10909 Indian Head HighwayFort Washington, MD 20744(301) 292-1150(301) 292-1056
 
What is it?
Is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia psittaci.
 
Who is susceptible to it?
Cats (young are more susceptible) and humans.
 
How does it spread?
Spread between cats by direct contact or by short distance aerosolization (sneezing) of the bacteria.  Transmission trough contaminated objects can also occur.
 
Time line from exposure to signs?
Signs begin 7 to10 days post exposure.
 
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms include: watery nasal discharge, sneezing, coughing, eye irritation, vomiting, and diarrhea. Disease tends to be chronic, lasting from several weeks to months.  In severe untreated cases pneumonia can develop.
 
Is there a test for it?
Yes.  Involves obtaining a smear of the eye to send for testing to the lab.
 
How is it treated?
Usually treated as an outpatient.  Cats are placed on oral antibiotics and ocular medications.  Hospitalization is only needed if the development of pneumonia is suspected.
 
Cleaning the environment?
This bacterium is resistant to environmental degradation and to many disinfectants.  Areas should be cleaned thoroughly with bleach. 
 
Is there a vaccine?
Yes.  The vaccine (Modified Live) is included in our FVRCP + C vaccine.  The vaccine is given by injection and requires two doses 4 weeks apart with yearly boosters.  Kittens should receive a minimum of two doses after 12 weeks of age.  The vaccine does not prevent infection; rather it reduces the severity and the duration of the disease.
 
Risk for humans?
Humans can be infected; there are a limited number of reports of mild eye infections in humans transmitted from infected cats.
 
 
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