Cytauxzoonosis in Southern Indiana

June 2018

Cytauxzoon felis was diagnosed at Heeke ADDL earlier this month in a domestic feline from southern Indiana.  While C. felis is more commonly found in southern states, it has been diagnosed in the Midwest.  The hemoprotozoan transmitted by Amblyomma americanum causes severe, acute disease in cats.  Clinical signs include lethargy, anorexia, high fever, dehydration, icterus, and anemia.  An ante-mortem diagnosis can be made by visualization of the organism within red blood cells during a blood smear evaluation or testing a whole blood sample with PCR. For a post-mortem diagnosis, histologic evaluation of spleen, lung, and liver is recommended.  The disease is seen most commonly in the spring and summer, when the vector is most active. Because there is no definitive cure, prevention of tick bites is the key to preventing disease in cats. 

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