Advice To Fight Toxoplasmosis
When we have any pet, one of the things we are most concerned about is their health. For this reason, we must ensure that he receives the vaccines he needs, and whenever necessary, take him to the vet. However, for most of us, diseases in the animal world are largely unknown. Therefore, in this article we are going to talk about one of the best known and we will see how to fight it: toxoplasmosis in cats.
What is toxoplasmosis
Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by a parasite, which can infect any warm-blooded animal, including humans. Insects can also carry this parasite.
However, only in cats the parasite produces eggs, which is why it is called the definitive host. A large percentage of cats, who do not live only indoors, have suffered from this disease.
Originated either by the consumption of live prey or by, increasingly, suffering from Feline Immunodeficiency (FIV), a condition that makes them weaker to attacks of parasitic infections.
How the cat becomes infected with toxoplasmosis
We spoke with relevance on this subject in the previous session, but we want you to be clearer about the forms of contagion:
- Intestinal : When the cat ingests tissues from contaminated animals or the parasite’s own eggs, these reach the intestine, where they reproduce and form new eggs, which are eliminated when they defecate. Once out of the animal’s body, from 24 hours and up to five days later, these eggs can infect another animal. The cat will be sick for 20 days, how long it will take to develop the antibodies needed to fight the infection.
- Extra intestin al . When eggs are consumed by an animal, they can pass from the intestine to the blood and contaminate any part of the body. At that moment, they can reproduce causing the production of antibodies by the organism, in order to control the organism so that the parasites are not developed. There will only be an aggravation of the disease if the carrier suffers a drop in their immune defenses. When these contaminated animals are destined for consumption (animal or human) they can transmit the disease, as this is not detected by the controls that pass these foods, especially when they are raw or undercooked.
Toxoplasmosis in cats
Usually, the cat catches the disease between the second and fourth month , which is when they start hunting or eating raw meat managed by their owners.
When this happens, the disease develops as mentioned above, intestinally, and the cat may have no symptoms or diarrhea.
When it triggers extra intestinally, only a small percentage of cats show symptoms, and these symptoms are not exclusive to toxoplasmosis, so diagnosis can be difficult.
They may have fever, poor appetite, discouragement or difficulty breathing. They may also suffer from eye disorders such as hemorrhages and retinal detachment. As we talked about before, the disease presents symptoms when the cat does not have a stable immune defense.
If we suspect that our cat has the disease, we should take him to the veterinarian for a diagnosis. O treatment is usually with an antibiotic, which does not destroy the parasite, but prevents it from multiplying. .
The animal must be treated for a month and, on pre-established occasions, it will be necessary to use two types of this drug to be more effective. It is necessary to follow the instructions of the medical professional, since, if we overdose, the cat can suffer different side effects.
How to prevent toxoplasmosis
- do not allow he eats raw meat and not live fangs . A useful way to avoid this is with a collar with a rattle, which will alert your victims;
- Do not allow it to come into contact with the feces of other animals;
- clean the sandbox every day;
- Don’t let it defecate somewhere else, like the garden;
- Disinfect with ammonia the areas in which he has placed the stool;
- Perform two veterinary reviews per year , especially if the cat frequents other environments besides the home.
Don’t forget that pregnant women are a risk group and that present a special weakness, since, toxoplasmosis can cause miscarriages and severe fetal malformations , so if you are pregnant and live with a cat, you must take extreme precautions.
Now that you know better about toxoplasmosis and how to act in the face of this disease, try to take the necessary precautions for the health of your cat and your family.