Insights About Bone Infections In Cats That We Need To Know


Cats are not safe from bone infections, just like us humans. In the actual fact, bone infections in cats happen when a particular fungal or bacterial infection happens to affect the bone marrow or the bone in general. In this article, we will be discussing more about this feline condition. Give this article a read and get to learn more about it.

Bone Infections in Cats: What is this feline condition?

The bone infections happen when a fungal or bacterial infection takes place in the bone marrow or in the bone. It is often referred to as osteomyelitis. This may happen directly in the bone right after a surgical procedure or a fracture happens. Further, it may also be spread to the bone via the bloodstream from a particular infection in different part of the body. Moreover, the infection may cause inflammation on the bone and its surrounding tissues.

Moreover, the cat may not show any signs of bone infection for certain time before the symptoms appear. This is what makes it likely for the infection to get austere by the time it is diagnosed. If you think that your cat might have a bone infection, you can seek some vet assistance right away. The medical treatment may be necessary in getting rid of the infection, and the earlier the treatments start, the better the result is for the cat. In some of the cases, bone infections may need surgical procedure or even amputation, just to treat it. Further, the treatments might need quite a few weeks of hospitalization.

Types of Bone Infections in Cats

The bone infection may be due to a sudden or acute, short-lived infection or by a chronic or long-lasting condition. The types of bone infection may include the following:

  • Fungal infections
  • Bacterial infections

Causes of Cat Bone Infection

A bone marrow or bone infection in cats is most typically triggered by fungus or bacteria, which has go into the body via the normal means of transmission, just like ingestion, through a wound, or the exposure to some other sick animals. In case the germs are already in the system of the cat, they might be transported via the blood to infect some other parts of the body –this includes the bones. Moreover, the infection may get into the bone marrow and the bone. This may cause pain and inflammation, thus resulting in the cat’s symptoms.

Some of the most common causes, which may lead to bone infection may include:

  • Dental infection
  • Soft tissue infection
  • Implant
  • Post-surgery
  • Injuries, which come from claw wounds, bites, trauma, or fracture
  • Some other infections

Symptoms of Cat Bone Infection

The bone infection in cats may cause a lot of symptoms in the cat. The most common among all is being so favoring of a limb or lameness, fever, and listlessness or apathetic behavior. In circumstances that the infection has already spread the symptoms related to the bone marrow and bone from some other parts of the body, the cat might exhibit some other localized symptoms, in relation to the infection. Moreover, it is possible as well for the cat to have general symptoms of the infection, just like difficulty in breathing, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and runny eyes or nose.

Some of the most common symptoms of bone infection in cats include the following:

  • Oozing or pus from soft tissues or wound site
  • Anorexia or lack of appetite
  • Joint swelling
  • Limb swelling
  • Pulling back of muscles or wasting
  • Reluctance to use the limb
  • Arthritis or stiffness
  • Limb pain
  • Lesions or ulcers
  • Depression or apathy
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Lameness

Prognosis of Cat Bone Infection

You may need to give a complete history of the cat’s overall health, including the onset and the nature of the symptoms, to the vet. After which, the vet will perform a thorough physical examination, urinalysis, biochemistry profile, as well as CBC. The history of the health of the cat will be essential in determining the cat’s condition –if it is chronic or acute. In case the infection has already gone underdiagnosed for some time, the appearance of the new bone growth on the site may be an indication of its duration.

In some circumstances, surgical biopsy may be done for more confirmation of the condition. In case of systemic infections, the vet may collect a blood sample, as well as grow the relevant organism in the sample to search for the most suitable antibiotic medications for the treatment.

Treatment for Cat Bone Infection

The treatment for the condition may vary depending on various factors. This includes if the infection is chronic or acute, its severity, its location, as well as the type of organism that causes it. If the infection of the cat is secondary to different infection or a wound, then more treatments may be needed in managing that condition. The vet may also start some treatments, just like antibiotics, even right before the exact organism that’s causing the infection has already been identified.


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