How Well Do You Know About Lyme Disease in Cats?
What a sight it is to see the lovely kitty playing joyfully in our background, clinching to branches of the bushes, scrubbing against the walls of our house, roaming carelessly around the premises, meowing at you with those cute little kitty eyes. Our only hope at that point in time is to freeze the time itself. Your only wish for your beloved pet is to see her this happy lifelong.
For this to happen, one must take immense care of the smallest of possibilities that might harm your little ball of fur. One of them could be the food cycle, a boon from mother nature which in some cases can also turn into a bane if not taken care of properly, eg., in case of ticks.
Ticks are small parasitic organisms which cling to a host, feed upon them and in the process transmit diseases from one host to the other. One such disease that they transmit is the Lyme disease. Most commonly found in dogs and humans, cats are also found to be infected by this disease in the recent past. A tick commonly known as the deer tick is learned to transmit the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which is the cause of the Lyme disease.
Cats can test positive for exposure to the bacteria without showing any symptoms of Lyme disease.
SYMPTOMS OF LYME DISEASE
Some cats may not show any symptoms of infection, yet some of the possible symptoms of Lyme disease in cats are:
- Recurrent lameness of the limbs
- Kidney problems
- Loss of appetite
- Sensitive to touch
- Heart problems
CAUSES OF LYME DISEASE
Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi carried by deer ticks, also known as black-legged ticks. These ticks become infected with the bacteria by feeding on dead mice and further infect other animals on biting them. A cat gets infected on being fed upon by ticks for at least 18 hours.
DIAGNOSIS OF LYME DISEASE
Many cats do not produce any symptoms on getting infected by the bacteria and thus its diagnosis becomes a bit complicated. It is based on a combination of factors like:
- History of your pet’s health including the history of symptoms, history of your cat’s environment, etc to get more clues on infection
- Blood & Urines tests to understand the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream
- X-Ray of painful joints to understand the joint disorders
- Response to antibiotics
Treatment with antibiotics is generally prescribed in case of Lyme disease infections. Your pet needs to be kept warm, dry and in a protective environment for a couple of weeks. In case the disease has resulted in other complications like kidney or joint disorders, complementary medications will be prescribed.
Ticks being the major source of diseases in pets must be controlled. Tick control is the only way a pet parent can make its pet’s life risk-free. It’s important to keep in mind and exercise the following:
- Check for ticks in your furry pal regularly
- In case of cats with long fur, ensure to pull them back and scan at the skin level for ticks
- Be cautious while handling ticks as they can be harmful to humans as well
- Regularly trim your garden and scan for ticks
- Get your garden tick treated at regular intervals
- Certain tick preventives like Bravecto Spot-On and Advantage Multi are available in the market which can be used after consulting your veterinarian.
It’s always beneficial to take preventive measures to keep your little kitty happy rather than to take steps to cure the unnecessary. Your pet can’t be harmed if you take enough measures to keep all the danger at bay. After all, it’s the playful soul that keeps you happy the entire day and thus it’s up to you to keep the soul playful and happy for as long as you can.