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  • Author or Editor: Marlyn S. Whitney x
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Lithium carbonate administration to healthy cats was evaluated in 2 controlled studies (a dose-response study and a bone marrow evaluation study) to determine the effectiveness of lithium as a bone marrow stimulant. Lithium carbonate was administrated at dosage ranging from 300 to 1,050 mg/m2 of body surface/d. Complete blood count, serum lithium concentration determination, serum biochemical analysis, urinalysis, and bone marrow aspiration and biopsy were periodically performed.

Serum lithium concentration > 2 mEq/L was associated with significant decrease in numbers of circulating segmented neutrophils (< 1,200 cells/μl; P < 0.01) and lymphocytes (< 1,300 cells/μl; P < 0.0001), as well as significant (P < 0.05) decrease in urine specific gravity. Bone marrow evaluation revealed apparent maturation arrest of the neutrophil cell line.

Coincident with the changes in laboratory values, the lithium-treated cats became ill. Changes in behavior and vocalization were seen, followed by anorexia, vomiting, and diarrhea. In later stages of intoxication, cats became hyperexcitable and manifested coarse muscular tremors. It was concluded that lithium carbonate does not have potential value as a bone marrow stimulant and is toxic to cats at serum concentration > 2 mEq/L.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine whether apparently healthy captive-born wild felids that were not native to North America and were housed in an area endemic for Cytauxzoon felis harbored the pathogen.

Design—Prospective observational case series.

Animals—11 captive-born wild felids that were (1 bobcat [Lynx rufus] and 1 cougar [Puma concolor]) or were not (1 lion [Panthera leo] and 8 tigers [Panthera tigris]) native to North America and 6 domestic cats (5 pets and 1 feral).

Procedures—Blood was collected, and a PCR assay for C felis was performed. The C felis 18S rRNA gene sequence was characterized in samples that tested positive. Blood smears were evaluated microscopically for intraerythrocytic organisms consistent with C felis. Blood smears from an additional 6 feral domestic cats found dead on the study premises were also evaluated.

Results—4 tigers and 6 domestic cats without clinical signs of disease tested positive for C felis infection via PCR assay; intraerythrocytic organisms consistent with C felis were identified in smears from 1 C felis—infected tiger (which also had azotemia) and in smears from 11 of 12 domestic cats. Possible erythrocytic inclusions were identified in 1 tiger that tested negative for C felis. Sequences of C felis 18S rRNA amplicons from all infected tigers shared > 99.8% identity with reported C felis sequences from North American domestic cats and were identical to amplicons from domestic cats on the premises.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Captive tigers without clinical signs of disease tested positive for C felis. The PCR assay for C felis appeared to be more reliable than cytologic detection of piroplasms in tigers.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association