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QueenScoopalot
06-22-2004, 09:03 AM
This was reported on the 11 pm news Sunday night(WMAZ-CHANNEL 13 IN
MACON, GA). Very Serious!!!

A DEADLY DISEASE ALREADY TOOK THE LIFE OF ABOUT 20 CATS IN NORTHEAST
GEORGIA... AND VETERINARIANS WANT YOU TO BE AWARE.
ABOUT 20 CASES OF (CY-TOX-ZO-NO-SIS) CYTAUXZOONOSIS HAVE POPPED UP
SINCE MARCH.
THE TICK-TRANSMITTED DISEASE DESTROYS A CAT'S RED BLOOD CELLS.
ONE CENTRAL GEORGIA VETERINARIAN SAY PREVENTION IS KEY... BECAUSE
IT'S ALL YOU CAN DO.
Judy Webb, Veterinarian: There's no cure for it. There's a small
group, a subpopulation of cats in Oklahoma that have survived the
disease, four cats that have naturally survived the disease. What
they don't know is why those four cats. It was a cat to cat
transmission . But no cats anywhere else in America have ever
survived the disease.
SYMPTOMS OF THE DISEASE INCLUDE JAUNDICE... HIGH FEVER... LETHARGY
AND RAPID WEIGHT LOSS.
THERE'S NO VACCINATION FOR THE DISEASE.
VETERINARIANS SUGGEST USING A STRONG TOPICAL ANTI-TICK AGENT TO
PREVENT TICK BITES... AND KEEPING YOUR CAT INSIDE IF POSSIBLE.

Health Of Outside Cats Threatened By Tick Disease

By: Barbara Hootman


Outside cats not only have to dodge dogs, cars, and fleas, but ticks
as well, to stay healthy.

The North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association recently announced
two domestic cats had died in the past month from a tick-borne
disease called cytauxzoonosis.

Cytauxzoonosis was first reported in Missouri in 1976.

"The disease is not a new one, but it is newly diagnosed in North
Carolina," Dr. Lee Hunter, state epidemiologist, said. "It certainly
has the potential to pose severe problems to outside house cats. I've
seen several cases of it."

Cytauxzoonosis is a serious, and usually fatal, protozoal disease
affecting domestic cats in the south central and southeastern
portions of the United States. Rapid onset and high mortality
characterize it. Those working with the disease put the percentage of
mortality at about 95 percent.

The disease is transmitted when one of two immature stages of the
American dog tick transmits the organism during a blood meal.

"The dog tick can lay as many as 3,000 eggs, of which all hatch into
seed ticks," Dr. Jack Broadhurst, D.V.M., says. "At this stage they
are tick eggs with legs. There are two immature stages of the
development of a tick in which a blood meal from the host, a cat, is
needed. Once the tick is mature it moves off the cat onto a dog. It
is during these immature stages that the tick is the biggest threat
to outside cats. Rabbits, moles and voles in most yards also carry
ticks and spread that on outside cats."

There are no clinical signs of cytauxzoonosis during the first 20
days of infection, when the organism is growing within blood vessels
throughout the cat's body. The first signs are seen three to seven
days before death occurs due to massive organ failure and bleeding
disorders.

"It is a horrible death for the animal," Broadhurst said.

The natural host of cytauxzoonosis is the bobcat. The infected ticks
spread from the bobcats to the free ranging domestic cats, making an
easy entry into the domestic world. The free ranging outside cat has
more contact with wildlife than any other domestic animal, making it
subject to contracting cytauxzoonosis, rabies, fleas, ticks, and a
host of other diseases.

Broadhurst has researched cytauxzoonosis thoroughly, and has
successfully treated a cat with the disease. He says North Carolina
is seeing more bobcats, the natural hosts of the disease, because
they moved east due to the extreme drought in the west.

"When the cat starts showing clinical signs that it is sick, the time
clock has started," he said. "The cat has five to six days before it
is dead. The cells rupture, and the spleen and bone marrow are
affected. The cat goes into shock, and it literally has no blood
left. Its muscles cramp and the cat has a lot of pain."

Broadhurst says a blood test is the key to diagnosing cytauxzoonosis.
Also, he says that veterinarians have to have a clinical sense of
what is going on. He thinks a lot of veterinarians are still unaware
that the disease is on the move throughout North Carolina.

Dr. Richard Oliver, Western North Carolina Diagnostic Laboratory in
Asheville, says there are more sightings of bobcats in the Western
North Carolina area than there have been in recent years. Also, he
has diagnosed cytauxzoonosis in a housecat from the Madison County
area two years ago, confirming that the disease is in the Western
North Carolina area.

Broadhurst says cat owners and veterinarians need to pay attention to
an early profile of the cat, know that the disease is in the
vicinity, recognize that the feline victim is an inside-outside cat,
has had no tick protection, and has had a sudden change in appetite
and ability to walk.

"The veterinarian should insist a cat that is showing any of these
signs be brought into the clinic for testing immediately," he
said. "The veterinarian will take blood and should look for a
definite pattern of high blood glucose, elevated bilirubin, (high
bum), high muscle enzymes, and excessively low white blood count, and
an excessively low blood platelet count."

Broadhurst emphasizes that time is not on the side of the feline
victim or the veterinarian administering treatment, since
cytauxzoonosis kills quickly.

"Once a veterinarian has a good idea that the disease is what is
causing the trouble, treatment has to be started quickly. I have had
success in treating one cat with Imizol. I think it is important that
veterinarians have Imizol in the clinic, because a cat with
cytauxzoonosis doesn't have time for it to be ordered, before it is
dead."

Broadhust may be reached at the Cat Health Clinic in Pinehurst at 910-
295-2287 (USA), for additional information.

Oliver recommends that all indoor-outdoor cat owners be viligant
about ticks on their cats.

"You've got to tick-proof them, and groom them often to find the
ticks," he said.

Given the short clinical phase of cytauzaoonosis, preventing the tick
bite is the only practical approach to controlling this disease.

Dr. Judith Rozelle, of Swannanoa Pet Clinic, recommends cat owners
treat their animals for tick prevention.

"Just about every veterinarian's office has products that can
successfully tick-protect cats," she said. "Any product used must be
labeled for cats, or it can kill the animal. You cannot use tick
products for dogs on cats. Products labeled for dogs are toxic to
cats. Cats have very sensitive systems, and you can kill the cat
trying to save it from ticks if you don't use the right products."

Broadhust recommends cat owners control the population of ticks in
their yards as much as possible.

"Reduce rabbits, moles and voles as much as possible, because they
are another meal for the ticks that get on the cats," he said. "Also
ticks attach themselves to grass, so the grass should be cut short
and bushes cut back so that the cat will not come into contact with
the ticks. Ticks are attracted to moisture, so cats should not be
allowed outside following a rain or early mornings and late afternoon
when the grass is wet.

The American Humane Society recommended keeping cats inside and not
allowing them to roam. This is a sure way to control the tick
problem.

catmandu
06-22-2004, 10:02 AM
Another reason , to keep the Found Cats , indoors , although I have never heard , of these Ticks , in CATADA!

lizzielou742
06-22-2004, 10:06 AM
Scary! I am glad I keep my babies inside, but just in case I apply Revolution once a month on both of them anyway!!!!!