Toxoplasmosis in cats. Symptoms, treatment, prevention
Toxoplasmosis in cats. Ways of infection
Toxoplasma - a monotypic protozoan parasite - Toxoplasma gondii. In the role of the main owners are representatives of the cat, intermediate are almost all types of warm-blooded animals, and people are no exception. In an adult healthy person, the disease usually proceeds easily, but the fetus (if the mother became infected during pregnancy) and to people with reduced immunity, toxoplasmosis can cause serious harm, not including death. Infection of cats with Toxoplasma cysts occurs primarily from eating raw meat. Thanks to laboratory tests, it is reliably known that at least 25% of the meat sold in the current market is infected with toxoplasmosis. Homeless, freely walking or gardening cats are mainly infected by eating the meat of rats, mice and birds. Cysts, getting into the stomach of animals, survive. Oocysts multiply and form in the small intestines, and then are brought out with feces.During one defecation, the cat releases millions of oocysts, but they become infectious only after maturation in the environment. Therefore, the conclusion that the cleaned and disinfected tray is on time - a guaranteed prevention of toxoplasmosis, suggests itself. Animals and people swallow oocysts by eating unwashed berries and vegetables, or tissue cysts in lightly roasted or boiled meat.
Toxoplasmosis in cats. Symptoms
In a healthy animal, the disease can manifest itself only by a slight increase in the lymph nodes. The incubation period mainly lasts from 1 to 6 weeks, after which the animal has toxoplasmosis in a latent, subacute or acute form. Symptoms of the disease develop as the parasite spreads through the body of the animal. Most often, the disease is asymptomatic or its symptoms are so minor that people do not attach special significance to them. By such symptoms is meant redness of the eyes, short-term diarrhea, slight nasal discharge. The animal can lose weight, lose appetite for a while. The transition to the chronic stage passes without symptoms.In the case of a subacute course of the disease, after the incubation period, hyperthermia occurs, redness and purulent discharge from the eyes, respiratory organs are affected (coughing and sneezing) and rapid breathing appears. Acute toxoplasmosis in cats occurs with the same set of symptoms, but they are much more pronounced. The animal refuses to eat, he has a muscle tremor, shortness of breath, drooling, emaciation. In the event of damage to the nervous system, a lack of coordination, spasms of the limbs, and even paralysis develop.
Toxoplasmosis in cats. Danger to people
It is during this period of the development of the disease that a person can become infected by an animal. Oocysts are contained in the mucus that is released from the eyes and nose. If you are not following the rules of personal hygiene when caring for an animal (you did not wear a cotton-gauze bandage, rubber gloves), then you can get infected. Subsequently, toxoplasmosis in cats becomes a chronic lifelong disease that will manifest with periodic diarrhea. Chronic toxoplasmosis is not dangerous for humans, because Toxoplasma is "blocked" inside the cells, and they are not contained in any biological secretions of animals.It should be remembered that every new infection of an animal with Toxoplasma is dangerous for humans.
Toxoplasmosis in cats. Treatment
To diagnose the presence of parasites in cats should only a veterinarian. To establish an accurate diagnosis, he takes blood from an animal for the presence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii. In addition, a specialist can take feces for analysis of toxoplasmosis in cats, but this method is considered not very effective. After all, the cysts of T. gondii can be confused with another type of parasite. Treatment of toxoplasmosis should take place only under the supervision of a veterinarian who prescribes adequate treatment with antibiotics and sulfonamides, as well as symptomatic therapy. The treatment continues even after the complete disappearance of the symptoms of the disease.
For the purposes of prophylaxis, the animal is not given raw and fresh meat (prolonged heat treatment is obligatory), limits communication with stray and free-walking cats and dogs, and controls that the cat does not eat caught mice, rats and birds. The tray is cleaned of faeces daily (rubber gloves) and treated with detergents and hot water.Periodically (at least twice a year) the animal should be shown to a veterinarian, and at least three times a month should be given to worms for the four-legged pet.