Associated Veterinary Specialists - Advanced Veterinary Care - St. Louis, MO
AVS Veterinary News

Feline Ischemic Encephalopathy

Hammer was an 8 year old male, neutered, DSH. He was an inside-outside cat and he disappeared for over 24 hours. His owner found him at the neighbor’s house unresponsive. He was taken to AEC who thought he had been hit by a car. On neurologic examination he was obtunded, had no menace response in either eye, the right eye was dilated and unresponsive to light although the left eye had both direct and indirect PLRs. His proprioception, strength and reflexes were normal. A diagnosis of encephalopathy with damage to the occipital lobes and right rostral brainstem was made. The major differentials were head injury or feline ischemic encephalopathy. Due to cost, an MRI was not done. Hammer was followed and treated with aggressive support care for about 3 weeks with no improvement and some deterioration toward the end. He was euthanized at the owners request and a necropsy was allowed. The owners entertained the possibility that a neighbor had injured him so a necropsy for their own piece of mind was important. At necropsy, the brain was removed and a gross area of hemorrhage was observed in the right occipital area. In addition, a dead, immature larva of Cuterbra spp. was found free at the base of the skull rostral to the pituitary gland. Histopathology was performed by Dr. Gayle Johnson of the Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory who diagnosed chronic, widespread pan necrosis and edema of the cerebrum with venous thrombosis and histicytic meningitis. These lesions are diagnostic of the syndrome of feline ischemic encephalopathy. She commented that “This is the first case I have every seen where the larva was recovered”