Antibiotic Treatments for Lyme Disease in Cats

In wooded or rural areas, pet owners should be alert to the danger of Lyme disease. Lyme disease in cats is dangerous but very treatable. Here is some information about treatment for cats infected with Lyme disease:

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia bacteria. Borrelia bacteria are transmitted by a parasite called the isodes tick. Isodes ticks usually feed on deer and other animals in wooded or grassy areas, but they also bite dogs, cats and humans. Isodes ticks are most active in hot weather.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Cats

Fever, lethargy and stiff joints are all symptoms suggesting Lyme disease. A rash is seen in some cases. Loss of appetite, limping or unsteadiness is also reported. The most serious and dangerous symptoms associated with the disease are episodes of sudden collapse, kidney dysfunction and inflammation of the heart muscles.

If you see any of these symptoms, look for evidence of tick bites on your cat, but even if you don't find such evidence, take your cat to the vet for a definitive diagnosis.

Treating Feline Lyme Disease

The most common treatment for cats diagnosed with Lyme disease is medication with antibiotics. The medications most often prescribed are; amoxicillin, doxycycline and tetracycline. They are delivered both in liquid and tablet form.

Cautions When Using Antibiotics

It is most important that you give your cat antibiotics strictly according to your vet's instructions. You must give the antibiotics for the full course prescribed by your vet. Even if your cat's symptoms seem to disappear very quickly, you must still continue to give the medicine for the full period your vet prescribed in the treatment course. Contact your vet for further instructions if you miss a dosage. If you stop treating your cat with antibiotics too soon or if you miss a dose; the infection could return and when it does it may be resistant to antibiotic treatment.

Be alert to any signs of allergic reaction to an antibiotic from your cat. Allergic reactions to antibiotics can be very severe. Tell your vet if your cat has had such a reaction to any anti biotic in the past. Talk to your vet before giving antibiotics to a pregnant or nursing cat.

Preventing Lyme Disease

While treatment outcomes are usually quite good as long as Lyme disease does not go untreated for a long period; the best plan is to focus on preventing Lyme disease infection.

Keeping your cat indoors is the best prevention method. If your cat does go outside you should check it ever day during late spring and summer for ticks. It takes about 10 to 12 hours for a tick that bites your cat to transmit Borrelia bacteria into the cat's system. If you find and kill that tick quickly enough you can prevent the infection. Use a spray or medication specifically designed to repel and kill ticks trying to feed on your cat, your vet can recommend or prescribe one of a number of very effective products available.