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Feline haemobartonellosis: clinical, haematological and pathological studies in natural infections and the relationship to infection with feline leukaemia virus
  1. PA Bobade,
  2. AS Nash and
  3. P Rogerson
  1. Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow Veterinary School, Bearsden.


Haemobartonella felis infection was demonstrated in 38 cats which could be divided into four groups as follows: group A, feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) free cats with H felis infection alone; group B, FeLV free cats with H felis infection and other clinical conditions; group C, FeLV positive cats with H felis infection but no clinical manifestation of FeLV related or any other intercurrent disease; and group D, FeLV positive cats with H felis infection and clinical manifestations of FeLV related or other diseases. Cats in group A were healthy carriers of the infection and none was anaemic, whereas some in group B had clinical haemobartonellosis and anaemia. This anaemia was mainly mild, normocytic and normochromic. Most of the cats in group C and all in group D were more severely ill and anaemic, the anaemia usually being macrocytic and hypochromic. Splenomegaly occurred only in groups C and D. Treatment with tetracyclines did not eliminate H felis from any of the cats and blood transfusions were ineffective in promoting long term recovery from anaemia in cats with intercurrent H felis and FeLV infections. The findings in the cats in groups C and D were further compared with those in a fifth group of cats which were infected with FeLV but free of H felis.

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