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Radiotherapy for osteochondrodysplasia in Scottish Fold cats

Fujiwara-Igarashi A, Igarashi H, et al. Efficacy and complications of palliative irradiation in three Scottish Fold cats with osteochrondrodysplasia. J Vet Intern Med. 2015 Sep 14.    (Free full text)

The Scottish Fold (SF) breed of cat originated from a white cat with forward folded ears found on a local farm in the Perthshire region of Scotland in 1961. Their typical appearance includes folded-ears, large round eyes, a soft nose curve, and thick, short limbs. Their gentle appearance and friendly nature make them a popular breed, especially in Japan.

Osteochrondrodysplasia is a known disorder inherited in SF cats. Inheritance of the disease is an autosomal incomplete dominant trait; the folded ear allele has been called Fd. Homozygous cats with the Fd allele are affected with severe osteochondrodysplasia and heterozygous cats develop a milder form of the disease. It is recommended that fold-to-normal matings occur to avoid producing homozygous cats. Cats that are homozygous with normal ears are called Scottish Shorthairs and do not develop the disease. The characteristics of the disease are distal limb and tail skeletal deformities. Affected cats have lameness, exercise intolerance due to chronic pain. Quality of life can be quite affected.

The authors report on the use of low dose radiotherapy (LD-RT) in three cases of Scottish Fold osteochrondrodysplasia (SFOCD).  LD-RT is normally used for treatment of inflammatory and degenerative diseases in humans. The first case described was an intact female SF under 12 months of age. All four limbs were affected along with the caudal vertebrae and tail. LD-RT was performed in a unilateral method, on both right-sided limbs, and not on the left side for treatment comparison. Clinical signs resolved within 2 weeks of the start of therapy. The other two cases were less severely affected and clinical signs in these cats resolved within 3 to 4 weeks of initial therapy. Signs of progression of the deposition of boney proliferations continued and were not suppressed by radiotherapy. None of the cases developed late complications, including alopecia, necrosis, and tumorigenesis, due to treatment by LT-RT.

In conclusion, the authors suggest radiation therapy could relieve pain in cases with SFOCD. Complications did not result following treatment of the three cats, yet lifelong follow up is recommended. LD-RT could be a reasonable treatment option for SF cats with this disorder. (VT)

See also:
Hubler M, Volkert M, et al. Palliative irradiation of Scottish Fold osteochrodrodysplasia. Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2004 Nov-Dec;45(6):582-585.