In spring 2021, increasing numbers of cats presenting with severe pancytopenia were noted in United Kingdom. An article published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine describes the process and outcome of the investigation performed into this outbreak.
Five hundred and eighty cats presented to 378 veterinary practices were included for analysis. Case fatality rate was 63.3%. Dietary history was available for 544 (93.8%) cats, of which 500 (86%) were fed 1 of 3 diets (which were recalled mid investigation). 54 (9.3%) cats were not fed a recalled product, with diet information unknown in 26 (4.5%) cats. Analysis of feed samples revealed concentrations of haematotoxic trichothecene T-2/HT-2 mycotoxins greater than recommended by the European Commission in 5/7 recalled diet samples but in none of control diet samples.
The paper concludes that contaminated-feed induced trichothecene mycotoxicosis should be considered as a differential diagnosis for pancytopenia in cats.
Another article published in the same issue, discusses the clinical and clinicopathological findings in cats diagnosed with suspected diet induced pancytopenia. This article similarly concludes that mycotoxin-induced pancytopenia should be considered as differential diagnosis in otherwise healthy cats presenting with bi- or pancytopenia and bone marrow hypo- to aplasia.