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Early treatment is the mainstay of successful resolution and cure of the symptoms. A high rate of deaths is common in patients that are not treated early. Your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics to control the infection and its related symptoms. Your cat may need antibiotic therapy for several days for complete resolution of the symptoms.
The overall prognosis is poor, especially in animals that are not treated early on in the course of the disease.
As previously mentioned, F. tularensis is a zoonotic infection -- meaning, it can be passed form one species to another. If your cat is infected with this bacteria you will need to take special precautions to protect yourself from infection. The bacteria most often penetrates the body through damaged skin and mucous membranes, or through inhalation. Humans are most likely to acquire the infection by tick bite, through cat scratches, and in some cases, simply through handling an infected animal. Tularemia can also be acquired by inhalation. In some cases, it is known to have occurred during the grooming process with dogs, and hunters are at a higher risk for this disease because of the potential of inhaling the bacteria during the skinning process. Ingesting the infected water, soil, or food that has become contaminated can also cause infection. In some other cases, it has been contracted from inhaling particles from an infected rabbit or other small rodent that was ground up in a lawnmower.
F. tularensis is an intracellular bacterium, meaning that it is able to live parasitically within the host cells. It primarily infects macrophages, a type of white blood cell, thus evading the immune system's response to destroy it. The course of the disease is dependent on the organism's ability to spread to multiple organ systems, including the lungs, liver, spleen, and lymphatic system.
The prediction of a disease’s outcome in advance
The term for a scientist that deals with the study of plant life and animal life in microscopic sizes
The study of serum and the way it reacts to certain antigens
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
A type of fungus that produces buds
Anything pertaining to the blood vessel system in the body
A condition in which the skin becomes yellow in color as do the mucous membranes; this is due to excess amounts of bilirubin.
A certain pigment that is produced when hemoglobin is destroyed.
The fluid created by the liver that helps food in the stomach to be digested.
The digestive tract containing the stomach and intestine
Inside the cell
The singular form of the word bacteria; a tiny, microscopic organism only made up of one cell.
Small structures that filter out the lymph and store lymphocytes