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Bacterial Infection of the Breast in Cats



If the breast infection is not too severe, your cat's kittens may be allowed to continue nursing (this is the ideal option, as it is best for the health of both the mother and kittens), unless the glands contain dead tissue, or because the mother is systemically ill and it is not safe for her or the kittens to nurse. In those cases, your cat will be admitted into a hospital until she is stable.


Your veterinarian will caution you to pay special attention to the antibiotics that are being used, any reaction your cat or her kittens might have to the medication, and the continued weight gain of the little ones. In case of dehydration or sepsis, intravenous fluid therapy will be ordered to correct electrolyte imbalances and hypoglycemia. Shock is also a possibility, which will be treated accordingly.


Often, veterinarians recommend that you apply warm compress and milk out the affected gland(s) several times daily to keep the milk ducts clear. Application of cabbage leaf wraps to the affected glands may also speed resolution of the swelling and help bring comfort to your cat. Abscessed or gangrenous glands, on the other hand, will require surgical removal.


Living and Management


The prognosis of a cat with mastitis is good with treatment. Discuss with your veterinarian a proper diet for the cat if she is nursing. However, if the queen does not progress well enough to care for her kittens on her own, you will need to hand-raise them, which requires considerable commitment. Your veterinarian will make recommendations as to the best feeding methods for the kittens.




In addition to keeping the living area clean, shaving hair from around the mammary glands may prevent reinfection. Clipping the nails of the kittens to prevent scratching of the mother's skin and making certain that all mammary glands are used for nursing can also lower the risk of infection.



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