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Newly discovered feline muscle disease

Kiesewetter IS, Tipold A, Baumgartner W and Schenk HC. Potassium-aggravated muscle stiffness in 12 cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2011; 238: 1026-31.

Twelve shorthair cats in Europe (6 males and 6 females; age range, 2 months to 3 years) from one household were assessed for clinical signs of episodic muscle spasticity. The signs were characterized by a hypermetric, ataxic gait that appeared to be induced by exercise. Familial relationships among the cats were suspected but not known. The physical examination of all the cats demonstrated a thin to mildly emaciated body condition and signs of suppurative rhinitis. The results of hematologic and CSF analysis, diagnostic imaging, electromyography, motor nerve conduction tests, screening for metabolic storage diseases, provocation tests via exercise in a cold environment, and gross pathological and histologic examination revealed no abnormalities that could explain the clinical signs. Offering consumption of a potassium-enriched diet resulted in severe aggravation of clinical signs in 7 of 7 tested cats. These developments lead to a diagnosis of potassium-aggravated muscle stiffness. A functional channel disease, especially a sodium channelopathy similar to potassium-aggravated myotonia, was considered likely. [VT]

Related articles: Gaschen F, Jaggy A and Jones B. Congenital diseases of feline muscle and neuromuscular junction. J Feline Med Surg. 2004; 6: 355-66.

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