Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Vet Tells Cat Owners to Watch for Tularemia During the Summer

09.07.2010
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, debey@vet.k-state.edu

Brad DeBey | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.vet.k-state.edu

Further reports about: CAT Tells Vet tularemia watch

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

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: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

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

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>