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  • Author or Editor: Margret L. Casal x
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To examine systemic immunity in kittens, including transfer of maternal immunoglobulins from the queen to kittens, and subsequent decay of passively obtained immunoglobulins.


6 healthy queens and their 46 kittens.


Immunoglobulin concentrations were measured in serum, colostrum, and milk of queens and in their kittens' sera. Decay rate constants and half-lives of maternally derived immunoglobulins were determined. To determine intestinal absorption, foreign IgG was given to kittens at 6- to 8-hour intervals after birth, and bovine IgM was given to kittens at birth.


Immunoglobulin concentrations of milk and colostrum did not differ significantly after removal of milk fat. Mean IgG concentration was higher in colostrum/milk, whereas mean IgA and IgM concentrations were lower than those in the queens' serum. No IgG or IgA was detected in any of the precolostral serum samples obtained from kittens. Small amounts of IgM were present in the sera from 5 kittens at birth. Transferred IgG and IgA decreased rapidly with half-lives of 4.4 ± 3.57 and 1.93 ± 1.94 days, respectively. Serum IgM concentration increased irregularly during the first week of life, followed by a steady increase. Foreign IgG given up to 12 hours after birth was detected in kittens' serum, whereas IgG given at or after 16 hours was not found in any kitten's serum.


Milk and colostral immunoglobulin concentrations did not differ significantly. The half-lives of maternally derived IgG and IgA in kittens were shorter than those reported in dogs. IgG given at or after 16 hours of life was not absorbed by neonatal kittens.

Clinical Relevance

Queen's milk obtained anytime during lactation may be used as a replacement for colostrum as a source of antibodies for neonatal kittens. Kittens at risk for neonatal isoerythrolysis must only be removed from the queens during the first day of life. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:1653–1658)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


To describe clinical features, characterize metabolic renal abnormalities, and evaluate mode of inheritance of cystinuria in Newfoundlands.


Prospective study.


Two families of Newfoundlands including 11 dogs with dysuria, stranguria, or obstruction attributable to cystine calculi.


Urinalysis and nitroprusside spot tests were performed to evaluate cystinuria in the affected dogs. All calculi were analyzed by crystallography. Amino acid concentrations in urine and plasma of affected dogs were compared with those in clinically normal related dogs. Renal fractional excretion and reabsorption of amino acids were determined in 5 affected Newfoundlands.


Nine dogs had pure cystine calculi in the bladder, and 4 of these had renal cystine calculi. Affected dogs persistently excreted excessive amounts of cystine (> 500 nmol/mg of creatinine; reference = 54 ± 38 nmol/mg of creatinine) and had typical cystine crystals in acidic urine. Urinary excretion of ornithine, lysine, and arginine was also high. Dogs with cystinuria had complete lack of reabsorption and active secretion of cystine, and reabsorption of lysine, ornithine, and arginine was moderately impaired. Although clinical signs of urinary obstruction were observed only in males, cystinuric male and female offspring were produced from noncystinuric parents, consistent with an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance. Obligate heterozygotes did not have clinical signs, and had normal urinary cystine content and renal amino acid reabsorption.

Clinical Implications

Because detection of carriers by routine urinalysis is currently not possible, Newfoundlands with cystinuria and their parents and offspring should be excluded from breeding.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association