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Cutaneous asthenia (Ehlers-Danlos-like syndrome) of Burmese cats

Hansen, N., Foster, S.F., Burrows, A.K., Mackie, J. and Malik, R. (2015) Cutaneous asthenia (Ehlers-Danlos-like syndrome) of Burmese cats. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 17 (11). pp. 954-963.

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Summary of cases: A 6-month-old Burmese kitten developed focal skin lesions following a routine ovariohysterectomy. These were eventually attributed to the patient struggling during catheter placement and induction of anaesthesia. The lesions were caused by fluid extravasation in the subcutis and ischaemic necrosis of the overlying dermis, giving rise to an eschar-like appearance. Such lesions have been seen previously in Burmese cats with cutaneous asthenia and it is thought that they arise due to poor collagenous support for dermal blood vessels. An increased skin extensibility index (>23%) supported a diagnosis of cutaneous asthenia (Ehlers–Danlos-like syndrome), which has been reported as an inherited condition of Burmese cats in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. An additional Burmese cat with cutaneous asthenia is presented in detail, with lifetime follow-up and further salient observations by the owner, a veterinarian. Photographs of three other affected Burmese cats are provided to illustrate the range of presentations encountered with this condition. All five affected cats were presented with eschars, atrophic alopecia and increased skin extensibility, while one cat also had skin ulcers. Routine histopathological examination, including use of special stains such as trichrome, was unhelpful in establishing the diagnosis. Clinical review: The clinical features of this genetic disease of Burmese cats are reviewed, especially in relation to the postulated ‘vasculopathy’ that gives rise to characteristic skin lesions. Long term management of this condition is discussed briefly.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: W.B. Saunders Ltd
Copyright: © The Author(s) 2015.
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