Mastitis in cats – Symptoms and treatment
A house is so often flooded as tenderly as a cat gives birth to its litter and cares for its young. Breastfeeding and attention of the mother during the first three weeks will be of great importance for an adequate development of the kittens and an adequate attention to the mother on the part of the owner will be essential to keep the cat in a good state of health, through the necessary care.
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After the pregnancy of the cat certain health problems typical of these postpartum stages can happen and it is important that the owner is conscious about them so to detect any disorder as soon as possible, since a timely treatment is of vital importance for the recovery of the cat
In this Animal Expert article we talk about the symptoms and treatment of mastitis in cats .
What is mastitis?
Mastitis is defined as an inflammation of the mammary glands , the number of affected glands may vary in each case. Although it is a common postpartum problem, it can appear for other reasons.
The death of a kitten, an abrupt weaning, lack of hygiene or even suckling of the puppies are also factors that may predispose the appearance of mastitis.
Sometimes mastitis goes beyond a simple inflammation and also carries infection, in this case the bacteria that most commonly affect the cats are Escherichia coli , Staphylococci , Streptococcus and Enterococcus .
Usually the infection starts at the nipple and ascends to the mammary glands , mastitis can range from a mild inflammation that only presents mild symptoms until a severe infection with gangrene (death of the tissue due to lack of blood irrigation).
Symptoms of mastitis
The symptoms of mastitis in cats are very variable depending on the severity of the same, however, from the mildest to the most severe cases, the following signs are grouped:
- The litter does not gain adequate weight (set at 5% weight gain after birth)
- The cat does not want to breastfeed her young
- Moderate inflammation of the glands, which appear hard, painful and sometimes ulcerated
- Abscess or gangrene formation
- Hemorrhagic or purulent breast discharges
- Milk with increased viscosity
If we observe some of these symptoms in our cat we must go to the veterinarian urgently , since the mastitis can be very serious for both the mother and the puppies.
Diagnosis of mastitis
To diagnose mastitis, the veterinarian will rely on the cat’s symptoms and full history, however, he or she may also perform several of the following diagnostic tests :
- Cytology (study of cells) of the mammary secretion
- Bacterial milk culture
- Blood test where you can see an increase in white blood cells in case of infection and a change in platelets if gangrene is present.
Treatment of mastitis
Proper treatment of mastitis does not suppose to interrupt the infancy of the pups , which should last for at least 8 to 12 weeks, in fact, weaning is reserved only for those cases where there is abscess formation or gangrenous mastitis.
Continuing breastfeeding will help the drainage of the breasts, and although milk is poorer and contaminated by antibiotics, this does not pose any danger to kittens.
The veterinarian should choose a broad-spectrum antibiotic to perform the treatment, the most common being:
- Amoxicillin + Clavulanic Acid
The treatment will last approximately 2-3 weeks and can be done at home, except in those cases where there is a generalized infection or sepsis.
In the case of mastitis with gangrene, surgical intervention may be used to remove necrotic tissue. The prognosis is good in most cases.
This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.
If you want to read more articles the less you may be interested in : Mastitis in Cats – Symptoms and Treatment We recommend you to enter our section on Gestational Problems .