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Ocular findings in cats with blastomycosis: 19 cases (1978–2019)

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  • 1 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To document ocular findings in cats with blastomycosis.

ANIMALS

35 cats with blastomycosis.

PROCEDURES

Medical records from 1978 through 2019 were reviewed to identify cats with confirmed Blastomyces infection. Cats were grouped as having or not having ocular involvement. Clinical signs, histopathologic findings, and response to treatment were evaluated.

RESULTS

21 of the 35 (60%) cats with confirmed blastomycosis had ocular abnormalities. Two of 21 cats with ocular abnormalities also had systemic hypertension and were excluded. Of the remaining 19 cats, 15 (79%) had bilateral ocular signs. Ten (53%) cats had inflammatory ocular lesions, and 9 (47%) had neuro-ophthalmic abnormalities. Six of the 19 (32%) cats appeared to be completely blind, and 5 (26%) appeared to be unilaterally blind. For the 10 cats with inflammatory ocular lesions, the most common lesions were anterior uveitis (9/20 eyes), active chorioretinitis (6/20 eyes), and retinal detachment (4/20 eyes). For the 9 cats with neuro-ophthalmic abnormalities, the most common abnormalities were a negative menace or tracking response (10/18 eyes) and negative pupillary light response (4/18 eyes).

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested that ocular involvement is common in cats with blastomycosis and that both inflammatory lesions and neuro-ophthalmic abnormalities can be seen. Blastomycosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis for cats with anterior uveitis, posterior segment inflammation, or neuro-ophthalmic abnormalities, and a complete ophthalmic examination should be performed in all cats with confirmed or suspected blastomycosis.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To document ocular findings in cats with blastomycosis.

ANIMALS

35 cats with blastomycosis.

PROCEDURES

Medical records from 1978 through 2019 were reviewed to identify cats with confirmed Blastomyces infection. Cats were grouped as having or not having ocular involvement. Clinical signs, histopathologic findings, and response to treatment were evaluated.

RESULTS

21 of the 35 (60%) cats with confirmed blastomycosis had ocular abnormalities. Two of 21 cats with ocular abnormalities also had systemic hypertension and were excluded. Of the remaining 19 cats, 15 (79%) had bilateral ocular signs. Ten (53%) cats had inflammatory ocular lesions, and 9 (47%) had neuro-ophthalmic abnormalities. Six of the 19 (32%) cats appeared to be completely blind, and 5 (26%) appeared to be unilaterally blind. For the 10 cats with inflammatory ocular lesions, the most common lesions were anterior uveitis (9/20 eyes), active chorioretinitis (6/20 eyes), and retinal detachment (4/20 eyes). For the 9 cats with neuro-ophthalmic abnormalities, the most common abnormalities were a negative menace or tracking response (10/18 eyes) and negative pupillary light response (4/18 eyes).

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested that ocular involvement is common in cats with blastomycosis and that both inflammatory lesions and neuro-ophthalmic abnormalities can be seen. Blastomycosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis for cats with anterior uveitis, posterior segment inflammation, or neuro-ophthalmic abnormalities, and a complete ophthalmic examination should be performed in all cats with confirmed or suspected blastomycosis.

Contributor Notes

Corresponding author: Dr. Hendrix (dhendrix@utk.edu)