Alert, FYI, Parasites, Uncategorized

“Bobcat Fever”–Danger for Housecats!

Cytauxzoon felis is the hemoprotozoon organism which causes “Cytauxzoonosis”, commonly called “Bobcat Fever”. This disease is carried by bobcats, and can be transmitted to the house cat by a bite from the Lone Star Tick and the American Dog Tick. This disease was responsible for 1.5% of all feline hospital admissions at the Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at Oklahoma State University from 1998-2006.* Since that time, we have continued to see a rapid increase in the numbers of cats affected, particularly in the spring and summer months.

Cats typically will fall ill 8-12 days after infection. They may show signs of fever, sometimes up to 105-107°F! Cats will be very lethargic and often will not eat. As the disease progresses, cats will become jaundiced, and their internal organs become swollen and very painful. Following these signs, their temperature will drop suddenly and they will become pale, with death occurring within 36 hours of the time they first become ill.

At this time, the best way we can diagnose these cats is by looking at their red blood cells under the microscope. Lab tests for the parasite’s DNA typically take more time to get results than the cat has to survive.

With no treatment, these cats will die. Unfortunately, even with treatment, survival is very rare. A new experimental treatment has shown a moderate increase in survival rates at specialty hospitals.

The only way to ensure your cat does not become infected with C. felis is to prevent tick bites. While there is nothing that will reduce this risk to zero in our area, cats who are indoor-only AND are treated with an effective tick prevention (we recommend Revolution PLUS or Nexgard COMBO) have the best chance of avoiding this horrible disease.

*Reichard MV, Baum KA, Cadenhead SC, Snider TA. Temporal occurrence and environmental risk factors associated with cytauxzoonosis in domestic cats. Vet Parasitol 2008;152(3-4):314-320.

FYI, Great Products, Parasites

Well, I have never seen ticks on my dog…

We all know that tick diseases are not only potentially deadly, but are extremely common in Oklahoma. Everybody has gone outside on the Fourth of July and come back with ticks. And “seed ticks” (which are really just juvenile ticks) count! But, how often do you really, actually look for them? They can be as small as a poppy seed!

If you walk outside in any form of grass, ticks are just waiting to hop on. GROSS! But we very commonly hear that owners do not give flea and tick prevention because they have never seen ticks on their pets. Which is a valid point. But not all ticks are those huge, engorged, quarter-sized ticks. If you see those you are in big trouble! We are also concerned with the typical-sized tick. The one before it is fed. How small are those? The CDC posted a picture answering that exact question!

So let me ask you now, have you ever really, actually looked for ticks on your pet? Because they are reeeeallly small. Roughly the size of a poppy seed. And have you looked between the toes? In the mouth? Under the tail? Probably not. How do we fix it? Tick prevention to the rescue! Our favorite for of tick prevention is Simparica Trio! It prevents ticks, fleas, AND heartworms, all in one pill! Call us or send us a message to find out more!

Questions? Want to learn more about tick prevention? Give us a call at (918)865-4733 or send us a message!