Dr Iva Nikolova
Veterinary Clinic Dobro Hrumvane
Cutaneous asthenia has also been called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), Dermal fragility syndrome, Dominant collagen dysplasia and Dermatosparaxis. EDS is a group of inherited connective tissue diseases ,characterized by defects in collagen production. This results in a variety of clinical signs including loose, hyperextensible, fragile skin, joint laxity and other connective tissue dysfunctions. Clinical signs include fragile skin from the time of birth, wounds that heal with thin scars, delayed wound healing, pendulous skin, hematoma and hygroma formation.
Lucko, 7-month-old shorthair male mix breed cat, was represented to the clinic with uveitis, alopecia and multiple skin ulcerative wounds, located in the regions of the dorsum, thorax and head. He was treated for few months with antibiotics, ointments and corticosteroids with no success. The skin of the cat was extremely extensible and very fragile. It was very easy for the skin to be torn but with no bleeding at all. The cat had to be handle with gentle touch and care.
The diagnostic work-up included a complete blood count, blood serum biochemistry panel and urinalysis to rule out any internal disease associated with these skin lesions. CBC showed mild leucocytosis (white blood cell count: 19.5 x 10^9, reference range: 5.0 x 10^9 –18.9 x 10^9). In biochemistry analisys the changes were CK – 225 U/L (reference range: 17.00 – 150.20 U/L) and LDH – 427 U/L (reference range: 35.10 – 224.90 U/L).
The rapid test of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Feline Leukemia Virus (IDEX FIV/FeLV) were found to be negative. Feline Herpes Virus PCR – negative. Dermafyt KRUUSE test – negative. Microbiology of skin lesions – negative. The low-dose dexamethasone suppression test – negative for Cushing disease.
During the long-lasting treatment all the wounds healed well and Lucko was sent home. Few days later he was brought again with new skin lacerations.
Punch biopsy of the skin was performed together with dr Rares Capitan and sent for histological investigation in Romania. The histopathologic findings were compatible with Feline Cutaneous Asthenia.
Feline Cutaneous Asthenia is a rare, inherited disorder of collagen production in cats. There is no cure, but consistent management can allow affected cats to have long life. Owners should be trained to handle the affected cat with gentleness and to avoid traumas.