Vaccine Research for Bobcat Fever
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On 4/29/17 I had to say goodbye to one of my best friends! His name was Bruce, and he loved to be outside. He started to act unnatural so we took him to the vet. Turned out to be Bobcat Fever( or Cytauxzoon felis). With a 10% to 60% survival rate we fought this disease and unfortunately lost.
Bobcat fever is transferred through tick bites. When a lonestar tick bites a bobcat(or similar big cat) it contracts a parasite. When that same tick bites a domestic cat the parasite is transferred.It has a high death rate, and is sweeping the midwest.
I had never even heard of this disease until now!
And learned through research and example, even with active flea & tick medicine the disease can be transferred.
This disease has been ravaging the mid & southwest part of the United States for decades, and yet there is still no known vaccine or shot to cure, or even help with the disease(currently anti-malaria drugs are used).
In this day and age with all the technology and scientific breakthrough, we need a breakthrough on this disease. A disease that use to be a death sentence, and now has drugs to fight it! There is no current vaccine.
I will not let the death of my best friend go in vain. I will step forward to help fight this disease so no other furmama/furdada has to go through what Bruce and I went through.
Here are some more information about Bobcat fever
What is Cytauxzoon felis?
Cytauxzoon felis may not be a well-known parasite, but it is a deadly one. Found mainly in the Southeastern United States, this blood parasite is often commonly referred to as “Bobcat Fever” since bobcats are considered to be the natural hosts. Cytauxzoon felis is spread to bobcats and domestic cats by ticks.
According to the Companion Animal Council, the disease is most often observed “between March and September, when the tick vectors are active.”
Where is Cytauxzoon felis found?
The lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum, is considered to be the main vector of cytauxzoon felis. The disease has been found in the states of:
Symptoms of Cytauxzoon felis
While bobcats, the natural hosts, are typically asymptomatic, domestic cats are not so lucky. After being bitten by a tick carrying this protozoan parasite, domestic cats typically show signs within 5-14 days.
Infected cats often present with:
Unfortunately, the disease progresses quickly and affected cats can die within 2-3 days without treatment.
Diagnosis of Cytauxzoon felis
Cytauxzoon felis is diagnosed by the microscopic observation of piroplasms (the blood parasite) in blood and/or PCR testing.
Treatment of Cytauxzoon felis
Infected cats are typically treated with anti-parasitic drugs and supportive care, which may include intravenous fluids, blood transfusions and nutritional support. Unfortunately, even with aggressive treatment, many affected cats don’t survive.
Promising research into Cytauxzoon felis
Veterinary researchers Dr. Leah Cohn and Dr. Adam Birkenheuer from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, in collaboration with Dr. David Bird from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine are currently studying new medications. They are evaluating the use of medications that have been effective at treating other types of protozoan infections. Their promising studies have “raised the Cytauxzoonosis survival rate from less than 25 percent to 60 percent,” according to the North Carolina State website. Dr. Cohen and Dr. Birkenheuer are also hoping to develop a vaccine for this rare but deadly disease in the future.
Prevention of Cytauxzoon felis
Since there is no vaccine to prevent Cytauxzoon felis, the best way to protect your cat is to minimize his risk of exposure. Keeping your cat indoors and away from the reach of ticks is the most effective preventive-measure. If your cat must go outside, use a veterinary approved feline tick preventative product, and check daily for ticks. Quick and effective tick removal is important.
All info is from
Here is a gallery of photos of other Furbabies who have lost their lives to Bobcat Fever! If you do not wanna sign for Bruce, then sign for them!
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