Kennel Cough "Bordetella" in Cats
Definition of Kennel Cough in Cats
Kennel Cough in Cats, also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, feline respiratory disease complex, and “bordetella”, is a highly contagious bacterial disease that causes mild to severe respiratory symptoms in cats. While Kennel Cough is rare in cats, it does appear, and usually strikes cats living in crowded and/or unsanitary conditions. Kennel Cough is highly infectious because the bacterium that causes this disease, Bordetella bronchiseptica, is a small organism that is easily spread through airborne particles and targets the upper respiratory tract of cats, dogs, rabbits, pigs and sometimes people. Affected cats can develop respiratory distress all of a sudden, or their breathing difficulties can come on gradually. Kennel Cough can be transmitted to people from their infected pets, and the disease is especially dangerous for infants and others with compromised immune systems.
The bacterium that causes bordetellosis in cats, Bordetella bronchiseptica, is the same one that is responsible for causing kennel cough in dogs. Bordetellosis is extremely contagious between cats, and also by and between cats, dogs, rabbits, pigs and even people. Infected animals transmit this infection to non-infected animals through aerosolized microdroplets that contain the bacteria, and also by direct physical contact with infected bodily fluids. Bordetella bronchiseptica organisms are shed in nasal, oral and other
Cats that are exposed to Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria get sick from the infection (bordetellosis) much less commonly than do dogs. Some cats are chronic carriers of the bacteria and shed it periodically without ever having or showing any signs of illness. These carrier cats are sources of infection to other animals, including cats, dogs, rabbits, pigs and people. Some cats with bordetellosis feel mildly sick from time to time, while others - especially very young
Bordetellosis in cats is somewhat difficult to diagnose, because the causative bacterium, Bordetella bronchiseptica, causes clinical signs that mimic those caused by other infectious agents. Bordetellosis in cats often looks like other upper respiratory tract infections, such as feline rhinotracheitis (feline herpesvirus 1), feline calicivirus infection, Clamydophila felis infection and other infectious causes of feline pneumonia. A definitive diagnosis requires identification of the specific bacterial or viral culprit. Many veterinarians suspect bordetellosis based on taking
The goals of treating bordellosis in companion cats – which is an infection with the highly infectious bacterium, Bordetella bronchiseptica – are to eliminate the organism from the cat’s bloodstream, typically using antibiotic therapy, providing supportive care and relieving the animal’s clinical symptoms, including the productive moist cough that often accompanies this disease.Bordetellosis in cats usually can be successfully treated by using antibiotic therapies. Treatment of affected cats coming from multi-cat households should include treating