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Daily Archives: September 19, 2017

Cat Health

Giardia in Cats-Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

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What is giardia?   Transmission   Symptoms   Diagnosis   Treatment   Can I catch giardia from my cat?   Preventing reinfection

giardia in cats

What is giardia?

Also known as Beaver Fever, Giardia is a protozoan (single-celled organism) parasite which is found in the small intestine of many mammals and birds including humans and cats.  Giardia duodenalis (also known as G. lamblia) can infect a wide range of mammals and can be divided into several assemblages (subpopulations) with preferred hosts.

  • A1 – Humans and a wide range of mammals including cats and dogs
  • A2 – Humans
  • A3 – Hoofed wild animals
  • B – Wide range of mammals, including humans and cats
  • C – Dogs and other canids
  • D – Dogs and other canids
  • E – Hoofed animals
  • F – Cats
  • G – Rodents

One study in Australia found the prevalence of Giardia in healthy cats to be 2%, although those numbers may be up to 12% in crowded conditions such as shelters and catteries. Kittens and young adult cats are most commonly infected as well as cats living in crowded environments and cats who are immunocompromised such as those with feline immunodeficiency virus or feline leukemia virus. Continue reading

Cat Health

Tick Paralysis in Cats – Symptoms and Treatment

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What is tick paralysis?  Appearance of ticks   How do they get onto cats?   Symptoms of poisoning   Treatment   Removing a tick   Lyme disease

Paralysis tick

What is tick paralysis?

Tick paralysis is a common and life-threatening emergency which caused by a tick bite. There are hundreds of species of ticks worldwide, with as many as 40 of whom are capable of producing paralysis.  Most cases of tick paralysis occur in Australia and the United States.

In Australia, Ixodes holocyclus (commonly referred to as paralysis ticks) are the species capable of producing paralysis. These ticks live on the east coast from North Queensland to Northern Victoria. They can be found year-round, however are most prevalent in early spring and summer.  Their natural hosts are the long-nosed bandicoot and the short-nosed bandicoot. But they can also parasitise other native animals including the possum, wallaby, and echidna, all of whom have a natural immunity to the tick’s toxin. However, paralysis ticks will infest domestic pets, livestock, and humans. The preferred habitat of ticks is areas of bush and scrub but can be picked up in other areas such as gardens, parklands, and paddocks. Continue reading