New tick disease spreading to cats

New tick disease spreading to cats

When people think of the need for flea and tick control, ailments such as Lyme disease often come to mind. However, there are tick-borne illnesses still being discovered, some of which can negatively impact cat wellness. These days, it isn't all about the ticks and bacteria that can affect dogs – felines are just as prone to certain diseases as well. 

Recently, there has been a notable increase in the number of cats that have been diagnosed with cytauxzoonosis, according to the Chicago Tribune. Although many people can't even pronounce the name of this ailment, it's becoming more well-known as it affects domesticated cats across the country.

"Cytauxzoonosis was once considered obscure," Wes Gunter, M.D., told the news source. "After all, cytauxzoonosis was only discovered in 1976. Today, there are far more ticks. And where there are ticks, there's disease."

In the past, only about one-fourth of cats who had been diagnosed with the disease survived the ailment. However, new treatments and tests are increasing this number and giving felines a new lease on life. Lea Cohn, D.V.M., professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, has created a new treatment that combines two drugs – Azithromycin and Atovaquone.

Through testing, Robin Deck, D.V.M., has found that about 98 percent of cats survive when being given this treatment for cytauxzoonosis. However, Cohn's own research shows only a 60 percent success rate, and she believes that more work needs to be done.

How can ticks be stopped?
If you live in a wooded area, you're already in a prime spot for ticks to come into contact with you and your pet. However, products such as the Hartz® UltraGuard Plus® Flea & Tick Collar for Cats and Kittens can keep fleas, ticks and mosquitoes away from your cat for up to seven months, giving you peace of mind.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended examining the coat of your cat for any bites that may have occurred prior to treatment. Within one to three weeks, your pet may begin to show signs of sickness if it's been bitten by an infected tick. If this is the case, don't hesitate to visit your veterinarian for testing, diagnosis and treatment.

This content is provided by the flea and tick experts at Hartz. We believe in offering safe, effective and affordable parasite prevention for every dog and cat.