A bacteria that causes upper respiratory symptoms but can also affect reproduction and the gastrointestinal tract.
Up 30% in cats with conjunctivitis tested positive for Chlamydia. The prevalence is highest in young kittens and cattery/shelter settings, but there is a low risk of reinfection if all cats are treated in the home.
Sneezing Watery eyes Discharge from eyes Coughing Difficulty breathing Runny nose Lack of appetite (anorexia) Fever Pneumonia, if left untreated
Chlamydia is hard to diagnose since symptoms are similar to other illnesses and it may be in play with multiple infections. Culturing a sample of the eye sections, blood tests or more commonly Polymerarse Chain Reaction or PCR is recommended.
The bacteria are unable to survive long outside of the body. Incubation is about 2-5 days with shedding not progressing past 60 days. Chlamydia has been isolated experimentally up to 215 days after infection with treatment.
Direct or indirect contact. Transmission is easy via eye secretions or social grooming as well as humans with contact with Chlamydia from other animals.
Indirect contact can occur via blankets, bedding, feeding bowls etc.
Treatment is typically started with doxycycline (some suggest 10mg/kg once a day others 3mg/lb twice a day with food) but topical eye ointments may be administered as well. Systemic antibiotics are typically more effective overall. Treatment may be required for up to 6 weeks, 4 weeks minimum and an additional 10 days after the eyes are clear.
Herbs such as:
St. John’s Wort
Homeopathic remedy such as:
Aconitum napellus 30C
Nux vomica 30C
Natrum muriaticum 6C, or Pulsatilla 30C followed by Silicea 30C.
Unfortunately, there is no prevention for this bacteria
The vaccination, while it can reduce symptoms, cannot prevent Chlamydia. It is also considered a “non-core” vaccination and only recommended in high-risk situations.
Currently, there is no reliable data to compare and contrast the efficiency of the inactivated versus modified live vaccines.
Unfortunately, “protection” from the vaccination is very short lived and requires boosters about every 6 months. Furthermore, this vaccine can shed 6 months-1 year after administration and can transfer to dogs and even humans.
Infected cats do create antibodies. Kittens passively have maternal antibodies for the first 1-2 months of life. Results from serological surveys indicate 10% of unvaccinated household
pets have antibodies suggesting prior infection.
Titers less than 32 are considered a cat negative for Chlamydia while anything above 512 is positive.