Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Case of the Week - Buddy

Congratulations to April on her adoption of a new kitten, Buddy! He did develop some problems due to an upper respiratory infection but recovered well and is now home with his new family. Knowing that young kittens are especially susceptible to intestinal parasites and wanting to make sure Buddy is completely healthy, April brought us our most prized gift from a new kitten - a poop sample. Buddy has been eating well and his bowel movements have appeared completely normal, but we ran a fecal test to be sure everything was fine. Looking at his sample under the microscope, Katrina soon found a large number of Coccidia eggs.

Coccidia is a one-celled parasitic organism called a protozoan. It lives in the intestinal wall lining and can cause diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss, especially in young kittens. Buddy was probably exposed to the coccidian in the feces of his mother or another cat at the shelter, or even before he went to the shelter. Even though Buddy was not showing outward signs like diarrhea, the coccidia could have caused problems later. Coccidia can be difficult to completely resolve, but a course of antibiotics and strict hygiene in the litter box will usually clear it.

Since kittens are more susceptible to parasitic infections, it is even more important to have fecal tests done. It is also important that all young cats and any cats that go outdoors - even for brief periods - should have fecal tests done every 6-12 months. See the articles in our LifeLearn library for more information about parasites in cats.

1 comment:

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