So-called “bobcat fever” is placing cats in danger. A reader requested me the best way to shield her cats from this illness. Here’s what I instructed her.
Q: I dwell in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and I’ve heard that various cats in our space are dying from a illness referred to as bobcat fever. What are you able to inform me about it, and the way can I shield my two cats?
A: The scientific title for this illness is a mouthful: cytauxzoonosis. It is a lethal situation unfold by the chunk of a tick, and though it’s often called bobcat fever, it might have an effect on home cats and different wild cats, similar to mountain lions. Infected cats can not unfold the illness to different cats or to people or different animals.
The illness was first recognized in Missouri, however the tick that primarily carries the an infection, Amblyomma americanus, is now discovered all through southeastern and south-central states similar to Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Florida, all the best way to the Atlantic coast and as far north as North Dakota.
Cats with the illness sometimes have an acute onset. In different phrases, they’re fantastic sooner or later, and the following they don’t have any urge for food, they appear torpid they usually have a excessive fever. The protozoal an infection blocks blood move to tissues and causes a number of organ failure.
Even with aggressive supportive care and therapy with a mix of antiparasitic and antibiotic medication, which supply a greater survival fee than earlier remedies, roughly 40 to 50 % of contaminated cats die inside every week of an infection.
The illness primarily impacts outside cats. The greatest option to shield your cats is to maintain them indoors so they’re much less more likely to be bitten by ticks. If your cats do go outdoor, it’s a good suggestion to get tick collars for them out of your veterinarian. The collar has a breakaway design, so it’s secure for cats to put on.
Read extra, together with the best way to shield your pets from the warmth whereas touring, in this week’s Pet Connection!