Hemobartonella and Ehrlichia in Cats

Mycoplasma haemofelis is a bacterial parasite of the red blood cells of cats found
worldwide. It was formerly called Hemobartonella felis. Since its discovery in 1942, it has become known as the cause of infectious anemia in cats. Cats that become acutely ill with hemobartonellosis may have typical clinical signs of illness: pale mucous membranes, fever, lethargy and depression, enlarged spleen and lymph nodes, jaundice.

Ehrlichia are intracellular bacteria in the family Rickettsiaceae known to infect different species of animals, such as dogs, humans, and horses. They rely on vectors such as ticks for transmission from animal to animal. Very few natural cases of Ehrlichia infection of cats have been reported worldwide. The most common sign of illness in cats with Ehrlichia or Anaplasma spp. infections is fever. Other signs include anorexia, weight loss, lethargy, depression, vomiting or diarrhea, pale mucous membranes, and joint pain. The most common laboratory abnormality found in blood tests is a nonregenerative anemia or thrombocytopenia (low platelet count). Some cats also have other blood changes, such as low white blood cell numbers. An increase in blood protein levels is seen, caused by increased globulins produced by the immune system.

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