Veterinary Record 129:233-236 doi:10.1136/vr.129.11.233
  • Short Communication

Naturally occurring scrapie-like spongiform encephalopathy in five domestic cats

  1. JW Wilesmith
  1. Department of Pathology and Microbiology, University of Bristol, School of Veterinary Science, Langford.


Naturally occurring transmissible spongiform encephalopathies have been recognised in sheep, man, mink, captive deer and cattle. Recently a similar disease was reported in a domestic cat. This paper describes the clinical and pathological findings in five cats with similar signs, including further observations on the original case. All the cats had a progressive, neurological disease involving locomotor disturbances, abnormal behaviour and, in most cases, altered sensory responses. Histopathological examination of the central nervous system revealed changes pathognomonic of the scrapie-like encephalopathies, including widespread vacuolation of the grey matter neuropil, vacuolation of neuronal perikarya and an astrocytic reaction.

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