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Laryngeal Disease in Cats

Taylor SS, Harvey AM, Barr FJ et al: Laryngeal disease in cats: a retrospective study of 35 cases, J Feline Med Surg 11:954-962, 2009.

This retrospective study reviewed the medical records of 35 cats referred to the University of Bristol for investigation of laryngeal disease. Laryngeal disease is an uncommon yet important cause of dyspnea in the cat. Among the 35 cases, fourteen cats fulfilled the criteria for laryngeal paralysis (LP), 10 for neoplasia, six for inflammatory disease, and five were classified as having miscellaneous disease. The most frequently reported signs in all four groups were dyspnea, stridor and dysphonia with gagging/retching and cough occurring less frequently. Of the cats with a final diagnosis of neoplasia, four had lymphoma, four had squamous cell carcinoma, one had adenocarcinoma, and one had a poorly differentiated round cell tumor. All the cats with neoplasia were FeLV negative and three of eight cats were FIV positive. Because gross appearance of a laryngeal mass and cytology can be misleading, histopathology should always be done to make a definitive diagnosis, assist with treatment options, and offer prognostic information. In all cases of laryngeal neoplasia in this study where cervical radiography was performed, a mass lesion was noted. Thoracic radiography is also recommended in the investigation of LP in cats. Echolaryngography was found to be a useful and non-invasive tool to detect laryngeal masses and identify LP. Treatment for LP can either surgical or conservative and results can be variable, especially if the paralysis is bilateral versus unilateral. Cats with LP, laryngeal lymphoma, or laryngitis had excellent long-term survival following the appropriate treatment. [VT]

Related articles:
Jakubiak MJ, Siedlecki CT, Zenger E et al: Laryngeal, laryngotracheal, and tracheal masses in cats: 27 cases (1998-2003), J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 41:310-316, 2005.

Stepnik MW, Mehl ML, Hardie EM et al: Outcome of permanent tracheostomy for treatment of upper airway obstruction in cats: 21 cases (1990-2007), J Am Vet Med Assoc 234:638-643, 2009.