Faecal Occult Blood Test

Case of the Month (Emma Scurrell October 2013)

Autumn has arrived - fatal cowpox infection in a cat

These are sections taken from a consolidated lung lobe in a 3-year-old male domestic shorthair cat that died following acute onset dyspnoea.

Fig 1. A section of the consolidated lung lobe reveals a diffuse necrotising interstitial pneumonia whereby there is extensive loss of the type I pneumocytes lining the alveoli. Abundant neutrophils fill the alveoli. (H&E)


Fig 2. In response to the necrotising alveolitis, type II pneumocytes proliferate and line the alveolar spaces (arrows). (H&E).

Fig 3. Pneumocytes frequently contain large intracytoplasmic viral inclusion bodies typical of poxvirus. Arrows indicate the bright eosinophilic viral inclusion bodies. (H&E). 


Final Diagnosis

Necrotising interstitial pneumonia associated with poxvirus infection


The signalment and histopathological findings are consistent with cowpox infection. Despite its name, cowpox infection in cattle is relatively uncommon. The main reservoir hosts for the virus include small rodents and voles. Cats are typically infected following contact with the reservoir hosts and infection rates are often at their highest in Autumn when the concentration of rodents has reached its peak. The most common sign of cowpox infection in cats is a focal proliferative and necrotising dermatitis that frequently affects the face and extremities, correlating to the sites of bite wounds. Respiratory infection, presumed to arise secondary to systemic spread, is a less common manifestation and may be fatal in some cases. The lung pathology is often lobar in its distribution.

Previous Monthly Cases

Hypertensive Retinopathy January 2010
FIP in a cat - uncommon presentation February 2010
Phaeohyphomycosis    March 2010 
Scleral Rupture April 2010
Canine and feline epulides May 2010
Erythema multiforme in a labrador retreiver June 2010
Keloidal fibrosarcoma in a labrador retreiver July 2010
Cutaneous epitheliotropic lymphoma  August 2010 
Benign cutaneous histiocytoma  September 2010 
Iridociliary adenoma October 2010
Proliferative thrombovascular necrosis of the pinnae November 2010
Signet-ring cell carcinoma in the stomach of a dog December 2010
Cutaneous infiltrative lipoma in a labrador January 2011

Tonsillar squamous cell carcinoma February 2011
Canine orbital meningioma March 2011
"Lung-digit" syndrome in a cat April 2011
Hepatic amyloidosis in a cat May 2011
Haemophagocytic histiocytic sarcoma June 2011
Alternaria spp. infection in an immunocompromised dog July 2011
Ocular manifestation of lymphoma in a cat  August 2011
Kerion dermatophytosis in a Cocker spaniel September 2011
Subcuticular coenurus in a rabbit  October 2011
Optic nerve glioma in a dog November 2011
Malignant transformation of a viral papilloma in a dog  December 2011
Uveodermatological syndrome in an Akita
January 2012
Cutaneous angiostomatosis in a dog  February 2012
Transitional cell carcinoma in a dog  March 2012
Corneal inclusion cysts in a dog   April 2012
Extraskeletal osteosarcoma in a dog  May 2012
Subungual melanoma in a dog  June 2012
Retrobulbar grass seed in a dog   July 2012
Lungworm infection associated with hypercalcaemia in a dog  August 2012
Conjunctival melanoma in a dog  September 2012
Pneumocystis infection in a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel  October 2012
Fungal keratitis and secondary endophthalmitis in a horse November 2012
Myeloid leukaemia with lymph node invasion in a dog    December 2012
Cutaneous toxoplasmosis in a cat   January 2013
Glomerulonephritis in a dog  February 2013
Splenic mast cell tumour in a cat  March 2013
Laryngeal rhabdomyoma in a dog  April 2013
Mycobacterial infection in an eye May 2013
Key Gaskell syndrome in a cat June 2013
Intraosseous epidermoid cyst in the toe of a dog July 2013
Septic Lens Implantation Syndrome August 2013
Fungal Keratitis in a dog September 2013

CytoPath Ltd | PO Box 24 | Ledbury | Herefordshire | HR8 2YD |
tel: 01531 63 00 63 | fax: 01531 63 00 33 | email: customer.enquiries@cytopath.co.uk | web: www.cytopath.co.uk

2009 Cytopath Limited / / all rights reserved / / design and development by mightyweb.co.uk

Faecal Occult Blood Test