Deadly Feline Disease On The Rise

Posted at 8:16 PM, Jul 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-07 23:55:43-04

Veterinarians have reported a rise in Bobcat Fever, a deadly disease passed from bobcats to domestic cats through ticks.

At Maury County Animal Hospital in Columbia, Doctor Frankie Locklar introduces us to Sampson, a domestic cat that calls the hospital home.

However, cats like Sampson are at risk in Maury County and across the state. 

"Actually the last three years we've seen an uptick [in Bobcat Fever]," Locklar explained. "Used to, you'd see one or two cases a summer. Now we're actually starting to see in the 20s."

For domestic cats, Bobcat Fever means almost certain death. "It injects those organisms into their blood stream, that organism attaches to the red blood cells and causes them to lice," explained Locklar. 

Bobcat Fever effects every organ in a cat's body and causes a lot of pain and swelling.

"I'm telling you, straight up we do supportive IVs, we do pain control, fever control, we put them on the medications, we just haven't been successful in turning that around," said Locklar. 

He sad prevention is key for both indoor and outdoor felines. Products that keep ticks off your cats are the best way to keep them safe and healthy.  "You don't have to use it year round, you need to use it at least during tick season which here is somewhere from February to October," Locklar said. 

Locklar also credits an increase in bobcat fever to more development and subdivisions in rural areas. Bobcat fever does not effect dogs.