterus or testes, respectively, and inflammatory processes are asymptomatic.
Diagnostics in a veterinary clinic
Due to the similarity of the initial symptoms of chlamydia with colds or conjunctivitis, pet owners do not always go to the clinic, preferring to take independent measures or “observe” the manifestations of malaise.
Postponing a visit to the doctor in this way, you can either greatly worsen the condition of the pet, or provoke the transition of the disease to a latent (hidden) form with the acquisition of its chronic course. A sick animal with a chronic disease is a dangerous carrier of infection for humans. With saliva, urine, feces, and secretions from the eyes, chlamydia can be released.
If there are any signs of malaise, it is important to show your pet to a doctor.
In the clinic, the cat is examined, which compares the existing signs of the disease with the characteristic signs of chlamydia.
If an infection is suspected, the doctor prescribes examinations:
- blood test (General);
- smear from the eyes and nose to study the causative agent of infection;
- PCR analysis (polymerase chain reaction): any material (feces, urine, mucus, etc.) is examined in the laboratory. PCR analysis can detect even single representatives of pathogenic flora;
- x-ray for lung damage;
- an enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) can be used to determine the presence of antibodies to pathogenic microbes (antigens) in the animal’s body.
Treatment method and prognosis
At the end of laboratory tests, if the diagnosis of “chlamydia” is confirmed, the doctor prescribes a treatment regimen. As a rule, antibacterial drugs, antibiotics, eye ointments, and Immunostimulants are used. Depending on the severity of the disease, state of health, age — all medications are prescribed individually.
The disease is especially severe in kittens due to weak immunity and the rapid spread of infection throughout the body.
The prognosis of treatment for cats is favorable provided:
- the request to the clinic was timely;
- self-medication is excluded, drugs were not used independently, which could cause resistance to antibacterial agents that are incorrectly selected;
- the course of treatment should take place within 3-4 weeks, even with the visual disappearance of signs of the disease;
- isolation from other animals (if they are kept in the house) to exclude the disease “in a circle»;
- when using antibiotics in the treatment regimen, be sure to include drugs with probiotics (to avoid further problems with the intestines and stomach);
- control analysis for chlamydia.
What to do at home
Like other cat diseases, chlamydia is treated in strict accordance with the instructions of a veterinarian. If the infectious condition is not burdened with pneumonia and shortness of breath, then treatment can be carried out at home.
The pet must be isolated from other animals during this period. The course of prescribed therapy, despite the improvement in the cat’s health, is carried out to the end. This takes approximately a month and allows you to exclude a repeat disease that may occur if the infection persists in the untreated animal’s body.
You should carefully monitor the hygiene of a sick cat:
- wet cleaning of the place where the cat is located should be carried out with disinfectants;
- wash the toilet more often;
- wash the food plate thoroughly immediately after eating.
In order for the prescribed treatment to bring a positive result, the owner must follow all the prescriptions and recommendations of the veterinarian.
The food should include fermented milk products. You should pay attention to vitamins and minerals to restore the animal’s strength. A special diet is not required for this disease.
If the symptoms are blurred, for example, the cough, runny nose, lacrimation subsides, then resumes, chlamydia can develop into a chronic form and proceed in the cat’s body asymptomatically. In this case, the animal becomes dangerous to humans if you postpone treatment in the veterinary clinic and do not follow basic hygiene rules.
The danger of chlamydia is that the animal’s blood can spread the infection throughout the body. As a result (in the absence of treatment), organs and tissues suffer from multiple lesions against the background of weakened immunity.
In the advanced case and severe course of the disease, the animal cannot be saved.
It is always easier to prevent a disease than to treat it. It is important to pay attention to preventive measures that will reduce the risk of infection of the pet:
- kittens under three months of age should not be weaned from their mother, they should be allowed to get stronger;
- timely vaccination of the animal;
- visit a veterinarian regularly;
- avoid playing with stray animals or hunting rodents;
- it is necessary to monitor the cleanliness of shoes, so as not to bring infection into the house.
If the animal shows signs of malaise, it is important to contact a veterinary clinic to find out the reasons. This will help you recognize the disease in time, complete a course of treatment without being burdened by long-term medication, and quickly restore your pet’s health for a happy and long life.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and I’m a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.