Veterinarians are warning cat owners about a deadly blood parasite called Bobcat Fever affecting cats. The disease is called by a tick bite.
"It is a disease that is passed from the tick when passed from cat to cat," Phil Chitwood, veterinarian at Poteau Valley Veterinarian Hospital said. "It`s transmitted by the tick feeding on the bobcat and then it feeds on the domestic cat. It`s usually fatal in the domestic cat."
Bobcats live in diverse habitats including forests, swamps, deserts and even suburban areas.
Bobcat Fever has been found in the following states:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Symptoms of Bobcat Fever include a high temperature, jaundice, weak muscles and depression. Cats infected can be treated with anti-parasitic drugs; but unfortunately, there is not much else that can be done to treat the cats. Even with aggressive treatments, most cats die.
Domestic cats will need to be kept away from wildlife for protection and health reasons. Fence in cats; and keep a close eye on the types of animals that are around them.