by Sarah Raymond
Cytauxzoonosis is a mouth-full, but it is a very deadly disease that can often prove fatal to cats that contract it.
Also known as “Bobcat Fever,” this disease is caused by a parasite spread through certain ticks. Five to 10 years ago, the disease would have been considered absolutely fatal with no chance of survival. With advancements in modern treatment, however, cats can be saved about 50 percent of the time, as long as they receive treatment quickly enough. Doctor Bryant Morten of Lynchburg Veterinary Hospital, located on
96 Majors Boulevard, has some advice to share with cat owners so that they can keep their pets safe this summer.
Morten, his wife Wendy, and their team have worked hard to take care of the wide variety of animals in Moore County, but sadly, not every ailment can be fixed or cured. This life-threatening disease in particular is caused by a protozoal organism known as Cytauxzoon felis which gets into the bloodstream after a cat is bitten by a tick that was first on a bobcat.
Dr. Morten stated, “The ticks bite infected bobcats and then attach to a domestic cat. This disease is not fatal to bobcats but is to domestic cats, and it is most commonly found in the southeast. The disease can get into the bloodstream and expand.”
According to Critical Care DVM, the symptoms of this disease usually consist of anorexia, seizures, lethargy, yellowing of skin and eyes, pale gums, fever, and labored breathing. Other possible symptoms are very high temperatures and lack of appetite.
If you notice these symptoms in your pet, book an appointment immediately as rapid treatment is the only way for your pet to be a part of the good 50 percent. The best way to stop a problem is to take care of it before it has the ability to take effect. Using collar, topical, and tablet tick preventatives is the best way to keep your cat safe. Pet owners should check their cats for ticks regularly as tick preventatives are not impenetrable.
The Mortens have already seen several deadly cases this summer, but they believe that these precautionary measures will make a substantial difference and will best equip you to protect your cats.
If you notice any suspicious behavior in your beloved feline friend, you may call the Lynchburg Veterinary Hospital at 931-759-5550 or visit https://www.lynchburgvet.net/ to create an appointment. Their hours of operation
are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday; and by appointment only on Saturday.