Abstracts: Retroperitoneal fibrosis in feline renal transplant recipients: 29 cases (1998-2011)

Objective: To evaluate features, treatment, and prognosis associated with retroperitoneal fibrosis that developed after renal transplantation in cats. Design-Retrospective case series. Animals-29 cats.

Procedures: Medical records of cats that developed retroperitoneal fibrosis after renal transplantation at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, between 1998 and 2011 were reviewed for signalment, date of transplantation, age, results . . . → Read More: Abstracts: Retroperitoneal fibrosis in feline renal transplant recipients: 29 cases (1998-2011)

Cat-friendly crusader Andrea Harvey

Andrea at the Gap National ParkFeline patients are notoriously challenging: some are difficult to handle, others become so stressed at the vet their blood glucose skyrockets, and the mere scent of a vet is enough to manifest profound physiological changes including pyrexia, tachypnoea and dyspnoea. But according to feline specialist Andrea Harvey, there is much the average vet can do to make cats more comfortable.

Harvey, a UK-qualified feline specialist who relocated to Australia last year, has been working in conjunction with the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) on its ‘Cat Friendly Clinic’ scheme since 2005.

The program is designed to provide veterinary clinics with educational resources to reduce the stress to cats visiting the vet, and acknowledging veterinary clinics that do make measures to make their clinics as least stressful as possible for cats.  

None of this is really rocket science,” Harvey said. “But I think that often as vets we are good at focusing on complex problems and missing the small simple things that make a big difference, and I am absolutely adamant that this forms an essential foundation for feline medicine.”

Harvey graduated from Bristol University in 2000, when feline medicine was in its infancy (the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, now the go-to publication on any feline affliction, was launched in 1999).

I was exceptionally lucky to be mentored and inspired as an undergraduate by feline specialists such as Tim Gruffydd-Jones and Andy Sparkes around that time,” she said. “When I went out into practice I realised how much cats were still being treated like small dogs and second class citizens, and I just wanted to do a better job with them than that.” Continue reading Cat-friendly crusader Andrea Harvey

Challenges in prognostication of FIV-positive patients

Jules and Bob 2

Veterinarian Julia Beatty with FIV positive rescue cat Bob.

A Sydney University study published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine found that the presence of haematologic and biochemical abnormalities could not be relied upon to determine clinical progression of FIV in sick feline patients, and that FIV-positive status alone did not have a negative impact on survival.

The authors set out to compare signalment, complete blood count and biochemistry panel, major clinical problem and survival between client-owned FIV-positive and uninfected domestic cats. The retrospective study, one of the largest of its kind, involved 520 cats tested for FIV.

Whilst reasonably straightforward to diagnose, often with an in-house antibody detection kit, feline experts continue to puzzle about how FIV contributes to disease status. Naturally infected cats present with a range of clinical signs including stomatitis, cachexia, atypical, refractory or recurrent infections, neurologic signs, persistent cytopaenias and immune-mediated disease – but these problems are often seen in FIV-negative cats too. With the exception of a small subset of lymphomas, AIDS-defining illnesses are not recognised for FIV. Additionally, many FIV-positive cats remain asymptomatic with a normal life expectancy.

In experimental studies of FIV infection, cats have shown progressive aberrations in measures of immune function such as lymphocyte subset counts and mitogen responsiveness, but these changes are rarely associated with clinical signs. Continue reading Challenges in prognostication of FIV-positive patients

Mechanisms, causes, investigation and management of vomiting disorders in cats: a literature review

Vomiting is a common presenting complaint in feline practice. This article differs from previous reviews in that it is an evidence-based review of the mechanisms, causes, investigation and management of vomiting in the domestic cat. Published evidence was reviewed, and then used to make recommendations for clinical assessment, diagnosis, antiemetic drug treatment, dietary management and monitoring of cats presenting . . . → Read More: Mechanisms, causes, investigation and management of vomiting disorders in cats: a literature review

Vitamin D intoxication caused by ingestion of commercial cat food in three kittens

Two siblings, a 6-month-old sexually intact male weighing 2.5 kg (cat 1) and a sexually intact female (cat 2) British shorthair cat weighing 2.3 kg, were examined because of a 3-week history of polyuria, lethargy and laboured breathing. One year previously, another sibling (cat 3) had been presented because of similar, yet more severe, clinical signs . . . → Read More: Vitamin D intoxication caused by ingestion of commercial cat food in three kittens