Bacterial Infection (Tyzzer Disease) in Cats


PetMD Editorial

Updated Aug. 24, 2022

Tyzzer disease is a life-threatening bacterial infection. It is caused by the bacterium Clostridium piliformis, which is thought to multiply in the intestines and once reaching the liver, causing severe damage. Young cats are at high risk of developing the disease.

Symptoms and Types

Due to the severity of the liver damage, some cats with Tyzzer disease may die within 24-48 hours. Some early signs of the disease include:

  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain and discomfort
  • Liver enlargement
  • Abdominal distension
  • Low body temperature


The bacterium Clostridium piliformis.


Your veterinarian will conduct a complete medical history and perform a physical examination on your cat. He or she will then use routine laboratory tests including complete blood count, biochemistry profile, electrolyte panel, and urinalysis to assess the condition of your cat and severity of the disease.

If your cat has Tyzzer disease, the biochemistry profile testing may reveal abnormally high levels of liver enzymes, especially shortly before the cat's condition becomes dire.


Unfortunately, there is currently no effective treatment for Tyzzer disease. Consult with your veterinarian if there is anything that can be done to alleviate your cat's pain.

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