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Cat disease - Chlamydia psittaci

Cat disease - Chlamydia psittaci

This is another common bacterial infection that often occurs in catteries. Kittens of weaning age (when the immunity they acquire through their mother’s milk is virtually depleted) are the primary victims. They are usually infected through contact with other adult cats or older kittens, the chlamydia psittaci bacteria is transmitted in faeces and in discharges from the eyes and nose. Cats that recover from a chlamydia psittaci infection may become carriers, and because they often do not develop strong immunity to the disease, they are subject to reoccurring infections.

Cat Symptoms

The primary symptom is conjunctivitis in one or both eyes. Severe conjunctivitis of the unopened eyes of newborn kittens is also possible. Very young kittens (2-4 weeks old) may develop pneumonia, which is nearly fatal. Evidence of a respiratory problem is not readily evident in such cases. The kitten seems to die for no apparent cause. Chlamydia may also cause reproductive problems and abortions in pregnant queens.
Cat Diagnosis

Diagnosis of chlamydia can be made by examining conjunctival scrapings or through an immunological test (IFA test).

Cat Treatment

Tetracycline or its derivatives is the best treatment for chlamydial infections. The treatment time may be long and it should be continued for 2 weeks after the disappearance of any observable symptoms.

Cat Prevention

Preventive measures include vaccinations and good cattery hygiene. Do not vaccinate pregnant queens, however, or allow other recently vaccinated cats to come into contact with pregnant queens. This contact could cause abortions.


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