Bobcat Fever Warning For Cat Owners - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Bobcat Fever Warning For Cat Owners

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by Chris Cannon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Domestic cats are susceptible to a disease called Cytauxzoon, also know as Bobcat Fever. It's a fast moving, and often deadly blood disease.

"Once the disease starts, it does progress very quickly, once it's in the blood," said Dr. Caitlyn Bear from the Murphy Road Animal Hospital.

The disease is nicknamed Bobcat Fever because it comes from the American Bobcat. American Dog Ticks on the bobcat become affected, fall off, and then attach themselves to domestic cats.

"It's prevalent, mostly in the southeastern United States," the doctor explained.

She said many people do not check their cats, both indoor and outdoor, for ticks and that is a mistake.

"The sooner you can get them off, after attaching, hopefully the less chance they have to pass disease," according to Dr. Bear.

It can be difficult to inspect a cat for ticks, especially animals with long hair and varying coloration.

"We see them up in the ear hair, and all under here in the mats. It isn't and easy thing. Especially in the long hair cats," Dr. Bear said.

The doctor said cats, both indoor and outdoor, should be treated with a flea and tick prevention medication because the best way to stop Bobcat Fever is to keep ticks off of the animal.

There are several warning for cat owners. The doctors said a loss of appetite, if the cat becomes lethargic, or runs a high fever you should take the animal to the veterinarian.

Doctors will have to run a blood test to see if the cat has Bobcat Fever.

Symptoms will appear within 7-10 days of infection. The disease progresses rapidly once in the blood stream and death usually occurs within 3 - 6 days from the first symptoms of illness.

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