Cytauxzoonosis, also known as bobcat fever, was first reported in southwest Missouri and eastern Oklahoma sometime around 1973. Since then, it has spread throughout the southern and southcentral United States, and may be moving north.
This disease is carried by wild bobcats, and it’s spread by ticks. When a tick bites an infected bobcat, it’s thought the the tick can transmit the disease to its offspring, exponentially increasing the number of ticks that can potentially carry this disease. When an infected tick bites a domestic cat, the cat is at risk to develop bobcat fever. (Fortunately, people and dogs are not at risk for this disease — only cats.)
Although bobcats don’t suffer from bobcat fever, the disease is almost always fatal in domestic cats. Only about nine percent of cats infected with cytauxzoonosis survive. Vets don’t know why these few cats manage to survive. Sometimes a treatment will work in one cat but not another.
A December, 2006 article, ‘Star’ Defies The Odds In Battle With Deadly Bobcat Tick Fever, explains how Ronna Torgerson, who lives in Arkansas, was able to nurse her cat, Star, back to health by using a combination of herbs and monolauren. According to the article, about a dozen other cats whose owners used alternative treatments have survived cytauxzoonosis.
How Did Star Recover?
When Star was brought to the vet clinic, a blood test showed that she had no red blood cells left. The vet suggested putting her down, but Ms. Torgerson decided to wait a little longer. She took Star home, and started giving her the herb cat’s claw, along with other alternative treatments. (The article didn’t say if the cat’s claw was used as a tea or in capsules or as a tincture.) Ms. Torgerson also called a local naturopath, who suggested that she try giving Star monolauren.
Monolauren is a natural fatty acid that comes from coconut oil. It’s has been shown to be an effective anti-viral, anti-parasitic, and anti-bacterial agent.
Ms. Torgerson diligently nursed Star all night long. She mixed the monolauren with the cat’s claw, and gave it to her kitty in an eye-dropper every two hours.
Star went back to the vet the next morning to get some fluids by IV, since she was dehydrated. Ms. Torgerson continued the monolauren for the next three days, and Star pulled through.
Will Monolauren Work On Other Cats?
It’s hard to say. Vets are understandably cautious about alternative remedies, although most don’t seem to have a problem with trying them. Some cats do manage to survive bobcat fever with conventional treatment, while others don’t. I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up, but if you can find monolauren in your area, it may be worth a try if your cat contracts this disease. If you can’t find it locally, you can try Fain’s Herbacy at 479-253-5687 to see if they still carry it
I found this info about monolauren at Project Helios. This website was started by Selena Parrish, who has lost four cats to bobcat fever. She named her website for one of the kitties she lost, Helios. She is also tracking where this disease is occuring, so if you or somebody you know has a cat who has had cytauxzoonosis, regardless of the outcome, please email her at her website.Project Helios is a great resource for anyone who needs more information on this disease.