Cytauxzoon felis is a protozoal organism that causes a rapidly progressive disease that usually culminates in the cat's death. The disease is transmitted by ticks and is carried in our wild bobcat population. About 10-15 days after the tick bite, the cat will develop fever as the organism infects the red blood cells. The cat's body begins to recognize the red blood cells are diseased and begins attacking them causing a rapidly progressive anemia. Within days, organ failure usually progresses to death.
The symptoms you may notice in cats include:
We diagnose this disease by evaluating a blood smear on the microscope which allows us to see the organism inside the red blood cells. Historically, most cats died of the organism within 5 days of diagnosis. While there is still no proven effective treatment for cytauxzoonosis, we have been using some experimental treatments and having success saving numerous cats. Currently we are participating in a study with doctors from the University of Missouri comparing two different treatments.
There is no home care for Cytauxzoon. It is a debilitating disease which requires intravenous fluids and extensive veterinary care. If you suspect your cat may have this disease early treatment is the best chance for a cure. Preventing Cytauxzoon is by far the best plan. Keep cats inside and apply a fipronil flea and tick topical every month to eliminate tick exposure.
If you suspect your cat might have Cytauxzoon or any of the symptoms listed above please contact our office to schedule an appointment to have your cat seen by one of our doctors. (417)759-7803 or email@example.com