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CriticalCareVet, ER/ICU Specialist
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 63982
Experience:  Emergency and Critical Care Specialist
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How could my cat contract E coli I do not feed him raw meat

Customer Question

How could my cat contract E coli? I do not feed him raw meat except occassionally canned tuna as a treat. He has recently caught a mouse.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Lee replied 7 years ago.
Hi. I'm Dr. Lee and will do my best to help.

E.coli is everywhere, including in the feces. They are by far one of the most common bacteria found. Not all of them are pathogenic or will cause illness. And definitely not all of them are resistant to antibiotics as the press/news has discussed in the past few years. As a matter of fact, most E.coli found in cats are not anywhere close to the ones discovered in humans, causing all kinds of deaths and problems.
A mouse can definitely carry E. coli as well. So your cat can get it from the mouse. Again, he can also have E.coli from the environment, inside your house, on the floor, carpet, etc.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
You didn't tell me how to prevent E coli. If you had been more specific about the causes i.e. where in my house, or what in the environment, then I could prevent this from happening again. This was a very vague answer. My vet already told me this much. I am not pleased. Bonnie Custead
Expert:  Dr. Lee replied 7 years ago.
<p>Hi.. Bonnie. Your original question DID NOT ask for prevention of E.coli. Please review your original post. </p><p> </p><p>Preventing E.coli is IMPOSSIBLE. E.coli is EVERYWHERE. There is no need to prevent for E.coli UNLESS your cat has medical concerns that pertains to E.coli, and I mean a specific E.coli. Again, E.coli come in MANY different flavors. They have further subcategories depending on their surface proteins. That is why when E.coli is reported on newspaper etc, they ALWAYS qualify with H:(a number), O: (a number). Those are the ones that are "bad" or pathogenic (can cause illness). If you want prevent bacteria (not just E.coli), then do general cleaning every day like wiping your tables with anti-bacteria, carpet cleaning with anti-bacterial. </p><p><br />I will opt out for other experts to comment on this.</p><p> </p><p>Good luck. </p><p> </p>
Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 7 years ago.
Hi Bonnie -

Before I answer - just 1 question - how was the E.Coli diagnosed?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The E coli was diagnosed by a sterile urinalysis. This was taken because my 13 year old cat showed elevated kidney levels in his annual bloodwork.
Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 7 years ago.

To confirm - a urine culture and sensitivity was performed?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I know a urine culture was performed but I do not know if a sensitivity test was done.
Expert:  CriticalCareVet replied 7 years ago.
Excellent - I just wanted to make sure.

To be 100% honest, as Dr. Lee said above - E.Coli is something that is in the environment - all over.

Every day you and I come in contact with it - the escalator railing, the doorknob we touch, etc.

This is why companies such as Purell are making a fortune with antibacterial hand soaps.

There is not one specific place or 1 specific location to clean.

It is actually quite rare for a cat to get a UTI in general...but if they do, both cats and dogs - E.Coli is the most likley strain of bacteria to get.

Many times it is an ascending infection - from contamination from their feces if they have diarrhea or they can even groom themselves - anus first then genital area...

I would not become overly concerned as E.Coli is the most common type of bacteria and likely with several weeks of antibiotics will be eradicated from the bladder and urinary tract.

Please let me know if this helps!
Please click "ACCEPT" if the information I have provided has been of help so I receive credit for my work. Bonuses are always welcome and appreciated. Thank you.

The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would highly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.
CriticalCareVet, ER/ICU Specialist
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 63982
Experience: Emergency and Critical Care Specialist
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