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mycoplasma felis respiratory infection

Species: Cat
Breed: Bengal
Age: 3-6 months
Hi. I asked you a question previously about Indigo and I'd really like your opinion. We are currently treating him for mycoplasma felis with Doxycycline. I see some improvement after 10 days, but he's still has some sneezing and mucus issues. The medicine is supposed to be for 21 days so there's still lots of time for improvement, I suppose.

Here's the concern, and I haven't received a firm answer from our vet. Everything I have read indicates that a cat with mycoplasma felis will become a carrier, even after treatment. What is the risk of infection of our other 2 bengals and how concerned should we be?

BTW - he was also diagnosed with Tritrichomonas Foetus and we are supposed to get ronidazole tomorrow and start him on it.

And just so you know, he is currently quarantined, so no contact with the other cats. And because of the TF, that will be true for a few weeks more until he tests clear of it.

Thanks,

Dean


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, poor Indigo! He sure has been through a lot.

Just for clarification (in case anyone else is reading this question) you are talking about the respiratory form of mycoplasma felis. The other type of mycoplasma is something called mycoplasma HEMOfelis. This used to be called hemobartonella. Mycoplasma hemofelis is spread by fleas and causes anemia (decrease in red blood cells).

However, mycoplasma felis (no hemo) is different. It is believed that in most cats that have respiratory disease complicated by mycoplasma, the mycoplasma is not the main culprit but simply a bystander. It may make existing respiratory disease either worse or more difficult to treat.

So, some cats can be carriers for mycoplasma felis and never get rid of the organism completely. However, they only shed this organism when they are actively having nasal discharge.

I did a bunch of research for you in a large database of cases and could not find much information on how risky it would be to the other cats if Indigo was actually shedding mycoplasma felis. It seems to be that if there was another organism present (such as herpesvirus) and then they got mycoplasma then sickness could happen. However, it is not a common occurrence. The general consensus seems to be that there is not a big concern about a cat spreading mycoplasma felis to other cats.

Sorry I can't give you a definite answer, but I think you are doing all the right things.

Hope all is well!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.