Caused by Francisella tularensis,
a Gram-negative pleomorphic rod, enzootic
in wild rabbits and rodents among which it is transmitted by various ticks. Type
A is found in North America and is the more virulent form, whereas type B rarely
causes disease in any host and occurs in the rest of the Northern hemisphere.
Cats and dogs usually become infected
either by tick bites or by ingestion infected rabbits or contaminated water.
Clinical signs in dogs are rare and usually
In cats clinical signs include:
depression, anorexia and pyrexia
lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, hepatomegaly
oral and tongue ulceration
Cat-to-man transmission has been reported.
Clinical signs in man are similar to those in the cat.
Diagnosis is by isolation of F.
tularensis at specialist laboratories.
Treatment of cats and dogs is rarely successful.
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