Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
After last week’s article about Pica I’ve been doing a lot more research on illnesses and sicknesses our little ones are susceptible to and thought… hey… can cats actually get Lyme Disease? So I thought I’d share the research I’ve done with you.
Yes, cats can get Lyme disease, but it is very uncommon.
What is Lyme Disease and why talk about it?
Well, I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about Lyme Disease as I have, and have a lot of questions about it. Like, did you know that Lyme Disease is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world?
What are some Symptoms?
Although most cats don’t show any symptoms, the ones that do commonly show signs of lameness (simply described as difficulty to walk which can either be a full disability, or minor clumsy nature) is caused due to the inflammation in their joints. Lameness can be acute, which means it lasts for short periods (usually around 3-4 days at a time and may recur in the same leg, different legs, or all legs.)
- Loss of appetite
- Inflammation in joints
- Commonly joints will be visually swollen or warm in temperature
- Kidney, Heart or Nervous System Diseases
- Very rare although all need to be quickly treated or they can get a lot worse and lead to failure.
- Brings on vomiting, diarrhoea, weight loss, increased urination, thirst, fluid build up in the abdomen and tissues.
- Heavy/Difficult breathing
- Sensitivity to touch
- An arched back with a stiff walk
- Superficial lymph nodes (will appear close to where the tick bites)
- An open wound (which may have the tick still inside and needs to be removed)
How you can test for Lyme Disease
Lyme disease can be tested through blood tests and a urinalysis. This will also give you an opportunity to check out how much damage (if any) the Lyme disease has had on any of your kitty’s organs. While getting checked, also check for arthritis as it may be a complication of Lyme disease.
How can I help my kitty with their pain?
- There are a number of antibiotics you can give your little one that will help. I would definitely talk to a vet about it before giving your little ones any medications, and a lot of them will be “over the counter” like Cosequin (an anti-inflammatory)
- Keep your cat Warm & Dry
- Warmth helps soothe inflamed joints. this can be done by wrapping your little one in blankets, getting them a nice cosy bed.
- Because of the pain, your kitty may be, it would be wise to limit their activity. This means little play time as well as making sure there are plenty of litter boxes, and water bowls around the house. It may also be wise to bring food to them instead of leaving it out. (Commonly no food change will be required unless kidney issues are suspected.)
- Groom your cat daily
- It’s important to check up on your cat to make sure no new ticks have made their way into their body. Make sure you brush them gently as they will be sensitive, but make sure to do it as it’s important! You can also ask your vet about collars, strays or spot-on topical products to kill and repel the ticks. (Only use these if recommended as they can be harsh on the cat’s body)
Hope you learned as much as me! This was definitely an interesting topic to research! Have any other questions? Let me know and I’ll put in my research!