Can Cats Get Lyme Disease?

Happy Tuesday everyone. Today is medical day so I figured you would want a Spooky update.

When I took Spooky to the vet a couple of weeks ago, his blood work was fine, but I was told he had a lot of protein in his urine. At the time, it was the least of his problems, but now that he is eating and going to the bathroom normally I started researching it. One website got my attention because it says lyme disease can cause this: http://www.vetinfo.com/feline-proteinuria-causes.html . I immediately called the vet and was told there was no test for cats for lyme disease which I find odd being that a blood test is used for humans and dogs. I plan to call the vet tomorrow when the vet I am most familiar with is there to see if she will give Spooky an antibiotic for lyme disease to be on the safe side. Another symptom was a stiff walk with arched back which he has and we assumed was arthritis. Spooky spent most of his life outdoors until we adopted him in 2013. He belonged to the neighbors and visited daily, his previous family treated him with flea/tick preventative, but he always had ticks on him which makes me think he has lyme disease. We have had dogs with it in the past and my husband has had it 3 times so I know it is quite common around here. Spooky is getting his dental done next Thursday ( unless my cheap frugal husband stops me).

Here are some photos of Spooky back when he was just a friendly neighbor and a bit of a mooch:

014spooky

I am curious to know if anyone else’s cat gas ever had lyme disease and if you know of a test for cats. Any information you have to share would be greatly appreciated.

50 comments

  1. There are different schools of thought on this. However, it is agreed that if it happens in cats, it is rare. Also, it is believed it may happen in ferals as opposed to pets. So…definitely consult with your trusted vet. Follow their treatment. You may need to postpone other procedures. ❀

    1. The vet I wanted is not in this week and the one I got doesn’t think it is possible. I will check with the other one next week.

  2. Minko’s vet tld us that cats can’t get lyme disease because they groom the ticks off before they can imbed themselves. That sounds plausible, but if there are a lot of them, well wouldn’t some get missed?

    Minko got the doxycycline for a possible case, he was limping and felt feverish, and not eating, hiding, etc. That was last summer, way before the present issues he exhibits. That was the same vet lady who meomwy now doesn’t take Minko too…OMC!!

    I do not know if there is a lab test for kitties, but if the ticks are about…and this year is awful already…then can’t they be treated proactively if there is a suspicion? I did see a tick crawling on Minko so that is why the vet ‘consented’ to the antibiotic. If a peep finds a deer tick, then they too should get treated prophylacticly. Meowmy had to do that years ago, She did not get this awful malady. Our grand meowmy did not fare so well, she had that for three years before it was diagnosed, then it became chronic and may have sped up the dementia issues she had, which landed her in a nursing home.

    We hope Spooky gets treated, it may help…at any rate if you do the meds properly there shouldn’t be long term effects.

    POTP to Spooky, He is a handsome dude!

    1. That is awful about your Grandma having dementia. Thank you for praying for Spooky. The vet I wanted is out until next week and the one I dealth with doesn’t think it is possible, but I do. He ised to have ticks all over him that I would remove.

  3. Lyme disease is uncommon here, so we don’t know much about it. But even though people seem to think it is rare in cats, it sounds to me like Spooky could very well be one of those rare cases – the environment and the fact that he was outdoors and always tick-ridden certainly make it plausible. So it’s totally worth looking further into it.

    1. The vet I wanted wasn’t there and the one I talked to was useless so I guess I have to wait for the other one.

  4. I hope that Spooky is okay! Poor kitty. I haven’t done much research on Lime Disease yet, so I really don’t know if there is a test. If I come across anything, I will definitely let you know. In the meantime I will be praying for him and for you in dealing with this situation. *hugs*

    1. Thank you, I will have to wait for our regular vet because the one I had wouldn’t even consider it. Hugs to you too πŸ™‚

  5. That’s a great name. I’ve heard about Bravecto. It’s a new flea and tick prevention. I head it’s suppose to be really good. Hope Spooky feels better. After you get everything figured out maybe that would help in the future. Now I have to google it. really no blood test for cats to detect lyme. Interesting.

    1. Thank you. Spooky i indoor only now si he shouldn’t need it, but you never know.

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  7. Hm, very interesting. I take care of two ferals, and most definitely the ticks get on them and don’t come off, especially in a spot that the cat cannot bite or lick, like under the chin. Waiting to hear what your vet says, because I’ll bet my Sweetie would be the one with it. Or she has lungworms…or asthma. But what to do with a feral cat?

    1. The vet I wanted wasn’t there- she is out until next week. The one I had today, wouldn’t consider it, but I think she is wrong. I will keep you posted. Maybe your vet could give you an antibiotic to try to put in the food..

  8. Although lyme disease is quite common here in VT, I don’t know anything about how it effects cats. In that first picture Spooky looks like he has tortoiseshell markings, or is that just the light? If so, male torties are very rare!

    1. Thank you, it was the light hitting him. He is mainly black with a touch of white.

  9. I didn’t know cats could get Lyme disease, but it makes sense.

    I know that the normal blood test they use on humans to test for Lyme can, and does, come back as a flase negative. So Lyme can go for a long time without being properly diagnosed and treated in humans.

    Hopefully the vet can figure out what is going on and help him.

    1. I hope so too, but I need to wait for her to get back from vacation.

    1. Thank you, I have to wait until next week to speak to her and the other vet wasn’t open minded.

  10. Lyme disease is becoming a pandemic. The test for it in humans is not very good. There is a time window when you will test positive, but before and after that time window you can test negative even though you still have it. I know for sure it is possible for cats to have it and they can become paralysed or die if not treated. I believe also it is now possible for Lyme disease to be contracted in many more countries than at first thought, especially the US and western Europe. The reason I know so much about this is because my human contracted Lyme disease many years ago and was not diagnosed correctly and has lived with the effects to this day! I hope you get some answers for Spooky, hugs x0x0x

    1. That is awful, I know it effects everyone in different ways. My hubby had it three times and it made him tired.I will keep you posted on what I find out, but I have to wait because that vet is on vacation.

    1. Thank you, he is much better than he was a couple weeks ago πŸ™‚

  11. I hope Spooky is okay. Eric often would come in with a tick on him even though he was treated monthly against fleas and ticks. There are a lot of deer in our area that carry the ticks, but thankfully it is not an area that is known to be affected by Lyme Disease. I have only ever found one attached tick on Flynn and one that was crawling on his fur.

    1. YOu are lucky that lyme disease isn’t prevalent in your area. Around here, all dogs seem to get it and people too.

  12. I don’t know an iut lyme disease either, I would have thought walking like that would have been kidney problems.

    1. His kidneys tested fine with the blood work, but there is definitely something off with the protein in the urine.

  13. Many years ago, when it was common for cats to be indoor/outdoor, my big young beautiful tabby cat Wally suddenly started to walk very stiffly and painfully. I took him to my vet who said Lyme disease was more rare in cats than dogs, but that’s what he diagnosed. I don’t remember him doing a blood test. Wally had a course of antibiotics, the symptoms cleared up within a week or so, and he was fine.
    Hope Spooky is better soon!
    xxoo

    1. Thank you for the information, it sure does sound like lyme being that symptoms cleared up so quickly. I can’t wait to talk to the other Dr., I know she will give me the antibiotics because one of the techs told me she did for her cats in the past.

  14. Dat’s just pawful. Weez not ever had to deal wiff lyme disease Ms. Ellen, but weez of course not wanna alarm ya’ or speak a bad fing, but all of those symptoms awe also symptoms of CRF/CKD. After all it was da purrotein in da urine what caused our VET to diagnose sis Lexi wiff CRF. And then of course da blood tests followin’ dat confurmed it. Weez still sendin’ lots and lots of purrayers fur Spooky.

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Lexi

    1. You are not alarming me, I know Spooky is 15 or 16 and that is a chance. His bloodwork was fine though, but I also know that hyperthyroid can mask kidney disease on a blood test so we will test again. I just figured an antibiotic is an easy fix to try and he used to be covered in ticks when he was an outdoor kitty. Thanks for the purrs and prayers- we are doing the same for Lexi, actually for all 3 of you.

  15. Purring for Spooky. I will e waiting to hear what you find out. All pet parents try to stay as up to date as we can.

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚ I agree, they depend on us so e need to keep them healthy.

  16. well now that is interesting, I never realized there wasn’t a test for cats at all. although sadly I’m not all that surprised..

    1. I know, cat diseases don’t seem to get studied as much as dog ones.

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