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Chattanooga area cat owners warned about fatal disease

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -

A local veterinarian is warning cat owners about a tick-borne disease that can't be treated, is almost 100% fatal and might be becoming more common in the area.

Dr. Darlene White, of the Wolftever Pet Hospital on Highway 58 in Harrison, said she just treated her third case of Cytauxzoonosis in about two years.

"It's a horrible death," White said. The pets develop fevers of 105 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit and then hemorrhage, she said. Normal temperature for a cat is about 101-102 degrees.

The protozoa that causes it is carried by bobcats, who are unharmed by it. But when an American dog tick that has fed on a bobcat then fastens on a domestic cat, it's a death sentence for the pet.

Read more from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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