Mycotoxicosis in cats, a rare but very dangerous feline poisoning. Let’s see what the causes, symptoms and treatment are.
All small pets can suffer from this condition, just like in the case of mycotoxicosis in cats.
Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites of toxigenic strains of different genera and species of fungi that grow on a variety of plant products consumed by animals and humans.
They may also be present in some foods obtained from animals fed with contaminated feed.
Let’s see what the causes, symptoms and treatment to be able to combat this dangerous form of poisoning in cats.
Causes of mycotoxicosis in cats
The causes of mycotoxicosis poisoning in cats are generated by several factors, such as:
- intake of kitchen scraps or waste (in the case of strays but sometimes also of servants);
- meals prepared by the owners with raw materials that are not well preserved or in any case contaminated;
- packaged food for animals stored in unsuitable conditions (high temperature, humidity, poor cleaning of the storage environment);
- foods composed of contaminated vegetable and / or animal ingredients (meat, offal, etc.) .
The cat suffering from some pathology or simple malaise hardly highlights its debilitated physical state.
Most of the time he tends to be unfriendly and tries to isolate themselves as much as possible in quiet and secluded corners of the house.
There are some cases, however, where the animal cannot help but show its precarious state of health and inevitably shows some symptoms related to its problem.
For example, the signs of mycotoxicosis in the cat, which are quite evident but not specific of the disease, so in addition to observing the signs it is essential to take the cat to a veterinary outpatient visit.
The symptoms that the animal exhibits are:
- increased heart rate
- fever in cats
- lack of appetite
- uncoordinated movements
- seizures in cats
- muscle tremors
- vomiting in cats
The severity and type of symptom are related to the amount and type of mycotoxins ingested by the animal.
Diagnosis and treatment of mycotoxicosis in cats
Unfortunately, this multitude of effects generated by mycotoxicosis in cats creates a great difficulty in being able to make a quick diagnosis.
However, once the animal has been examined, the onset and nature of the symptoms and any possible exposure to fungi, moldy food, or decaying organic matter will need to be accurately recorded .
The vet will then proceed with performing various tests that will help rule out other causes of tremors and seizures. They are:
- complete physical examination
- biochemical profile
- urine analysis
- complete blood count (CBC)
Although the best test of all is thin layer chromatography, bile analysis to analyze stomach and vomit contents.
Once the diagnosis of mycotoxin poisoning in cats is established, the treatment prescribed by the veterinarian will take place on an inpatient basis.
Where to absorb the toxic material in the stomach and intestines, activated charcoal will be given to the cat.
If treatment begins soon after the cat has managed the fungi, the prognosis is generally good, as most cats recover within 24 to 48 hours after treatment.
In these cases, prevention is very useful, keeping an eye on the cat when wandering outdoors is essential, as is keeping the garden clean of any raw mushrooms or other mouldy food material.
While as regards the contamination prevention measures applied along the entire production chain, they aim to improve the conditions of production and conservation of intermediate and finished products.