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Acute pulmonary hemorrhage during isoflurane anesthesia in two cats exposed to toxic black mold (Stachybotrys chartarum)

Douglas R. Mader MS, DVM, DABVP1, Iwona Yike PhD2, Anne M. Distler PhD3, and Dorr G. Dearborn PhD, MD4
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  • 1 Marathon Veterinary Hospital, 11187 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050
  • | 2 Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106
  • | 3 Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106
  • | 4 Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106

Abstract

Case Description—Acute pulmonary hemorrhage developed during isoflurane anesthesia in 2 Himalayan cats undergoing routine dental cleaning and prophylaxis.

Clinical Findings—The cats were siblings and lived together. In both cats, results of pre-operative physical examinations and laboratory testing were unremarkable. Blood pressure and oxygen saturation were within reference ranges throughout the dental procedure. Approximately 15 to 20 minutes after administration of isoflurane was begun, frothy blood was noticed within the endotracheal tube. Blood was suctioned from the endotracheal tube, and the cats were allowed to recover from anesthesia.

Treatment and Outcome—1 cat initially responded to supportive care but developed a second episode of spontaneous pulmonary hemorrhage approximately 30 hours later and died. The other cat responded to supportive care and was discharged after 4 days, but its condition deteriorated, and the cat died 10 days later. Subsequently, it was discovered that the home was severely contaminated with mold as a result of storm damage that had occurred approximately 7 months previously. Retrospective analysis of banked serum from the cats revealed satratoxin G, a biomarker for Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly referred to as “toxic black mold.”

Clinical Relevance—Findings highlight the potential risk of acute pulmonary hemorrhage in animals living in an environment contaminated with mold following flood damage.

Abstract

Case Description—Acute pulmonary hemorrhage developed during isoflurane anesthesia in 2 Himalayan cats undergoing routine dental cleaning and prophylaxis.

Clinical Findings—The cats were siblings and lived together. In both cats, results of pre-operative physical examinations and laboratory testing were unremarkable. Blood pressure and oxygen saturation were within reference ranges throughout the dental procedure. Approximately 15 to 20 minutes after administration of isoflurane was begun, frothy blood was noticed within the endotracheal tube. Blood was suctioned from the endotracheal tube, and the cats were allowed to recover from anesthesia.

Treatment and Outcome—1 cat initially responded to supportive care but developed a second episode of spontaneous pulmonary hemorrhage approximately 30 hours later and died. The other cat responded to supportive care and was discharged after 4 days, but its condition deteriorated, and the cat died 10 days later. Subsequently, it was discovered that the home was severely contaminated with mold as a result of storm damage that had occurred approximately 7 months previously. Retrospective analysis of banked serum from the cats revealed satratoxin G, a biomarker for Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly referred to as “toxic black mold.”

Clinical Relevance—Findings highlight the potential risk of acute pulmonary hemorrhage in animals living in an environment contaminated with mold following flood damage.

Contributor Notes

Supported in part by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (R21 ES014653; DGD).

The authors thank Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald for assistance in obtaining serum samples from control cats.

Address correspondence to Dr. Mader.