Salmonella in Cats – Symptoms and Treatment

Salmonellosis in cats is a quite unknown and atypical disease. For this reason, if you have any signs of systemic or digestive disease, you should consult your veterinarian to rule out this possibility in your cat.

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In this article from YourCatCareguide we will tell you about the prevention of this disease, as well as about the symptoms. This disease can have serious consequences, both in our cats and in us humans. Keep reading to know more about salmonella in cats as well as her symptoms and treatments .

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What is salmonellosis?

Salmonellosis is a food poisoning in which bacteria belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae are found in the intestinal tract of animals and humans. Although the incidence of salmonellosis in the feline species is low, timely detection is very important because of its severity and zoonotic potential (possible transmission to humans).

The main reservoirs of Salmonella are poultry, cattle and pigs. For this reason, the main source of infection is the meat intake of these animals, eggs and milk. In addition, water from rivers and lakes may also be contaminated, as well as some fruits and vegetables .

Salmonellosis can be transmitted to cats by direct ingestion of these raw foods or by contact with raw food. Another possibility is the contact with surfaces that are contaminated and that later contact with the hands and the mouth of the animal. Processed foods may also contain the bacteria if they are not properly preserved, are exposed to insects and in poor sanitary conditions.

This bacterium is resistant to the ph of the stomach, bile salts and peristalsis. It colonizes the small intestine and invades the mesenteric lymph nodes, causing localized infection. The intracellular defenses are not able to destroy the bacterium and it goes to the blood producing a systemic infection, being able to be located in the liver, spleen, etc.

Symptoms of salmonellosis in cats

Salmonella is eliminated through the feces into the environment and has a high resistance. Particular care must be taken if your cat is alight on the outside since the perfect conditions for an infection by this bacterium may occur. It is also important to know that some cats are asymptomatic and carriers of the bacteria, being a source of constant contagion.

It can also be transmitted by air, when there is an invasion in the tonsils and in the lungs. Young cats and immunosuppressed cats are more likely to be infected.

Clinical signs of salmonellosis in cats begin at about 12 hours or up to 3 days after ingestion of the bacteria. The feline can spend a maximum of 4 to 7 days without treatment. The most frequent signs are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration (Check to know if the cat is dehydrated )
  • Apathy
  • Shock
  • Intermittent chronic diarrhea of ​​the large intestine

Diagnosis and treatment

Other diseases with similar symptoms, such as metabolic and nutritional diseases, a neoplasia, another infectious agent involved, etc. should be taken into account . To make a correct differential diagnosis , the veterinarian will do a series of complementary tests. The most accurate diagnosis will be achieved through a correct anamnesis and physical exploration of the animal. Other necessary tests are fecal cytology, PCR and culture .

Until the results of the cultivation are obtained, according to the prescription of the veterinarian, an antibiotic can be used. In addition, symptomatic treatment (fluid therapy, antipyretics, anti-inflammatories, probiotics, etc.) will be done.

To conclude, we want to point out that the most effective way to prevent salmonellosis is to prevent the cat from eating the foods we previously mentioned (meat, eggs, milk).

This article is purely informative, in 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 similar to Salmonella in cats – symptoms and treatment , we recommend you to enter our section of Bacterial diseases .


    Emily Harris

    Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-pI am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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