Campylobacteriosis in Cats
Campylobacteriosis is not commonly found in cats, but when it does occur, it is most likely to affect kittens younger than six months old. The bacteria which causes the disease can typically be found in the gut (gastrointestinal tract) of most healthy mammals, and will remain harmless for most.
Up to 45 percent of stray cats carry the campylobacter bacteria. The bacterium is shed through the feces, where other animals may come into contact with it, contracting the bacteria into their own bodies. Because of this, humans can also contract the disease if they do not practice proper hygiene after coming into contact with an infected animal.
There are several known causes, but the most common way that a cat comes into contact with campylobacter bacteria is from kennels, which may allow animals to come into direct contact with contaminated feces. Ingestion of contaminated food or water is another mode of transmission. In addition, younger animals are at a greater risk for contracting the disease because of their underdeveloped immune systems and natural tendency to explore their environments.
A fecal culture is the most common diagnostic procedure. After 48 hours, your veterinarian will examine the culture to look for leukocytes (fecal white blood cells) in the stool, the presence of which is an indication of infection; leukocytes may also be found in your cat's gastrointestinal tract, confirming the presence of campylobacter in the body. complete blood profile will also be conducted, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis.