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Lyme disease in Cats: Causes, Treatment, & Prevention

Keeping away the fact, that Lyme is a disease, the word sounds good and fresh. Isn’t it? I like the word though but not the fact concealed inside it. Lyme disease occurs in both dogs and cats by bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi. As you know bacteria are very microscopic in size and so they need to be treated accordingly only by a vet. Usually, folks think that paying a visit to the veterinarian shall incur you lot of expenditure and so they do tend to do treatments at their home.

Since you possess only minimum knowledge about pet treatments, you may not afford them your pets the exact treatment they require. Also, you can only perform external treatments, but when it comes to internal treatment dealing with blood, lymph etc I bet you’ll start shivering. So, it is always better to see a vet if you find your cat prone to Lyme disease.

Cause

Dead matter of small animals in the open space accumulates a lot of bacteria on the body of the animal. These bacteria replicate on them repeatedly and are ready for the spread. Soon you can see ticks, mites, and insects from the vicinity of the dead organic matter invading the dead animal and starts consuming the rotten tissue and organ in it.

This infected organic matter resides in the body of the tick in the far grasslands and jungle. When your cat possibly runs through the tall grasses in the woods these ticks cling on to the body of the cat and infects the cat. Not all the ticks cause the Lyme disease in cats; there are some specific species like deer ticks and black-legged ticks which causes this disease.

Symptoms

Usually, the infection of the bacteria causing Lyme disease does not show up in cats that easily. Only when the situation is worse, it starts to show up. Fever, joint swelling, pains, lethargy are some of the common symptoms which occur for a cat affected with Lyme disease. Sometimes your cat shall develop swelling on one of its leg characterized by the superficial lymph nodes.

This shall make your cat lame and tired. Sometimes, the situation may aggravate with acute lameness for 3 to 4 days and also it recurs in days or weeks. In some peculiar situations, when one leg is cured of lameness the other leg gets involved in it. If left unattended and untreated your cat shall be very much prone to kidney failures caused by the deterioration in the working of the glomerulus which is the blood filter in the kidney.

Treatment

Thanks to the veterinarians, that they can treat Lyme disease with appropriate medical procedures and cure the cat. Treatment of the Lyme disease should be given by a vet and strictly you should stay away from treating your pet. Initially, the veterinarian collects the blood sample to check the availability of the bacteria in the bloodstream.

Analysis of the complete blood profile and the urinalysis shall also be done. Finally, the vet gives your cat some antibiotic (probably –doxycycline ) for 4 weeks and this prescription may also change as per the breed and the age of the dog. Separate treatment shall be given to the cats to get rid of issues regarding the impaired limbs and joints.

Prevention

Preventing any disease is always better than curing it. So, it is your responsibility to take care of your cat to keep them free from such diseases. When your cat comes back after wandering in the yard and woods, brush his fur thoroughly to find some ticks if any.

If you happen to find any tick on your cat’s body, don’t afford to pick it with bare hands as the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi which causes Lyme disease can also be potentially dangerous to humans also. Wear gloves and pull them using tweezers. Note that, ticks don’t die that easily and so you may have to use isopropyl alcohol to kill them instantly. Cutting out long grasses in your yard is also a good idea to keep ticks away from your cat.

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