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Song Bird Fever in Cats

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Diagnosis

Diagnosis is often based on history of exposure to a decayed bird carcass, contents of vomitus and clinical signs. Diagnostics should be performed on those pets that are having severe vomiting and diarrhea, are exhibiting other systemic signs of illness, or when the vomitus or stool contains blood. These tests may include:
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Biochemical profile
  • Urinalysis
  • Abdominal radiographs (X-rays)
  • Fecal examinations

    Treatment

    There are several things your veterinarian might recommend to treat your cat. The recommendations may vary depending on the severity of your cat's signs. The principal goals of symptomatic therapy are to restore and maintain fluid balance, limit absorption of the bacterial toxins, correct electrolyte imbalances and to completely rest the gastrointestinal tract.

  • If the garbage ingestion was recent, induction of vomiting may be recommended to empty the stomach.

  • Fluid and electrolyte therapy is administered intravenously (IV).

  • Drugs that coat and sooth the GI tract – commonly used drugs include Sucralfate (Carafate®), Famotidine (Pepcid®)and or Ranitidine HCl (Zantac®).

  • Drugs that symptomatically stop vomiting and diarrhea.

  • Antibiotics may be administered however there is some concern that antibiotics can change the flora of the GI tract allowing some bacteria to overgrow.

  • Nothing orally for several hours, with a gradual introduction of water followed by a bland diet.

    Prognosis

    The prognosis is good early diagnosis and treatment.

    Prevention

    Do not allow your pets to roam and hunt.

    Home Care

    Call your veterinarian, and follow all recommendations regarding feeding and medication. This will probably include withholding all food and water. Observe your pet very closely. If clinical signs are not improving over a day or two, and/or your pet is getting worse, have your pet evaluated at once.


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