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Pseudomonas aeruginosa in cats.

Species: Cat
Breed: British shorthair
Age: 8-11 years
My cat is aged 9. She was recently diagnosed with Pseudomonas aeruginosa which is affecting her respiratory track. Her breathing is very laboured.
We are not aware of her having any underlying condition. Although since she was a kitten, she had coughing episodes especially when she was combed and hairballs vomit was very rare.Following culture analysis several antibiotics were identified by the lab as effective. These include: Cefquinoma, Polymyxine B, Gentamicine, Mabufloxcine, Meropeneme, Amikazine, Tobramycine.

Our vet has put her on Marbocyl, she has been on it for 7 days the treatment is due to last 20 days.
She also put her on Metacam which was ineffective. Her breathing became worst and she lost her appetite. She is now on on half a pill 2mg of cortisone. This gives her relief.We tried giving her inhaler becotide but she gets to distressed with the inhaler. She is fine with pills

I know that this bacteria is difficult to treat and wondered if you had any advise.

Secondly what should we expect if it remains untreatable. Can she survive with management of the condition. I read one case on a vet forum where a cat had the condition for over 6 years.

Finally our other anxieties relate to cross infection. We have another cat. He is fine. What I have read from others with multiple animals is that its unusual for cats to transmit this to each other.

Since discovering the condition, we are obviously taking hygiene precautions for ourselves. Once again I read on the internet that there has only been one recorded case of a human with Cystic Fibrosis transmitting it to a cat and none that involved a cat passing the illness to a human.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Aw, poor Shakey. It sounds like she is really having a tough time.

You are right that pseudomonas can be difficult to treat. Some cats can have chronic problems with this bacteria and can have great difficulty clearing the infection. Sometimes, even with the appropriate antibiotics these infections can be stubborn and not go away.

You may want to ask your vet about the possibility of adding a medication called zithromax (azithromycin) to Shakey's treatment. It is an antibiotic that has anti-inflammatory properties and will also help to break down the biofilm around the pseudomonas which allows antibiotics (i.e. the marbocyl) to penetrate better. Some cats with chronic pseudomonas problems can be put on zithromax twice weekly long term which usually really helps reduce the symptoms.

Often cats with pseudomonas respiratory tract infections will need steroids to help with inflammation so it is good to continue with the cortisone tablets. You can also ask your vet about possibly using an eye medication containing dexamethasone as drops to put in the nostrils (if Shakey will allow it).

This type of infection is not normally one that will be contagious from cat to cat.

In regards to the concern of Shakey spreading the bacteria to you, it is extremely unlikely that you would have any concern. Pseudomonas is a serious problem if someone with cystic fibrosis gets it.

I did some research for you and from what I can see, it is extremely unlikely for a cat to spread pseudomonas to a person (even if that person had CF). People with CF are much more likely to get the bacteria from the environment. The following article describes where CF patients are likely to encounter pseudomonas, and cats are not even mentioned:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18094014

I really hope that Shakey feels better soon!

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.

Customer reply:

Thank you so much. I will make your suggestion to the vet.

Regards

Altan


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You're very welcome! I hope everything works out well.

Dr. Marie.



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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.