Two Big Cats at In-Sync Exotics Die From Distemper

In-Sync Exotics

Two of the 22 exotic cats fighting canine distemper at In-Sync Exotics have died according to the wildlife rescue organization in Wylie.

In-Sync says 12-year-old Apollo had been doing better, even eating his dinner and taking all of his medicine Saturday night, but at 1 a.m. Sunday he had his first and only seizure.

Apollo underwent emergency surgery Sunday to repair his stomach, which became twisted during the seizure. In-Sync says 10 minutes after returning home from surgery he stopped breathing.

In-Sync said Layla, a lioness who was about a week away from her 18th birthday, stopped breathing Monday night.

"These two losses have been devastating to our staff and volunteers who are working so very hard to save these guys from this wretched, horrible virus," said Lisa Williams with In-Sync Exotics via email.

Some 22 tigers, lions and leopards at a Wylie wildlife rescue organization have come down with canine distemper, an often-fatal disease more common in dogs.

While canine distemper is usually associated with dogs, some other animals including tigers can get it too.

In-Sync Exotics owner Vicky Keahey told NBC 5 she wasn't sure how the exotic cats got the virus but speculates they may have been infected by raccoons who live in the nearby woods.

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