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Bacteremia in Cats

Greiner, M., G. Wolf, et al. (2008). “A retrospective study of the clinical presentation of 140 dogs and 39 cats with bacteraemia.” J Small Anim Pract 49(8): 378-383.

Bacteremia is the presence of viable bacteria in the bloodstream. Bacteremia may develop in animals with impaired immune defenses, and is a common cause of sepsis. Sepsis is the systemic inflammatory response to infection. Bacteremia is associated with a high mortality rate in animals so that early diagnosis and intervention is very important. The aim of this study was to determine the bacterial species that can be isolated from blood cultures in dogs and cats with bacteremia. Retrospective data from 39 cats (and 140 dogs) with positive blood cultures presented to the University of Munich were evaluated. Sepsis was diagnosed in 59.5% of the cats with bacteremia. The most commonly isolated organism was E. coli, accounting for 30% of the isolates in cats. Cats in this study had a higher mortality rate than dogs. The authors conclude that clinical and laboratory findings are not helpful in determining the type of bacteria involved and blood cultures need to be performed to guide therapy.
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Related articles:
Greiner, M., G. Wolf, et al. (2007). “Bacteraemia in 66 cats and antimicrobial susceptibility of the isolates (1995-2004).” J Feline Med Surg 9(5): 404-10.
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