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Outdoor cat, killed and ate part of a wild rabbit. Two days…

Outdoor cat, killed and...

Outdoor cat, killed and ate part of a wild rabbit. Two days later he hasn’t eaten much and is quite lethargic. His eyes aren’t open fully either, like he is squinting.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. The Expert will know if the cat will be able to digest that. What is the cat's name?

Catboy

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Catboy?

He is about 7 months old

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Answered in 19 minutes by:
3/22/2018
CalCatDoc
CalCatDoc, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 627
Experience: I'm a veterinarian specializing in cats and have owned cats for 35 years. I love all things feline!
Verified

Hi! I'mCustomerand I can help with your question.

It is possible for cats to catch diseases from rabbits. What region of the US are you in?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Ks
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
We have two outdoor cats and both must have eaten part of the rabbit. They were both a little lethargic yesterday but today the female is acting more normal, the male is still lethargic.

Tularemia is a very real possibility. This bacterial infection is typically fatal if not treated soon. And it is contagious to humans. Early aggressive treatment is important.

It could be something else, of course, but if you love him you don't want to delay.

I recommend you take him to your local vet ASAP. use a towel to handle him and wash your hands thoroughly.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you, ***** *****

You should take your female in, too. They may also want to test her and/or treat her.

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If you want you can return to this chat window with an update after he's been evaluated. Just bookmark it.

CalCatDoc
CalCatDoc, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 627
Experience: I'm a veterinarian specializing in cats and have owned cats for 35 years. I love all things feline!
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CalCatDoc and 87 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
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Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Customer
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Unfortunately we were too late for my cat, we took him in but he passed away shortly after. He was sent for a necropsy and they think he did get tularemia. They have sent out for further testing to confirm. The female cat has returned to normal.

I'm so sorry to hear this.

We learned about tularemia in vet school many years ago but I have never encountered it here in my suburban practice in SoCal. But when you mentioned the rabbit and said you lived in KS it just set off all kinds of alarm bells. His death pretty much clinches it for me. My sources indicated they can die very rapidly even if treated aggressively.

My condolences to you and your family.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you for all you did. Had you not told me we would probably not have taken him in at all and wouldn’t have known about the possibility to spread to humans and might have been infected ourselves or our children. Thank you.

YVW. That's really one of the main reasons I do this - because of the public health aspect.

Sometimes cats catch bats and bring them in the home and on a couple of occasions I have had to tell people all about rabies and how to avoid that because of the bat-to-cat and bat-to-human rabies risk.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Our little guy was a great mouser, and caught a bird the week before and then the bunny, never a bat though. He was good at his job. Too bad that the bunny was infected. He will be sorely missed.
I will be sure to tell everyone about this fantastic service. We live in a college town and the university vet clinic is the only place open for emergencies/evenings/weekends. Unfortunately it is very costly so most people don’t use them. It is nice to at least be able to chat with knowledgeable vets and get good information on when it is necessary to take them in.

Oh KSU is a great school and their teaching hospital is probably the best place you could have taken Catboy.

My dad used to take me rabbit hunting on his folks' ranch in Nevada and told me when butchering them to always check the liver for white spots and throw them in the burn barrel if they had any. And to only eat cottontails, not jackrabbits. Only when I was in vet school years later did I realize that was all to avoid tularemia.

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