Ticks targeting northeast Ohio cats - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Ticks targeting northeast Ohio cats

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Three different ticks Three different ticks
"Fuzz Face" the cat at Gateway Animal Clinic "Fuzz Face" the cat at Gateway Animal Clinic
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

A warning tonight for pet owners. We're entering peak season for ticks, specifically, ones that can give your cat a fatal disease.

Ticks carry Lyme disease, but they can also spread something called bobcat fever.  It used to be something primarily seen in the country's midsection.  But ticks are spreading far and fast, killing pets in their path.

"This spring I've seen more ticks than I have in 30 years...this has been a peak year," said Dr. Brian Forsgren, of the Gateway Animal Clinic.

Ticks are moving in to our area furiously.  Dr. Forsgren says he usually sees only a couple a season. He's seen 300 already.

Indoor/outdoor cats can pick up something called bobcat fever from ticks.  Aggie Wyszynksi, would hate to see her month-old kitten pick up the largely fatal disease.

"We want to make sure that she's healthy and she's not going to have any problems.  That's why we're here," she said, while waiting for an appointment at the clinic.

"Unfortunately the symptoms are pretty vague and they're late in the game. The cat's not feeling well…he's running a fever, he's got diarrhea, maybe he's weak," said Forsgren.

He warns pet owners, there's no one perfect product to protect your animals. And using pesticides on cats can be dangerous if not managed through a veterinarian.

"Ten times a year we have cats come in that are seizuring because people put the wrong tick or flea preventive on them," Dr. Forsgren said.

Treating bobcat fever is rarely successful. So vets recommend preventive measures.  Because ticks that your cats bring into your home, can also make your other pets and your family sick.

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