The Muskogee Phoenix has issued a warning article to residents in the area:
Dr. Larry Hamilton of Honor Heights Veterinary Clinic, 4011 W. Okmulgee Ave., said he normally had seen one or two cases a year. “This past month, I diagnosed 12,” he said.
The disease is a parasite, feline cytauxzoonosis, carried by ticks that have fed on wild bobcats, which are known reservoirs for the disease.
The parasite does not affect humans, dogs, or other animals other than cats, veterinarians say.
Cats with the parasite develop a high fever and become lethargic or anorectic, Hamilton said.
“They do not want to eat,” he said. “Very few survive the disease.”
Hamilton said it takes an hour or two for the tick to infect a cat.
via Muskogee Phoenix
Prevention is key to keeping cats safe. Use Flea/Tick medications for ALL your pets.
“If your cat likes to stay in the yard, try to keep your grass mowed down so it’s not tall,” she said. “The ticks tend to like the taller grasses. Keep the shrubbery trimmed short and remove debris around your house. Do daily tick checks on the cats and remember to look between their toes. If your cat lives with a dog, make sure you are using some type of tick control on the dog as it can bring ticks into your house, which can then feed on your cat.”
via Science Daily
via Science Daily
According to the Companion Animal Council, the disease is most often observed “between March and September, when the tick vectors are active.”
Where is Cytauxzoon felis found?
The lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum, is considered to be the main vector ofcytauxzoon felis. The disease has been found in the states of:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Symptoms of Cytauxzoon felis
While bobcats, the natural hosts, are typically asymptomatic, domestic cats are not so lucky. After being bitten by a tick carrying this protozoan parasite, domestic cats typically show signs within 5-14 days.
Infected cats often present with:
Unfortunately, the disease progresses quickly and affected cats can die within 2-3 days without treatment.