Chagas Disease (Kissing Bug Disease) In Cats: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

Deadly kissing bug Mexico. Blood sucker, infection is known as Chagas disease. Bugs infected with the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi

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Chagas disease in cats is a medical condition that’s caused by a zoonotic parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi. Cats themselves oftentimes do not show any symptoms of having the disease. However, they can transmit it to humans and other animals, where it can prove to be fatal.

This disease is most prevalent in the southern regions of the United States where kissing bugs are most prominently found.

If you see signs that your cat is suffering from or carrying a parasitic infection, then you must consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Chagas disease in cats.

Symptoms Of Chagas Disease In Cats

Chagas disease does not actually produce any symptoms in cats most of the time.

However, some of the symptoms of the disease that cats do rarely display include experiencing convulsions and paralysis of the back legs.

Causes Of Chagas Disease In Cats

Rhynocoris annulatus

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The cause of Chagas disease in cats is infection by a zoonotic parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi (or T. cruzi). These parasites are not that common in the United States. However, they can appear in the southern states including Florida, Georgia, and Texas.

Being bitten by a kissing bug is the main way that a cat can become infected with the disease.

Treatments For Chagas Disease In Cats

If you worry that your cat might be carrying Chagas disease, your veterinarian will want to ask a series of questions about any recent events or circumstances where your cat could have come into contact with kissing bugs.

The vet will carry out a full physical examination, including blood and urine tests. Additionally, vets can sometimes use X-rays can as part of the process of figuring out if a cat is suffering from an infection with the parasites.

Unfortunately, there is no current cure for this disease. Vets often recommend euthanasia for cats who have contracted it due to the risk that the disease can pose to humans and other animals.

In general, it’s smart practice to limit the chances of your cat contracting an infection in the first place by keeping them away from areas that might house kissing bugs.

Do you keep your cat away from areas where kissing bugs live so they don’t get Chagas disease? Did you know this disease can spread to humans and other animals? Tell us all about it in the comments below.