I don't want to repeat that old phrase, but unfortunately it's true "Time is flying". This October between the 19th and the 24th we will be celebrating our tenth anniversary. We have got a lot of sponsors on board and during that week we are going to give away a lot of freebies. Also our cat spays and cat neutering will continue at a discounted price for a while longer. From the 21st to 25th of September I went to Cairns and attended the Feline Medicine and Surgery Conference. This conference was presented by some of the best Veterinary Specialists in feline medicine and surgery and covered the latest data on feline diseases and surgery. For this months newsletter we will be focused on Cat Scratch Disease (CSD) and Feline Stomatitis.
CSD is caused by Bartonella henselae and recently has been documented as a cause of chronic disease syndromes like fever, headaches, and chronic fatigue in immunocompetent veterinary health care providers. The organism is transmitted between cats by fleas. Bartonella henselae survives in flea feces for a long time. Infected flea feces will contaminate cat claws during grooming and then Bartonella is transmitted to the human when scratched. It is also possible that open wounds can become contaminated with infected flea feces after patting your cat. In a recent study conducted at the University of Sydney, they found that 26.2% of cats were positive for Bartonella spp.
Bartonella spp. infection has been manifesting like fever, lethargy, enlarged lymph nodes, uveitis, gingivitis and neurological signs. Treatment is recommended in all cats with various antibiotics but does not cure infection in all cats.
To reduce the possibility of acquiring Cat Scratch Fever, the following are guidelines of what is recommended to immunocompromised individuals and other cat owners by the Centers for Disease Control and the American Association of Feline
Stomatitis is a common and often debilitating disease of cats causing inflammation of the gums and mouth.
Signs observed in cats are:
A complete blood cell count, serum biochemical panel, urinalysis, FeLV antigen test and FIV antibody test should be completed to evaluate for systemic diseases associated with stomatitis. Biopsy for histopathological examination should be performed, particularly if a mass is present.
Treatment is primarily symptomatic with variable success rates. Most cats must be treated life-long and may undergo multiple tooth extractions in an attempt to maintain the cat's appetite and control the oral pain. Despite aggressive therapy, some cats do not respond and are euthanized due to weight loss, pain and poor quality of life.
Initial therapy involves professional teeth cleaning, as well as strict home care. Extraction of the teeth behind the canine teeth will result in resolution in 60% of the cases, without further need of medication.
There is no one protocol that is effective for every cat. Antibiotics are generally used to control secondary infections, and potentially disease from Bartonella henselae.
Coating the affected tissue with bovine lactoferin has about a 15% positive response rate.
Some cats respond to gold salts; 8-10 weeks of an induction period are required, followed by monthly maintenance therapy.
Use of a hypoallergenic diet and omega 3 / omega 6 fatty acid supplements is beneficial for some cats since the disease may be a dietary hypersensitivity. Anti-inflammatory therapy is often useful to control pain.
Dogs and cats over 7 years of age may show behavioral changes due to free radical damage to the brain.
The condition is called Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) and has similarities to Alzheimer's disease in humans. Two out of three dogs 11-16yrs old will show one or more signs of CDS. One out of three cats 11-14yrs old and one out of two cats greater than 15yrs of age will show one or more signs of CDS.
Four signs of CDS:
We would like to invite you to share any stories or concerns you may have regarding your pets. Also if there is a particular topic you would like to know more on please email us and we will publish them in our subsequent newsletters.
The Team at West Coast Veterinary Clinic