Veterinarians and pet groomers nationwide agree: It’s been a banner year for fleas and ticks. Warm, moist weather has led to one of the earliest flea seasons on record and vets and pet owners have noticed.
Ticks, and the deadly “Bobcat Fever,” or Cytauxzoonosis, a disease transmitted to domestic cats, have also been found to be more prevalent this year.
Bobcat Fever is a parasite of the bloodstream that normally infects bobcats in the wild. The disease is spread by a tick biting an infected bobcat and then transferring the disease to another animal via bite. The domestic cat is an accidental host — not the natural host — but can be infected with very serious and frequently fatal consequences.
Cats going into wooded areas are the most susceptible because ticks detect their warm bodies and fall off a branch and onto the feline.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), warmer winters and an increase in the deer population are main causes.
Dog ticks can spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Deer ticks might contain the more common Lyme disease virus.