Additional Comments and Follow Up to G Strep article (2004):
Written: March 21, 2010
See also Could My Feline Fertility Problems Be Caused by G Strep (Group G Streptococcus bacteria)? A Scary Story With a Happy Ending -- Please read both articles and discuss with your veterinarian before undertaking any treatment!
And then read: G Strep Updates: The Continuing Story: Part 2
Since I wrote my articles, I have received feedback and requests for information for literally several hundred breeders around the world. It seems that this problem is becoming even more widespread, in every country and in every breed. I am not sure why that is — or if it is only because those “diagnosis unknown” cases are starting to raise more red flags and with more diffusion of information, breeders are becoming more aware, among themselves, of the existence and possibility that they are experiencing G Strep in their catteries.
The protocol in my second article — IF the problem is indeed G Strep — seems to enormously increase the probability of having healthy litters and babies that survive. However, based on the feedback I have received (and many thanks to those who do write to me and give me that feedback!) I have a few additional comments or suggestions that I feel might be helpful.
1. One breeder of American Shorthairs, who had been experiencing many pyometras, still births and fading kittens, sent a stillborn kitten WITH THE PLACENTA to UC Davis (famous university in California). The lab did not find any G Strep in the kitten — but they did find it in the placenta! I thought that was quite significant.
2. In severe cases, Clavamox of Baytril may be administered to the queen for at least the first four weeks — or even for the whole pregnancy, without harm to the mother or babies and with significant positive results. This should be tried if giving the clindamycin alone at time of breeding and right before birth of the kittens doesn’t solve the problem.
3. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of medicating the male as well as the female. I realize that sometimes, such as when the male is not owned by the breeder of the female, this might be a delicate situation. However, if it is not done, the male can potentially spread and infect many queens. It is not necessary to medicate the stud every time, but it is necessary to medicate the queens every time. And the male should probably be medicated 2-3 times a year, if he is active. The more we are honest and open with each other, the sooner we will be able to resolve this problem.
4. For fading kittens, not only is giving medication important (and, prevention, when possible, even more effective), but make sure to keep a close eye on kitten hydration and administer blood-temperature subcutaneous fluids (warmed by putting the bag or syringe in a bath of clean, warm water). Personally I give 1cc fluids per ounce of kitten, but check with your own veterinarian for their recommendations.
5. Sometimes clindamycin causes diarrhea. It will go away as soon as the medication is ceased, but if it is severe, reduce the quantity of the drug to half dose for a few days, or try giving with a meal.
6. Since I wrote my articles, I have found available very tiny pills of 25 mg clindamycin (the size of a 5 mg prednisone pill). These are very easy to administer — certainly a lot easier than either the capsules or the liquid. So if you can find these, definitely choose them over the other forms of the drug.
7. People have asked how long they will need to continue treating their cats, if they have G Strep. I don’t think there is yet a true guideline for this. However, I believe that preventative treatment needs to be continued at time of breeding and before birth, for at least a year. Then you can do a test breeding and see how it goes. If all is well, proceed. But should you start experiencing a return of symptoms, it is necessary to return to the protocol.
8. Some have asked if kittens from a G Strep situation can be introduced into a breeding program. This is not a scientific assessment, but based on my own experiences and feedback, I have found that if the kitten leaves your cattery before five months of age, likely they will not have any issues. However, to be on the safe side, treating them, for the first litter, with the protocol would not hurt and could add additional insurance for healthy babies.
I hope that these notes will be taken in the spirit of communication and sharing in which they are given and that they will add to the well-being of the cats and kittens that might benefit. As always, you are welcome to contact me with additional feedback and questions. Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org Wishing you all healthy, beautiful babies and much joy.