Lone star Tick
Among other diseases, these blood-sucking parasites have been known to spread Cytauxzoon in cats, Ehrlichia in dogs and Tuleremia in humans!
What is Cytauxzoon Felis?
Cytauxzoon (pronounced “sight-oz-o-un”) organisms are blood parasites that were first recognized in Africa as a parasite of antelopes and other ruminants. In the U.S. the natural host of Cytauxzoon is the bobcat, where most of the time the infection is minor, however, it can be devastating for our domestic cats. Cytauxzoon organisms were not discovered in the U.S. until 1976 when Cytauxzoon felis was first described as a feline blood parasite affecting and killing cats from forested areas. The most common symptom in the domestic cat is a fever of unknown origin with or without jaundice.
What is Ehrlichia?
Ehrlichia is a type of bacteria that infect and live within the white blood cells of their hosts. Different types of Ehrlichia live in different types of white blood cells. Hosts can be human, pet, or wild animals. Ehrlichia are spread from host to host by tick bites and their intracellular location makes them difficult to remove as most antibiotics do not penetrate to the inside of cells. The most common symptom in the dog is sudden lethargy, with or without fever and low platelet counts.
We recommend that all pets in the south be placed on flea and tick prevention, all year, to prevent the spread of disease. Call us today so we can discuss the best option for your pet!