Gastrointestinal parasites are insidious causes of disease in cats. Protozoan parasitic infections in particular can be difficult to detect because there are often no signs of disease, or the signs, such as diarrhea, are nonspecific. But these infections must be uncovered and cured before they cause serious disease or spread to housemates or even owners.
In patients with clinical signs of one tick-borne disease, it is important to consider that they may be infected with multiple tick-borne pathogens. Coinfections may account for the diverse clinical signs some patients exhibit.
ORLANDO - 01/09/06 - A partnership forged between Merial and the American Heartworm Society produced a survey revealing more than 250,000 dogs and cats tested positive for heartworm infection nationwide in 2004, a rise in cases since the most recent survey in 2001.
At one time, rampant infectious diseases sickened and killed many animals. In the case of rabies, people also were at risk. Today in the Western world, these diseases have largely been controlled, and as vaccines improve and more animals are vaccinated appropriately, we will do even better. But what of parasitic diseases?
Cats are host to a variety of internal and external parasites. Despite the documented prevalence and zoonotic importance of these parasites, many pet owners and some veterinarians aren't convinced that comprehensive feline parasite control strategies are needed. This viewpoint may stem from the previous lack of safe, effective, and convenient broad-spectrum parasiticides and the difficulties in acquiring adequate fecal samples. Fortunately, newer broad-spectrum agents (Table 1), particularly those with label claims against heartworms and fleas, allow veterinarians to eliminate a higher percentage of feline parasites. Let's review some of the key feline parasites and discuss new strategies for controlling them.
Ctenocephalides felis commonly infests cats in many areas of the United States and is associated with a variety of clinical syndromes.1 In small kittens, a heavy infestation can cause anemia, particularly if they are concurrently infected with the common parasite Ancylostoma tubaeforme or Ancylostoma braziliense.2 Repeated flea exposure can result in flea-bite hypersensitivity, one of the most common flea-associated syndromes.3,4 Because C. felis ingests feline blood, a number of blood-borne infectious agents, including Bartonella quintana, Bartonella koehlerae, Bartonella henselae, Bartonella clarridgeiae, Rickettsia felis, Wolbachia pipientis, 'Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum,' Mycoplasma haemofelis, and feline leukemia virus (FeLV), have been grown or amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays from C. felis or its feces.5-18 Ctenocephalides felis is a vector for some of these infectious agents. And because some of these agents are human pathogens, the American Association of Feline..
The media buzz may have quieted considerably, but West Nile virus continues to cause illness and death nationwide and is here to stay. Within six years of the initial detection of this exotic mosquito-borne virus in New York, it has spread to all continental states, through Canada and Mexico, and into Central America.
Several vector-borne diseases in dogs and cats appear to be emerging in the United States, including babesiosis, cytauxzoonosis, bartonellosis, leishmaniasis, hepatozoonosis, and feline ehrlichiosis. This article focuses on babesiosis, cytauxzoonosis, and bartonellosis, which have been reported with increased frequency in the United States over the past decade.
We now have an arsenal of test kits and prophylactics to choose from, and it can be confusing to know which to purchase. We tend to mold ourselves to the product instead of molding the product to the individual patient. This article should help you tailor the heartworm diagnostic, therapeutic, and prophylactic options to each of your canine and feline patients.