Study investigates spike in feline pancytopenia cases
RVC bid to find out common factors behind clusters
Vets in general practice and animal referral hospitals across the UK have been urged to take part in a survey to investigate a mysterious spike in severe feline pancytopenia cases.
The Royal Veterinary College made the plea on the back of several clusters of the disease, which can prove fatal.
Leading the RVC study will be Dr Barbara Glanemann, Senior Lecturer in Small Animal Medicine and Co-head of the Small Animal Internal Medicine Service and Karen Humm, Associate Professor in Transfusion Medicine and Emergency and Critical Care at the RVC.
The study aims to identify common denominators such as toxins or other factors to potentially establish a cause.
Dr Glanemann said: “Typically, we may see one case of this per year but we have seen now ten cats with severe pancytopenia (consisting of severe leukopenia, thrombocytopenia and anaemia) in the last four weeks. Most have had severe generalised bone marrow hypo- to aplasia. Some cats have presented at the same time from the same household.
“Given the rarity of this condition, the clustering of these cases is concerning. Investigations in our cases have not revealed any identifiable underlying cause so far.
“Speaking to several colleagues in general practice and other referral hospitals around the country we are currently aware off about another 40 – 50 affected cats. The cats are severely unwell, have spontaneous bleeding and require often multiple transfusion for stabilisation prior to any investigation being possible.”
Vets who may have seen similar cases can complete the RVC survey by visiting https://rvc.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/pancytopenia
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