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Infectious Diseases

  • Cat scratch disease (CSD) is caused by the bacteria, Bartonella that is transmitted by cat fleas and other biting insects. Cats act as reservoirs for the bacteria. Humans are exposed to the bacteria through flea feces contaminating skin lesions or their eyes. Signs include fever, lethargy, enlarged lymph nodes, and lesions on the conjunctiva and skin. The disease is usually self-limiting; however, some people will require antibiotics especially if they are immunocompromised. Tests are available for diagnosis in humans as well as in cats. Strict flea control, good hygiene, keeping your cat indoors, and keeping your cat’s nails trimmed are among the most important ways to try to prevent CSD.

  • Cefpodoxime is a third-generation cephalosporin antibiotic used to treat skin infections in dogs. It is also used off-label in cats and to treat other types of infection. It is given orally in tablet or liquid form. Side effects are uncommon. If a negative reaction occurs, contact your veterinarian.

  • This handout summarizes Chagas disease in dogs. Caused by a protozoal parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi, it is spread by the bite of infected insects or ingestion of infected insects and rodents. The clinical signs of the condition, along with its treatment, prevention, and risk to human health are outlined.

  • Cheyletiellosis is an uncommon but highly contagious skin parasite of dogs, cats, humans, and rabbits caused by Cheyletiella spp. mites. The most important clinical sign of cheyletiellosis is scaling or dandruff. Due to the large size of the skin mite, it is easily seen under a microscope set on low magnification. Cheyletiella mites are susceptible to most topical insecticides and the prognosis is excellent.

  • Chlamydial conjunctivitis in cats is an infection caused by a bacterial organism. The most common signs of chlamydia in cats involve the eyes or the upper respiratory tract (nose or throat), and only when infection is not treated does it spread to the lungs. In cats with conjunctivitis, the conjunctiva becomes swollen and red. Chlamydia is spread by close or direct contact with an infected cat, so all cats in the home can become infected. Chlamydia can be successfully treated with a course of oral and topical antibiotics.

  • When clinical signs of upper respiratory tract inflammation, such as sneezing or nasal and eye discharge, persist over weeks or months, or when they tend to recur at intervals of a few weeks, the condition is referred to as chronic upper respiratory tract disease. A runny or stuffed-up nose is the most common clinical sign in cats with chronic infections. There are many causes of this relatively common problem in cats. The treatment will be determined by the test results and diagnosis.

  • Coccidia are single-celled organisms that can act as a parasite after infecting your cat through the gastrointestinal tract. The most common form affecting cats, Isospora, is not a concern for infecting people, unlike Toxoplasma. They are highly resistant to environmental conditions, so cleanliness is important to prevent re-infection. Treatment is often simple with the appropriate antibiotics prescribed by your veterinarian.

  • Coccidia are single-celled organisms that can act as parasites after infecting your dog through the gastrointestinal tract. The most common form affecting dogs, Isospora, is not a concern for infecting people. They are highly resistant to environmental conditions and cleanliness is important to prevent re-infection. Treatment is often simple with the appropriate antibiotics prescribed by your veterinarian.

  • Conjunctivitis is the medical term used to describe inflammation of the tissues surrounding the eye. Feline herpesvirus conjunctivitis a form of primary conjunctivitis caused by the highly infectious feline herpesvirus (FHV-1).

  • COVID-19 is a disease caused by the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. Current evidence suggests that person-to-person spread is the main source of infection. While there is evidence of transmission from humans to dogs and cats, it does not appear to be a common event at this time. If you suspect that you are ill with COVID-19, you should practice the same precautions with your pet as you would with people: wear a mask, keep your distance, wash your hands regularly, and avoid cuddling and other close contact. If your pet needs veterinary care while you are sick with COVID-19, do not take your pet to your veterinary clinic yourself.