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fIDEXX topic of the month: Why is this cat anaemic?

Abstract

IDEXX Internal Medicine Consulting team has seen an increased call volume relating to cats in the UK with pancytopenia; this surge is currently being investigated by specialist vets at the Royal Veterinary College in London. IDEXX Internal Medicine Consultant Dr Yvonne McGrotty states “Affected cats may present with signs of inappetence, lethargy, pallor, pyrexia and spontaneous mucosal bleeding. The mortality rate associated with this condition is high and an effective treatment is currently unknown. Clinicopathological findings usually include severe leucopenia, thrombocytopenia and anaemia.” The cause of this spike in cases has not been fully elucidated to date, but a potential link to mycotoxins (naturally occurring toxins produced by some types of fungi) in certain foodstuffs is being investigated further, along with other possible toxins. Pancytopenia cases have so far been linked to a single food manufacturer and three brands of food have been recalled as a result. Full details of the recall are available on the Food Standards Agency website, however the FSA have recently stated that they have been unable to establish a causative link between the recalled foods and the pancytopenia outbreak. Sick cats, or cats that are known to have eaten any of the recalled foods, can be screened by performing a complete blood count, including film examination. Vets who believe that they have identified a potential case are being urged to complete a survey on the RVC website to help vets there to identify common factors, which might ultimately assist them in determining the underlying cause. BSAVA Education Partner IDEXX has provided this webinar by Yvonne McGrotty to explain more about anaemia in cats. A collection of IDEXX ‘topic of the month’ webinars is available here.

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