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One of our kitties, Trixie, was just diagnosed with bartonella (long story, she was a stray who showed up on our porch last fall. We were fostering her for a rescue group but ended up keeping her). We’ll be starting a 28-day treatment with Zithromax. I am a “researcher†when it comes to anything related to our cats; however there is so little info out on the web about bartonella. The vet tech I just spoke with said that it still is one of the “mystery†diseases and that they are really just starting to research and learn about it now. One connection they’ve found is that many cats who develop pancreatitis and stomatitis also have bartonella.

Anyway, I’m off track. Our vet decided to run the bartonella test when he noticed a bright red line running along her gumline during her annual exam; she’s only about 4 and he considered her too young to have serious gingivitis under “normal†conditions, so he suspected bartonella. Sure enough he was right. She has no other visible health problems…normal appetite, activity level, litter box habits, etc.

Does anyone have any first-hand experience with this? I just like to know as much as possible about what we’re treating, and there just isn’t much info about bartonella on the internet at all. I have googled the heck out of "cat scratch fever," "bartonella," and every possible permutation of both along with symptoms. Unfortunately the info on the web is very vague because this disease is currently barely fact 99% of the websites use the same exact, very vague documents! All I can find is that it’s transmitted by fleas and/or ticks, and that treatment clears it in 83% of cats, but not much else. What about the cats that the treatment doesn’t work for – do their immune systems kick in and take care of it? The disease in humans (aka Cat Scratch Fever) is self-limiting; is it the same way for cats? It seems that pancreatitis and stomatitis are potential long-term effects – are there any others?

BTW – she is indoor-only…it is believed she either picked this up when living with her previous owners, or while she was outside last fall before we rescued her.

I’m hoping someone with "real life" experience with this disease would be able to share insight and info.....any help is appreciated!!!