Veterinary medicine stands at the crossroads. "I think the next five to 10 years may be the most important time in the history of veterinary medicine. Its most important challenge is to re-establish its social responsibility," reports Dr. Lonnie King, director of the Office of Strategy and Innovation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and dean of Michigan State University's veterinary school.
At one time, rampant infectious diseases sickened and killed many animals. In the case of rabies, people also were at risk. Today in the Western world, these diseases have largely been controlled, and as vaccines improve and more animals are vaccinated appropriately, we will do even better. But what of parasitic diseases?
Several vector-borne diseases in dogs and cats appear to be emerging in the United States, including babesiosis, cytauxzoonosis, bartonellosis, leishmaniasis, hepatozoonosis, and feline ehrlichiosis. This article focuses on babesiosis, cytauxzoonosis, and bartonellosis, which have been reported with increased frequency in the United States over the past decade.
Estimates indicate there are approximately 73 million owned cats in the United States with 30 percent of American households having at least one. Cats are host to a variety of parasites, including several that are zoonotic.