PDA

View Full Version : Bobcat fever



Shang
09-03-2009, 10:36 AM
Some might remember that I mentioned last summer that I was building a cat-run on our back deck at the lake, so the kitties could go out through a cat-door tunnel into the enclosure and bask in the sun while watching the birds get fatter.
I had it almost done when I mentioned it to our vetrinarian-- She said, "Don't do it!" Cats in an outdoor run could be exposed to tick-transmitted "Bobcat fever." The disease, Cytauxzoon felis, is untreatable and always fatal to cats. The vet had tears in her eyes when she told us about the number of cats she has had to put down this season, and the suffering of cats who weren't reached in time and died of the disease.
There are several web sites providing information about Bobcat Fever, here's information from one of these:

Cases have been reported in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois (southern),Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas & Virginia. Actually all of the Southeastern & Midwestern US states are at risk...
...The cat becomes depressed, withdrawn, relatively motionless, runs a very high fever (103 -107 F), & refuses to eat. The clinical description of “hemolytic crisis”, “tissue microphages with production of schizonts & invasive merozoites” & other academic jargon, basically means that while the cat burns with fever, becoming anemic & dehydrated, the disease rages through the body attacking blood vessels in all organs; heart, lungs, liver, kidney, spleen. Under such systematic attack the liver & kidneys quickly overload with damaged blood cells & the body becomes jaundiced. In the end phase, the cat begins to vocalize frequently & at greater & greater length, a heart-rending agonal cry, hemorrhages, & dies.
http://www.projecthelios.org/index.html

There are many silent vectors for the dog tick that carries the disease, so the tick cannot be avoided. Protect your cats with Frontline Plus, and do not let them run outside.

Ian McColgin
09-03-2009, 10:51 AM
Bobcat fever is a hazard in the South. Like most tick born diseases, it appears to be regional, carried by one tick species. Other parts of the country have other tick hazards some of which, like the north east's Lyme Disease, turn out to affect multiple species.

It's not always clear whether the apparent spread of some of these things is actual spread, better diagnosis and reporting, mutation and spreading, or some combination of all.

John of Phoenix
09-03-2009, 12:13 PM
The problem is the tick is killed AFTER biting the animal.

David W Pratt
09-03-2009, 12:44 PM
Top spot keeps our two cats flea and tick free.

Phillip Allen
09-03-2009, 01:25 PM
Sarah has seen one bobcat at the edge of her yard...she also has outside cats...one is active enough to follow me while I was deer hunting last year and hang around my naping place while searching for mice...then follow me home again

Shang
09-03-2009, 02:36 PM
Right, Phillip, Bobcats carry the tick, but evidently the disease doesn't affect them. Dogs are also immune carriers.
As John pointed out, things like Frontline and Top Spot don't go to work until after the tick has bitten; but at least it improves the odds.
I'm not sure about the transmission time of Cytauxzoon felis but I've read that Lyme Disease takes several hours to be transmitted from the tick to the host, so if Bobcat Fever is the same maybe the death of the tick would interrupt the transmission.

Phillip Allen
09-03-2009, 02:38 PM
Right, Phillip, Bobcats carry the tick, but evidently the disease doesn't affect them. Dogs are also immune carriers.
As John pointed out, things like Frontline and Top Spot don't go to work until after the tick has bitten; but at least it improves the odds.
I'm not sure about the transmission time of Cytauxzoon felis but I've read that Lyme Disease takes several hours to be transmitted from the tick to the host, so if Bobcat Fever is the same maybe the death of the tick would interrupt the transmission.

I don't know...but it would be cruelity to lock those cats inside at this point