SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI – Consider it a serious warning to cat owners…a tick born disease killing indoor and outdoor cats. Bonnie Toner, who is a Veterinarian at Springfield Emergency Veterinary Clinic has seen it first hand.”Right now we see a cat every day that has it and is deathly ill from it, unfortunately.”
Toner has been keeping a very close eye on a cat named Paisley which spent the last two nights in the clinic.”She was basically lethargic laying around. I think she may have vomited and her blood work looked suspicious because she has some of the typical changes that we see with bobcat fever,” stated Toner.But it’s too early to tell whether or now Paisley is infected with Bobcat Fever.”There are a couple other possible tick born diseases that she may have but she does go outside and she did have a tick on her,” Toner went on to say.
Cats get infected with the Bobcat fever from a tick bite. But it then takes several days for the symptoms to show. Toner encourages pet owners to use flea and tick medicine but it isn’t always so effective to prevent the disease.
“Because it’s such a devastating disease and even when we do everything, not many of them survive,” stated Toner. “I normally tell people i know it’s a pain in the rear but this time of the year, I would try to keep them inside to keep them from getting ticks.”
However, Toner says there’s a slight chance indoor cats may be at risk of getting bobcat fever too.
“We actually think some domestic cats may be carriers because we’ll test healthy cats and they might show positive but they won’t show any signs,” stated Toner. ” We’re worried some domestic cats are carriers and so a tick bites them and then bites another cat that hasn’t been infected and then they get sick.”
This cat-killing disease is still relatively new. There isn’t any medicine proven to be 100 percebt effective yet, but Toner says it’s important for cat owners to be aware, especially when we’re in prime tick-season.