Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Understanding Bartonella - Your Wilmington NC Vet

Post by Meghan Riley

By: Iva L. Nusbaum, DVMAs a Wilmington, NC, little animal veterinarian, I have seen many companion animal medical instances that have included an organism referred to as Bartonella. This intracellular organism can conceal itself in the blood cells of cats, dogs and even humans. Wow, this sounds very disturbing. How can this happen? What symptoms, if any, will you or your pet display?

Cats can become infected with Bartonella by fleas, ticks, cat bites or cat scratches. Numerous cats contract Bartonella as kittens. Kittens may well or may well not develop clinical signs. The kittens that are symptomatic can develop upper respiratory signs. These signs consist of sneezing, coughing, ocular discharge, and fever. These symptoms can appear and remain persistent. These kittens also could have gingivitis and swollen lymph nodes.

A blood test for Feline Bartonella has to be conducted with a total blood panel to analyze the red blood cells, and white blood cells with a chemistry panel. The kittens that are infected will ingest an oral antibiotic for a period of time. Follow-up testing in 6 months will confirm treatment reaction.

Dogs can turn into infected with Bartonella via fleas, ticks, cat bites and cat scratches. Although, most dogs are infected by ticks. The dogs that are showing symptoms can form shifting leg lameness, weakness and seizure activity.

A blood test for Bartonella must be conducted with a total blood panel to evaluate the red blood count and the white blood count with a chemistry panel. The dogs that are infected will ingest an oral antibiotic for a period of time. Follow-up testing in 6 months will confirm treatment reaction.

If Bartonella is left untreated in a cat, then certain inflammatory conditions happen. These chronic conditions consist of sinusitis, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis and valvular heart illness. I have observed several medical instances that have been chronic. In most of these cases, when the cats commence Bartonella treatment, then these pets regularly regain their health status.

As a public well being officer, I genuinely believe that we need to explain the zoonotic capability of Bartonella to all pet owners. There have been a number of human Bartonella cases. The most current occurred in a veterinary office manager and a veterinarian in Maryland. These recent instances took a lot of years and many doctors to finally diagnose their case.

I give my patients info about Bartonella. All kittens, cats and dogs can be and are tested. The Zoonotic risks are tangible. As a result, on your next wellness check out with your pet, we reccomend you request us to contain the Bartonella test.

About the Author

Iva L. Nusbaum, DVMNorth College Road Animal Hospital Wilmington, NC 28405www.wilmingtonvet.com


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