Tick-Caused Bobcat Fever Can Be Deadly To Domestic Cats

Tick-Caused Bobcat Fever Can Be Deadly to Domestic Cats - WP
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Though less common in other countries, many cat owners in the Southern part of the United States are aware of Bobcat Fever – which is known for its high death rate.

In the recent years, cats in the USA have been at increased risk of contracting bobcat fever. The notorious culprit for this condition is the lone star tick. The bite of this tick to humans results in a rash but to felines, it can really be deadly. As Dr. Leah Cohn of University of Missouri has pointed out, bobcat fever acts very quickly. In fact, it can kill a cat in less than a week after the signs of diseases begin to show up. [1]

Though other breeds of cats can be the carrier of the villain, bobcats are found to be the most common carrier. Compared to outdoor cats, indoor felines are less susceptible to suffer from this condition because the latter are more exposed to infected ticks. However, an indoor living environment does not completely spare indoor cats from getting infected. Bear in mind that dogs, humans and other creatures can also be carriers of the ticks.

Research further shows that bobcat fever is seasonal but it is more prevalent from the months of April to September. When infected, the earliest signs of this condition include loss of appetite and sluggishness. Eventually, the cat’s body begin to yellow and become pale due to anemia, as this pathogen tends to invade the white blood cells. [2]

When the disease has totally set in, it drastically deteriorates the health condition of the cat. At this stage, the cat begins to experience other symptoms such as pale mucous membranes, enlarged liver, respiratory distress, enlarged spleen, and dehydration.

In diagnosing bobcat fever, a blood test is administered to detect the presence of parasites. Veterinarians initially used the antiparasitic drug imidocarb dipropionate. However, this drug was a failure as studies showed that only 25% of the infected cats were able to survive.

Dr. Cohn and her team found the combination of azithromycin antibiotic, and atovaquone to be more effective than the first drug prescribed as it has yield 60% survival rate.

Treatment for bobcat fever may now be available but it doesn’t offer 100% survival rate. This is why prevention is still better than treatment for this condition. Until today, there is no vaccine available for bobcat fever.

To learn more about bobcat fever and read a full report, visit this page: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130624103807.htm.

See Also: 9 Tick Control Tips For Cats

[1] http://www.knowyourcat.info/health/bobcatfever.htm
[2] http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2013/07/09/bobcat-fever-causing-cats-to-die/

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