Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Vet Tells Cat Owners to Watch for Tularemia During the Summer

Summer is a prime time for animals, especially cats, to contract the bacterial disease tularemia, according to a Kansas State University veterinarian.

Tularemia, which also can be a problem in spring and fall, is zoonotic, so it can be transmitted to people through bodily fluids or bites, said Brad DeBey, associate professor of pathology in K-State's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

Cats typically acquire tularemia by eating infected rabbits or from bites by ticks that have ingested blood from an infected rabbit, DeBey said.

"Most cases I know of where it has been transmitted to humans have been through a bite wound," DeBey said. "If a sick cat doesn't feel well and bites someone trying to help it, it can be bad because the cat has the organism in its mouth, which makes it easy to spread."

... more about:
»CAT »Tells »Vet »tularemia »watch

The K-State lab team diagnoses 20 to 40 cases of tularemia per year, with more than 90 percent of the diagnoses in cats. However, primates have been diagnosed as well, DeBey said. Dogs and sheep also can be susceptible to the disease, although it is rare in those species.

DeBey said most cases he's observed are from eastern Kansas. A recent case was from south-central Nebraska.

"My feeling is that while eastern Kansas does have many positive cases of tularemia, there are probably a lot more cats that die from tularemia because they weren't diagnosed with it," he said.

Clinical signs in cats with tularemia include lethargy, anorexia and fever. It also is possible for a clinically healthy cat to transmit the disease if the organism is present in its mouth, even if the cat hasn’t yet developed symptoms, DeBey said.

The incubation period for tularemia is relatively short. Owners who suspect a pet has the disease should visit a veterinarian immediately. DeBey recommends using gloves to handle the animal.

No vaccines are available for tularemia. DeBey said the best way to prevent cats from contracting the disease is simple: keep them indoors.

"That is the best way, so cats won't be exposed to rabbits and to ticks," he said. "For people who have cats but don't want to keep them indoors, the next best thing is to control ticks. Unfortunately, there's no way to control a cat from hunting rabbits since that's in their nature, but it's the risk you'll have to take with a cat being outdoors.

"Veterinarians need to consider tularemia especially when outdoor cats are ill or dying," DeBey said. "As veterinarians we're a piece of the puzzle when it comes to preventing human disease."

Although far more uncommon, humans can also contract tularemia by mowing the lawn.

"After an outbreak of tularemia on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, it was found that lawn mowing was linked to increased risk of contracting tularemia, leading to the name 'lawnmower tularemia,'" DeBey said. "It is hypothesized that aerosolization of the organism occurs when the lawn mower passes over and contacts a rabbit carcass that is infected with the organism."

Outdoor cats in the Manhattan area also are at risk of contracting cytauxzoonosis, another fatal, tick-transmitted disease with clinical signs similar to tularemia, DeBey said.

Brad DeBey, 785-532-4461,

Brad DeBey | Newswise Science News
Further information:

Further reports about: CAT Tells Vet tularemia watch

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>