Feline toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. It is a very common parasite, which affects nearly all warm-blood animals, even humans. Most animals are simply carriers of the parasite.
Although the parasite can infect nearly any warm-blood animal, it can only complete its life cycle inside of cats. It is passed through cat feces, from which it can make its way into the environment. Cats can then get infected by ingested the feces directly or digging around in infected soil. Humans can also become infected and pass it to their felines by coming into contact with unwashed produce or raw meat.
Some general signs of toxoplasmosis in cats include loss of appetite, fever, depression, and lethargy. The parasite can affect various parts of the body however, and the specific part will help determine what signs are presented. For example, difficulty breathing and pneumonia are common issues when the lungs are infected by the parasite.
Jaundice may occur if the liver is infected instead. Some of the other possible signs include seizures, tremors, abdominal pain, or diarrhea. If one or both eyes are affected, then conditions like uveitis or retinitis may develop.
To help diagnose feline toxoplasmosis, the vet should be provided with as much medical history as possible regarding your cat. This includes when you first noticed symptoms as well as any contact he has come into with other cats. A physical exam along with laboratory tests will help confirm that the parasite is indeed cause of the problem.
This infection can be quite serious and can prove to be fatal for some cats. Severe cases require hospitalization. Dehydration is a common concern, so fluids may be provided to prevent that. To help treat or prevent any infections, antibiotics may also be provided.
Quite a few cats do not survive severe cases of this infection, especially if they have issues with their immune system already. Young kittens are also particularly susceptible to succumbing to this disease.
Cats that roam around outside have a higher risk of being infected with feline toxoplasmosis. They may kill and eat a wild animal that’s a carrier for the disease. Getting infected could also come through something simple as digging around in the dirt or coming into contact with another cat. You can help prevent this condition by keeping your cat indoors as much as possible.