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Q Fever in Cats



There are medications that are effective in eliminating the bacterial infection, and your veterinarian will guide you in creating an effective treatment plan for the cat. However, be aware that C. burnetii is more resistant to eradication than other types of Rickettsiae, a similar type of bacteria.


Because of the zoonosis of Q fever, take extreme care when handling infected animals. To lessen the risk of transmitting the disease, your cat should be immediately hospitalized once it is found to have Q fever.


Living and Management


It can be difficult to determine the success of therapy because many animals will spontaneously improve. However, even asymptomatic cases should be aggressively treated because of the potential for human infection.


By the time a diagnosis is made in a cat, human exposure and infection have more than likely occurred. Therefore, anyone who has been in contact with the cat should seek immediate medical attention. The incubation period from the time of contact until the first signs of illness is 5 to 32 days.


Humans typically contract the disease by inhaling infected aerosols (i.e., airborne material), especially after an animal has given birth; children are commonly infected from ingesting raw dairy milk, but are usually asymptomatic. Person-to-person transmission is possible but rare.



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