Disease outbreak sickens several big cats - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Disease outbreak sickens several big cats

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WYLIE, Texas -

An exotic cat rescue operation in Wylie is trying to save several tigers from a deadly disease.  There are 61 big cats, like tigers, lions and cougars, at In-Sync.  A canine distemper outbreak has left half of them so sick that they can barely walk.  Most of the sick cats are tigers and it started last month with one Siberian tiger suffering from a runny nose.

Within just a few days, 14 more cats were tested positive for distemper, a contagious disease that affects the animal's respiratory, digestive and nervous systems and can even cause death.

The disease can be prevented with a vaccine, but officials with the rescue say they were advised not to give the shot by veterinarians.  The survival rate for canine distemper is about 50%.  But, not a lot is known about the survival rate for exotic cats.

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