Abstract: Immunological anomalies and thrombocytopenia in 117 dogs and cats diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)

Acta Vet Hung 2003;51(1):61-72

Tarello W.

Clinica Veterinaria Airone of Nus, Aosta, Italy. wtarello@yahoo.it

Retrospective analysis of immune dysfunctions found in 55 dogs and 62 cats diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), revealed leukopenia in 11% of dogs (n = 6) and 22.5% of cats (n = 14), lymphopenia in 14.5% of dogs (n = 8) and 10% of cats (n = 6), hypogammaglobulinaemia in 9% of dogs (n = 5) and 13% of cats (n = 8) and thrombocytopenia in 20% of dogs (n = 11) and 68% of cats (n = 42). All patients had creatine kinase enzyme levels above the normal range (CK = 5-100 IU/L) and carried micrococcus-like organisms on erythrocytes. Blood cultures proved positive for Staphylococcus spp.

in 16 cases. After low-dosage arsenic-based therapy (thiacetarsamide sodium) all animals experienced complete clinical remission.

Subsequent controls demonstrated immune restoration in 4 representative FIV-FeLV negative cats, previously diagnosed with CFS associated with leukopenia, lymphopenia, hypogammaglobulinaemia and thrombocytopenia.

The main conclusion is that a CFS-like disease in dogs and cats, characterised by the common hallmarks of high CK levels, absence of known causes of chronic fatigue in animals and presence of micrococcus-like organisms in the blood, can be associated with humoral and/or cellular immune deficiencies in 9-22.5% of cases and with thrombocytopenia in 20-68% of cases. Considerations are made on the possible role of micrococci in the aetiology of the condition and on the similarities with CFS in humans.

PMID: 12688127 [PubMed – in process]

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