Cat Salmonella Poisoning
Cat Salmonella Poisoning
Salmonellosis is another illness that can strike cats as well as humans. It is caused by the bacteria called salmonella. Traditionally it infects the intestinal system of its host. Symptoms are sometimes never seen, but all cats can be carriers.
How does my cat get salmonella poisoning?
Salmonella is found in sick and in healthy cats. In healthy cats, the intestines have protective measures that will win the battle against colonization of the bacteria. This is called the normal flora. In a cat whose immune system is compromised, the healthy floras are present in inadequate numbers to combat the salmonella infestation.
Although many cats are carriers and show no clinical symptoms, there are some that are compromised and will show some symptoms. Factors that may require treatment and will show signs are:
• Ingestion of a large amount of contaminated food or other items that contain the bacteria.
• The age of the animal can also influence the presence of symptoms. Very old or young animals are more likely to show some symptoms.
• Cat Cancer or other diseases that the cat may have.
• Antibiotic, chemotherapy or glucocorticoid administration can lead to symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms
Less common but possible are pulmonary embolism, bacteremia and endotoxemia. If your cat is pregnant, still births, abortions or the presentation of very weak offspring may occur. There is a minimal instance of fatality associated with salmonellosis.
With the occurrence of salmonella being the result of the contamination of toys, food, water or any other item, sanitation is important. It can also be acquired by ingestion of feces from rodents, birds or any other animal. Raw or undercooked foods that have not been properly stored are another source of potential infection.
People and salmonella
People can be infected with the organism as well. They too can be asymptomatic and merely carriers. Humans get it from poor hygiene or improper handling of cat feces. If anything is handled by the cat owner that may potentially be contaminated, it is very important to wash your hands.
Often no clinical signs are shown with the infection of the salmonella bacteria. It does however have the potential of creating affects in both healthy cats and owners, as well as those that may be compromised by other existing health conditions.
As with any organism that is transferred through ingestion or touch, a few simple precautions can prevent illness. Storing food properly and not allowing wet cat food to sit out for long periods is one. Proper hand washing before handling your own food is another. It is simple to see that basic good hygiene practices are the best prevention for salmonella poisoning. In the long run, it is far less expensive to buy a bar of soap or bottle of hand wash, than to make a visit to the veterinarian or the health care provider of the owner.