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Feline Health
Babesiosis in a recently imported cat
  1. Rhiannon Wells
  1. Penmellyn Veterinary Group, Station Road, St Columb Major, Cornwall TR9 6BX
  1. e-mail: r.wells{at}penmellyn.co.uk

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A MALE, neutered, 22-month-old, Siamese-cross cat was presented with malaise and inappetence. It had been imported from South Africa three weeks beforehand. It was reported as being ‘off colour’ for one week and anorexic for 24 hours. The owners had experienced tickborne disease with previous cats in South Africa but not this cat. Previous tick prevention had been implemented with fipronil.

Clinical examination revealed pyrexia (39.5°C), mild tachycardia with normal rhythm and pulses and tachypnoea with slightly harsh lung sounds. Mucous membranes were slightly pale but the tongue was pink. Abdominal palpation and lymph nodes were normal. The cat was quiet, alert and responsive. It weighed 4.2 kg and had a body condition score of 3 out of 5. The owners declined further investigation and symptomatic treatment for pyrexia of unknown origin was instigated: 8 mg/kg cefovecin (Convenia; Pfizer) and 4 mg/kg carprofen (Rimadyl; Pfizer) were both given subcutaneously. On re-examination the next day, the mucous membranes were pale and mildly jaundiced. A left-sided systolic grade I/VI heart murmur was audible without any pulse deficits. Tachycardia was still noted but the pyrexia …

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