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Klebsiella in Cats
 

Klebsiella in Cats

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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1
12/04/2022 2:42 pm
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Our cat, Wanda keeps getting upper-respiratory infections. My husband took her to the vet a week ago and the vet told him that the previous tests they conducted showed she has klebsiella in her system and it is resistant to antibiotics so she will have to live with it and just treat the infection. I’m not really sure what this will mean for her health long term having this in her system and if there is something else that can be done to help her? We were given antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication to clear the infection. 

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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 26
25/09/2023 1:28 am

Hi Karen,

 

Sincere apologies, it looks like we just recently came across your question. I hope an answer may still be helpful.

 

I’m not 100% clear from the description what the full picture is. Klebsiella is a bacteria very similar to E. coli. Some strains of Klebsiella can demonstrate significant antibiotic resistance (even to the point of there being no oral antibiotic choices that will work). Klebsiella is an uncommon contributor to upper respiratory infections in cats

 

I’m assuming your vet is saying that Klebsiella was cultured out of the respiratory tract. That’s the only way they’d know the antibiotic resistance. If antibiotic therapy actually makes the symptoms resolve for a while, despite how resistant the Klebsiella is, it’s possible there are other organisms contributing to the upper respiratory infection that are being affected by antibiotics (there can be more than one bacteria involved). 

 

But the persistent presence of the Klebsiella may be what is contributing to the chronic recurrence. I couldn’t say for sure because there may also be other factors involved, like recurrent viral infections, which are a more common cause of upper respiratory recurrence. I think your vet's approach here is that you may not be able to fully clear the Klebsiella, but as long as antibiotics are still helping with the symptoms of the upper respiratory flare ups, they adivse using them to subside the flare up and keep your cat more comfortable.

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Joined: 2 months ago
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29/03/2024 10:32 pm

@chris-vanderhoof Hi, our cat with respiratory problems is also diagnosed with klebsiella. (we rescued her from the street a year ago- vet thinks she is 9 or 10 years old)  Klebsiella was cultured out of the respiratory tract / vet took a sample of her lung secretion while the cat was anesthetized. Our vet initially thought the breathing problem was related to her nose or her soft palate. The vet examined her under anesthesia and during intubation they saw the secretion coming from her lungs and took a sample. As a result of the culture- klebsiella spp was found. Our cat will undergo a treatment of antibiotics for 4 weeks . The culture result identified some antibiotic types to which the identified bacteria is sensitive; however the vet also pointed out that the bacteria might not be fully cleared out and it might recur in the future after the treatment. When I search throughout the web, my understanding is that this bacteria is a dangerous one for humans and animals. My question is - Does this bacteria pass from cats to humans? What is the probability of transmission in the household ? Should we also get tested even if we don't show any symptoms?  Can our cat continue to be a carrier even after recovering with antibiotics? And could there still be a risk of transmitting it to us?

Thank you!

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Joined: 8 months ago
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01/10/2023 8:33 pm

I read that apple cider vinegar and vitamin c help with upper respiratory I put it in my ferals water until they did better until I could get antibiotics.

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Joined: 4 years ago
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01/04/2024 1:38 am

Hi Selen,

Klebsiella is a bacteria similar to E. coli. It can cause respiratory infections (and urinary tract infections as well) just like E. coli can. It's important to understand though that E. coli and Klebsiella are both environmental bacteria. A susceptible cat might pick it up as a contaminant in their litterbox or outdoors. Usually it's not going to cause a primary infection, but be more of something that causes a secondary infection in a cat with maybe a viral infection or compromised immune system. 

In that regard, it is not a contagion type of bacteria that you can easily catch or that can be transmitted from your cat to you, as long as you are otherwise healthy. If there's anyone in the home with a compromised immune system or preexisting respiratory condition, it may not be a bad idea to touch base with a health provider.  It is true that Klebsiella can cause infections that can be difficult to treat. It is a bacteria that can have some strains that are very resistant to some antibiotics. Your vet did the right thing getting a culture so that you can get your kitty started on the right course of antibiotics from the get-go.

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