Ten fold increase in Oklahoma of quick acting cat killer disease

kfor.com reports a rather shocking story of the rapid death of a beloved cat, ‘Paw Paws’ in Oklahoma.

Barbara’s husband noticed that their cat had a nasal discharge which contained a bit of blood. That must have set the alarm bells off. He asked his wife to have a look.

They also noticed that Paw Paws “didn’t walk right”. The alarm bells were louder.

They made an emergency appointment with their veterinarian and flew out of the house. The vet diagnose the deadly Bobcat Fever (called the “Ebola virus for cats”). He medicated their cat and on the way home Paw Paws died. A shocking experience. So quick. So deadly.

Apparently there is a 95% fatality rate for this disease and it is rapid.

Veterinarians in Oklahoma are reporting a lot of cases of Bobcat Fever especially in rural areas. Dr David Biles of Westwood Veterinary Hospital said:

“The ticks this year have been awful. I’ve probably seen a five to ten fold increase in tick diseases this year not just in cats but dogs also..”

The disease is caused by a parasite, cytauxzoon felis, that lives in the blood and which is transmitted from the American bobcat to the domestic cat by the Lone star tick (Amblyomma americanumm). Bobcats are reservoirs of the infection.

Barbara said:

“It’s just really hard, because you get attached to your little fur babies and they become part of your family, especially one like him..”

She could not believe what was happening. There is no cure except if it is caught early enough. Prevention is the best response which means keeping cats indoors. The deadliness of this disease must make cat owners in Oklahoma seriously consider keeping their cats indoors even if they might struggle with managing that.

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