A young female domestic short-hair cat presented with neurological signs consistent with a multifocal encephalic lesion (depressed mental status, head tilt to the right, cervical ventroflexion, head tremors, tetraparesis, conscious propioceptive deficits in all four limbs and visual deficits). No gross lesions were seen at necropsy. On light microscopical examination lesions were found only in the brain and cervical spinal cord. A generalized vacuolation of the grey matter of the brain was observed. Special staining techniques, immunohistochemistry, lectin affinity histochemistry and ultrastructural studies were performed to characterize the lesion; preservation of the white matter and a reactive astrogliosis were demonstrated. Feline retroviruses and PrPsc were not detected. Ultrastructurally, a dilatation of intracytoplasmic membrane-bounded organelles with membrane disruption and dendritic and somatic swelling was found in astrocytes and neurons. The age of the animal and histological changes suggested a novel, possibly congenital, spongiform degeneration of the brain and cervical spinal cord. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Spinal cord
- Spongiform degeneration