Mastitis in cats is a bacterial infection that affects the mammary glands.
Mastitis in cats can be a very painful condition, although most of the time it is not considered an emergency. This process is almost always localized in the tissues of the mammary glands, but if it becomes severe, it can spread to other parts of your cat’s body, become septic. That is, a bacterial infection develops that affects the blood of your cat.
The mammary glands consist of lobes of alveoli with a system of ducts that transport milk from a female cat to the external nipple.
These glands are usually arranged in pairs and begin to secrete milk immediately after the birth of the litter.
How mastitis attacks Maine Coon cats
An infectious process can develop in only one gland, or affect several glands. The disease can also occur as a result of trauma to the litter, due to bites, or as a result of the spread of infections from other foci through the blood system, especially in older or older cats.
If mastitis is localized to only one gland, then the cat may not show any symptoms or signs of the disease at all. However, if it spreads and affects multiple glands, the cat may show signs of anxiety, illness, or serious illness. For this reason, the mammary glands should be checked daily.
If the mammary glands feel hot, hard, and painful to your nursing cat, they are most likely infected.
It will not be superfluous to check the milk every day as well. And if the milk has changed color or begins to thicken, then this indicates that it is infected with bacteria.
Symptoms of mastitis in cats
In addition to checking the volume of the glands or the quality of the milk, several other symptoms of mastitis in cats can be observed.
When glands appear, it is important to make sure that they are not hot and hard, and it is also necessary to pay attention to the presence of swelling. This symptom becomes obvious, which is really manifested by a painful disease of cats.
The reddening of the juices will also begin predominantly, which makes them painful. This usually follows discoloration of the milk and recognition of secretions from the glands.
You can observe – an abscess.
This is a particularly dangerous symptom, as the abscess can easily rupture and spread the infection to other parts of your cat’s body.
Sudden fever is another sign to look out for.
However, perhaps the two most obvious signs that an infection has become severe are the kittens, who will then chronically cry or feel unwell.
These symptoms should be taken very seriously as they can easily lead to the death of the kittens.
Treatment of mastitis in Maine Coon cats
There are several different forms of treatment for mastitis in cats, and the choice of treatment will depend on the severity of the infection.
The first form of treatment for mastitis is antibiotic therapy. Which type of antibiotic to choose will depend on the pH tests of the cat’s milk. This is extremely important for the effective treatment of this disease. The pH level of cat milk indicates the acidity or alkalinity of milk and is measured in the range from 0 to 14. The neutral number is usually considered to be 7.0, but in general the pH level of cat milk is between 6.6 and 6.9. If the acidity is 7.0 or higher, then this is a risk. If your cat feeds milk that has a pH greater than 7.0, it can be toxic to the litter and also promote mastitis. Once this level has been determined by your veterinarian, antibiotics are usually given by the host unless it is a severe infection. Otherwise, they will be administered intravenously. Until the pH is lowered to a safe level, it may be recommended to feed the litter with milk substitutes.
A warm water compress helps drain the infected area and clear it of fluid. It is very important to make sure that the compress is warm and not hot. Until fluid is properly drained from the inflamed mammary gland, if you choose not to use a milk replacer, hand milking may also be a form of treatment for mastitis in cats.
In most but the most severe cases, warm compress therapy will do two things.
Firstly, it will help improve blood circulation in the mammary gland of the female, and also contributes to the effective penetration of antibiotics into infected tissues.
If an abscess occurs, then surgical treatment is required. This type of treatment must be carried out and supervised by your veterinarian, as it requires special conditions, skills, as well as knowledge and experience. Monitoring is essential, as if the infection is not completely eradicated, the abscess may need to be drained again until it is completely removed.
If this infection has spread significantly and has already resulted in tissue necrosis, mastectomy (removal of the breast) may be the only effective treatment. However, this form of treatment is extremely rare.
If the veterinary specialist noted that the infection has become very severe, causing sepsis, then this means that it has spread throughout the body, and then intravenous infusion therapy will be the form of treatment.
This can be very expensive and it will take several days for your cat to recover. However, in most cases, they are completely restored.
An important part of treating mastitis in lactating cats is to weigh the litter every day. If the procedures are effective, they will show up on the weight of the kittens as they will receive useful and essential nutrients for their body.
Mastitis in cats can be very painful for the nursing mother and potentially life-threatening for the litter. However, the treatment is quite successful – it all depends on the severity of the infection.
After the recovery of the Maine Coon, the mother and kittens are freed from the harmful effects of the infection and live a healthy and normal life.