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To evaluate clinical features, laboratory test results, treatment, and outcome of FeLV-negative cats with pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) diagnosed by examination of bone marrow.


Retrospective study.


9 cats.


Medical records and smears of bone marrow aspirates were reviewed to determine clinical features, laboratory test results, treatment, and outcome of this syndrome in cats.


PRCA was diagnosed in 9 cats that were between 8 months and 3 years old. Cats had 2- to 16-day histories of lethargy and anorexia, and a severe normocytic, normochromic to hypochromic, nonregenerative anemia (Hct range, 6 to 15%; reference range, 25 to 45%). Other hematologic values were generally within reference ranges. Consistent changes in biochemical profiles included high aminotransferase activities and hyperferremia. Cats were seronegative for FeLV and feline immunodeficiency virus. Smears of bone marrow aspirates were characterized by absence of identifiable erythroid precursors and a high proportion of small lymphocytes. Abnormalities were not identified in megakaryocytes or myeloid cells. Treatment with immunosuppressive drugs (corticosteroids and cyclophosphamide or cyclosporin) resulted in resolution of anemia within 3 to 5 weeks. Most cats required long-term treatment to maintain Hct within reference range and tended to relapse when treatment frequency or dosage was decreased (especially if done rapidly) or treatment was discontinued.

Clinical Implications

PRCA is a rare syndrome in young FeLV-negative cats, and is characterized by severe nonregenerative anemia and absence of erythroid cells in bone marrow. The condition requires prompt, aggressive, often long-term treatment with immunosuppressive drugs for resolution. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;214:75–79)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To examine clinical features, laboratory test results, treatment, and outcome of dogs with pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) and idiopathic nonregenerative immune-mediated anemia (NRIMA).

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—43 dogs with severe nonregenerative anemia.

Procedure—Medical records of dogs determined to have PRCA, NRIMA, or ineffective erythropoiesis on the basis of bone marrow analysis between 1988 and 1999 were reviewed. Criteria for inclusion were ≥ 5- day history of severe nonregenerative anemia (Hct < 20%; < 60.0 X 103 reticulocytes/µl) with no underlying diseases. Information was retrieved on signalment, clinical signs, laboratory test results, treatment, and outcome.

Results—Median age of the dogs was 6.5 years. Spayed females and Labrador Retrievers were significantly overrepresented. Median Hct was 11% with no evidence of regeneration (median, 1.5 X 103 reticulocytes/ µl). Direct Coombs' test results were positive in 57% of dogs. Biochemical abnormalities included hyperferremia and high percentage saturation of transferrin. Bone marrow findings ranged from PRCA (5%) to erythroid hyperplasia (55%). Myelofibrosis was common. Dogs were treated with immunosuppressive drugs and the response was complete, partial, and poor in 55, 18, and 27% of the dogs, respectively. Mortality rate was 28%.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—An immunemediated pathogenesis should be considered in dogs with severe, nonregenerative anemia, normal WBC and platelet counts, hyperferremia, mild clinical signs, and no evidence of underlying disease. Bone marrow findings range from the rare PRCA to erythroid hyperplasia. Myelofibrosis is often detected in affected dogs and may prevent bone marrow aspiration. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:1429–1436)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Praziquantel was used successfully for treatment of a small number of dogs and 1 cat infected with Paragonimus kellicotti. To further evaluate the usefulness of this drug in treating such infections, 7 cats and 7 dogs were inoculated orally with metacercariae (12 and 20 to 22, respectively) obtained from crayfish, then were treated after the infections became patent; 2 cats and 2 dogs served as noninfected controls. Beginning 1 week before infection, and continuing weekly thereafter, physical, hematologic, and fecal examinations were performed on each animal; thoracic radiography was performed every other week. By postinoculation week 6, all dogs given metacercariae had patent infection diagnosed on the basis of positive results of fecal examination. By postinoculation week 7, 5 cats had confirmed patent infection, but 2 cats given metacercariae never had patent infection or had signs of infection. Clinical signs of infection were minor and included increased respiratory tract noise, slight inducible cough, or mild dyspnea. Transient eosinophilia was detected in dogs around postinoculation week 3. Pretreatment radiography revealed cavitated lesions in cats only; pleural lines and patchy infiltrates in cats and dogs; or pneumothorax in dogs only. The treatment regimen consisted of 23 mg of praziquantel/kg of body weight given every 8 hours for 3 days; 1 infected cat and dog were not treated. By 11 days after treatment, eggs had disappeared from the feces of infected animals, and marked resolution of lung lesions was evident radiographically. The 2 untreated animals and 1 treated dog were euthanatized and necropsied to verify lesions and their resolution. All treated animals were considered cured of infection by use of this treatment regimen.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research