Tick-borne feline disease identified in 11 states

A recent veterinary bulletin warns that cytauxzoonosis is an emerging tick-borne cat disease. The bulletin, researched by Dr. Bruce D. Klink, characterizes cytauxzoonosis as a protozoan disease of cats resulting in “rapidly progressive systemic disease with an extremely high fatality rate.”

Most recently documented in North Carolina, cytauxzoonosis has been identified in 10 other states: Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Kansas, Illinois, Kentucky and Oklahoma. Following the death of a domestic cat in its state, the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association sent notices to more than 600 veterinarians stressing tick prevention for cats.

Cytauxzoonosis is difficult to diagnose because there is no serologic test and many veterinarians are unfamiliar with the disease, the bulletin reports. Clinical signs can include lethargy, anorexia, depression, dyspnea, weakness and collapse. The mortality is nearly 100 percent, according to Klink’s report. The disease usually proves terminal within seven days of the first clinical signs. Currently there is no drug therapy approved by the Federal Drug Administration, so prevention is “the only rational approach,” Klink writes.

You can read the complete report here.