Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the Cat
The symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease or IBD are chronic vomitting, diarrhea, annorexia, weight loss, Normal or increased appetite, belching,Black, tarry stools,gas, bad breath, increased thirst and/or stomach pain.

I have read repeatedly that a raw diet has helped many cats with IBD. I wonder.(There are many sites on the web which teach you how to prepare raw food in the safest way possible since food bourne illnesses affect our four legged beloved companions also.) Food preservatives and color enhancers are sources of allergens for some cats. IBD can be precipitated by food allergies, also by such things as bacteria and parasites which can be treated with antibiotics and anthelmintics. Lamb is probably the most neutral meat for your kitty cat to eat. Bromelain made from pineapple extract may have IBD.

The following contains research and websites that provide a wealth of information. Mention is made in a few articles of new steroid, budesonide more potent and with fewer side effects. It is also used for humans with Crohn's Disease, the equivalent to inflammatory bowel disease in felines.

There is a new drug for Crohn's Disease Remicade out but I haven't found any references to research for cats with inflammatory bowel disease.

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Clin Immunol. 2005 Jun 1; [Epub ahead of print] : Treatment with oral bromelain decreases colonic inflammation in the IL-10-deficient murine model of inflammatory bowel disease.
Hale LP, Greer PK, Trinh CT, Gottfried MR.
Department of Pathology, DUMC 3712, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

Bromelain is a mixture of proteinases derived from pineapple stem that is marketed in health food stores as a "digestive aid". Orally administered bromelain was anecdotally reported to induce clinical and endoscopic remission of ulcerative colitis in two patients whose disease was refractory to multi-agent conventional medical therapy. However, the potential efficacy of bromelain in colitis has not yet been tested rigorously in either animals or humans. In this study, the clinical and histologic severity of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) was determined in IL-10(-/-) mice treated orally with bromelain in vivo. Daily treatment with oral bromelain beginning at age 5 weeks decreased the incidence and severity of spontaneous colitis in C57BL/6 IL-10(-/-) mice. Bromelain also significantly decreased the clinical and histologic severity of colonic inflammation when administered to piroxicam-exposed IL-10(-/-) mice with established colitis. Proteolytically active bromelain was required for anti-inflammatory effects in vivo. Adverse effects of dermatitis, hair loss, and weight loss due to mucositis were rare, dose related, and were not seen in wild-type mice treated orally with up to 1000 mg bromelain/kg/day for 18 weeks. Although the exact mechanisms by which exogenous proteinases affect bowel inflammation have not yet been determined, the results justify additional studies of this complementary biologically based approach to treatment of IBD
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2004 Aug 9 [Epub ahead of print]: Erythropoietin reduces the development of experimental, inflammatory bowel disease.
Cuzzocrea S, Mazzon E, Di Paola R, Patel NS, Genovese T, Muia C, De Sarro A, Thiemermann C.
University of Messina.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by oxidative and nitrosative stress, leukocyte infiltration, up-regulation of the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) in the colon. Erythropoietin (EPO) is a potent stimulator of erythroid progenitor cells and its expression is enhanced by hypoxia. Here we investigate the effects EPO on the development of experimental colitis. To address this question, we used an experimental model of colitis, induced by dinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (DNBS). When compared to DNBS-treated mice, EPO (1000 IU/kg day s.c.)-treated mice subjected to DNBS-induced colitis experienced a significant lower rate of the extent and severity of the histological signs of colon injury. DNBS-treated mice experienced diarrhea and weight loss. At 4 days after administration of DNBS, the mucosa of the colon exhibited large areas of necrosis. Neutrophil infiltration (determined by histology as well as an increase in myeloperoxidase activity in the mucosa) was associated with up-regulation of ICAM-1. Immunohistochemistry for nitrotyrosine and PAR showed an intense staining in the inflamed colon. On the contrary, the treatment of DNBS-treated mice with EPO significantly reduced the degree of diarrhea and weight loss caused by administration of DNBS. WEPO also caused a substantial reduction of (i) the degree of colon injury, (ii) the rise in MPO activity (mucosa), (iii) the increase in staining (immunohistochemistry) for nitrotyrosine, as well as (v) the up regulation of ICAM-1 caused by DNBS in the colon. Thus, treatment of rat with EPO reduces the degree of colitis caused by DNBS. We propose that EPO may be useful in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.
1: J Leukoc Biol. 2004 Sep;76(3):537-44. Epub 2004 Jun 14. : Superoxide dismutase ameliorates TNBS-induced colitis by reducing oxidative stress, adhesion molecule expression, and leukocyte recruitment into the inflamed intestine.
Segui J, Gironella M, Sans M, Granell S, Gil F, Gimeno M, Coronel P, Pique JM, Panes J.
Hospital Clinic, IDIBAPS, Villarroel 170, 08036 Barcelona, Spain. panes@ub.edu

Oxidant stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. Antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), are candidate drugs for modulating this pathogenic factor. This study was designed to determine the therapeutic value of SOD in an experimental model of colitis and to study the mechanisms underlying its effects on intestinal inflammation. For that purpose, colitic (trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid-induced) and control rats were studied. Groups of colitic animals were treated with different doses of SOD (1, 4, or 13 mg/kg/day) or vehicle, starting after induction of colitis and during 7 days. Clinical and pathological markers of colitis severity and lipid peroxidation in colonic tissue were measured. Leukocyte-endothelial cell interactions in colonic venules and expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) were determined. Development of colitis was associated with a significant loss in body weight, an increase in macroscopic and microscopic damage scores, and colonic myeloperoxidase activity. Administration of SOD significantly attenuated these changes in a dose-dependent manner and reduced lipid peroxidation in colonic tissue. The increase in leukocyte rolling and adhesion in colonic venules of colitic rats were significantly reduced by administration of SOD, 13 mg/kg/day. Development of colitis was associated with a marked increase in endothelial VCAM-1 expression, which was significantly reduced by treatment with SOD. In conclusion, treatment with SOD significantly reduces peroxidation reactions in the inflamed colon and affords significant amelioration of colonic inflammatory changes in experimental colitis. This effect is related to a reduction in VCAM-1 expression and leukocyte recruitment into the inflamed intestine
Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2004 Aug;13(Suppl):S94. : Lyprinol(tm): a potential preventive treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?
Tenikoff D, Murphy KJ, Le M, Butler RN, Howarth GS, Howe PR.
Child Health Research Institute, Women's & Children's Hospital, SA 5006, Australia.

Background- Fish oil and the stabilised lipid extract of New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel (Lyprinol trade mark; LYP) are considered beneficial in treating arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Unlike fish oil, it is uncertain whether any benefit seen with LYP is due to its omega-3 fatty acid content. We compared the effect of LYP and fish oil pre-treatments on experimental induction of IBD in mice. Methods- Male C57BL/6 mice aged 6 weeks were gavaged daily for 13 days with 150microl of olive oil (OO, n=7), LYP (5mg in OO; n=8) or fish oil (FO, 55mg EPA/DHA; n=8). Mice consumed 2% dextran sulphate sodium (DSS) for 6 days from day 7 to induce colitis. Body weight and disease activity index (DAI) scores were recorded daily; colonic inflammation was assessed by myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and histopathologic damage to the ileum and colon. Results- FO treatment had no significant benefit compared with OO. By day 12 of the trial, OO treated mice had gained 15+/-2% body weight, FO treated mice had gained 6+/-5% and LYP treated mice had gained 21+/-3%: LYP treated mice had a lower DAI score (0 vs. 1 for OO, 4 for FO). Compared with FO, LYP treated mice had smaller crypt area losses (distal colon), lower caecum and colon weights and a trend for lower overall colitis severity in the distal colon. MPO activity was not significantly affected by either LYP or FO vs. OO (see table). Conclusions- These findings indicate that LYP may be potentially useful in ameliorating symptoms of IBD. The lack of effect of FO indicates that the benefit of LYP is attributable to components of the stabilised lipid extract other than its omega 3 content. A dose-response evaluation of LYP in experimental IBD is warranted.
J Feline Med Surg 1999 Sep;1(3):155-64 : Feline inflammatory bowel disease: a review.
Willard MD.
Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, USA.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), while a popular diagnosis, may not occur as commonly as it is diagnosed. It is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning that it is important to eliminate diseases that mimick it. Dietary intolerance or allergy in particular, can have the same clinical and histologic appearance as IBD. Likewise, well-differentiated alimentary lymphosarcoma can also be confused with it. Intestinal biopsies are useful, but must be taken carefully and then evaluated by someone with interest and expertise in alimentary tract pathology. Therefore, it behoves the clinician to carefully consider the diagnosis instead of starting multiple drug therapy in a cavalier fashion. Well constructed dietary therapy can often be beneficial for both dietary problems and IBD.
Feline Inflammatory Bowel Disease By Margaret Muns, DVM
She discusses at length "The most common form of inflammatory bowel disease in cats is the presence of lymphocytes and plasma cells, which produce a diagnosis of lymphocytic-plasmacytic enteritis (LPE)." and mentions treatment forms.

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Cornelll's writeup on Inflammatory bowel Disease
" Although cats of any age can be affected, middle-aged or older cats are more susceptible to IBD.

IBD describes a group of chronic gastrointestinal disorders. Microscopically the disease is characterized by the infiltration of inflammatory cells into the lining (mucosa) of the digestive tract. The cause of IBD is unknown, but the microscopic changes in the tissues (histopathology) imply that immunologic factors play an important role."

"Corticosteroids are commonly used to treat cats with IBD. These drugs have potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties with relatively few side effects in cats. Additionally, corticosteroids may stimulate the appetite and enhance intestinal sodium and water absorption. Oral prednisone is the corticosteroid used most frequently because of its short duration of action and availability in appropriate tablet sizes. If necessary, injectable corticosteroid therapy can be used in cats that are too difficult to medicate orally or if vomiting and malabsorption is severe.

Antibiotics, such as metronidazole or tylosin, can be helpful when combinations of dietary management and corticosteroid therapy have failed to adequately control the disease. Side effects to metronidazole therapy are uncommon at low dosages, but loss of appetite and vomiting may occur. Excessive salivation is a common reaction of cats after receiving the pill. This is probably a response to the unpleasant taste of the medication. Sulfasalazine is a medication that is often used if large bowel inflammation (colitis) is the predominate problem.

If none of these medications successfully control the signs, more potent immunosuppressive drugs may be necessary, but they necessitate closer monitoring by your veterinarian. "


gastrex can be bought here

Holistic Alternative to Prednisone
"Dr. Messonnier says: A new drug called budesonide may be helpful for you. In my practice, a natural diet, a supplement called Nutrigest (with glutamine and probiotics,) an adsorbent (we use Gastrex) and a plant enzyme are very helpful for IBD. "
Article by Dr. Belfield in which he recommends antioxidants.
The recent AAFP/AFM meeting, Old and Loving It, Feline Geriatrics into the 21st Century
"If a diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease is made by biopsy, diet and corticosteroids are common therapies. Additionally, Dr. Stewart may use salicilates, such as azulfidine, chlorambucil for moderate lymphocytic IBD, metronidazole, and eicosapentanoic acid (fish oil) among other medications. He avoids Imuran because of dangerous leukopenias. A new steroid, budesonide, more potent than arednisilone, is being studied for IBD treatment. Early experimental data showed improved patient comfort, a decrease in vomiting, and improved stool quality."
A Winn Foundation Health Article On ... Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the Cat
"Once diagnosed, the disease can be controlled to prevent pain and discomfort to the cat. Treatment is also aimed at preventing possible complications of the disease, such as damage to the liver, malnutrition, ulcers, and in some cases, the future development of cancer. Many medications can be used to control IBD. These include prednisone (the treatment of choice in many cases), some antibiotics, and antiemetics (drugs that suppress vomiting). A new drug, budesonide (Entocort®) is currently being investigated for treatment of IBD in cats. Although it is a corticosteroid drug like prednisone, it is metabolized differently and may reduce the potential for long-term side effects that can be associated with corticosteroids. Once therapy is started, it is usually continued for two to three months, before attempts are made to decrease the amount of medication. In many cases, a hypoallergenic diet may be recommended to aid in control of the disease"
J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999 Aug 1;215(3):349-54 : Radiographic, ultrasonographic, and endoscopic findings in cats with inflammatory bowel disease of the stomach and small intestine: 33 cases (1990-1997).
Baez JL, Hendrick MJ, Walker LM, Washabau RJ.
Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104-6010, USA.

OBJECTIVE: To characterize imaging findings in cats with confirmed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) of the upper gastrointestinal tract (i.e., stomach and small intestine) and relate these findings to clinical signs and histologic changes. DESIGN: Retrospective study. ANIMALS: 32 cats with clinical and histopathologic diagnoses of IBD. PROCEDURE: Medical records were reviewed for signalment, clinical signs, clinicopathologic findings, radiographic and ultrasonographic findings, and results of endoscopic examination. Histologic findings were reviewed and characterized by severity and type of inflammatory infiltrate. RESULTS: All cats had 1 or more clinical signs (e.g., vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and anorexia) consistent with IBD. Lymphocytic and plasmacytic infiltrates were observed in histologic sections of gastrointestinal tissue. Crypt distortion, villous blunting and fusion, and fibrosis were most commonly seen in cats with moderate or severe IBD. Clinicopathologic findings of some cats included anemia, leukocytosis or leukopenia, hypocholesterolemia, and hyper- or hypoproteinemia. Abnormalities were not found on abdominal radiographic views in 9 of 9 cats. However, contrast studies using barium revealed radiographic abnormalities in 1 of 3 cats. In 13 of 17 cats, abdominal ultrasonography revealed several intestinal abnormalities (e.g., poor intestinal wall layer definition, focal thickening) and large mesenteric lymph nodes with hypoechoic changes consistent with IBD. Endoscopic observation revealed findings (e.g., erythema, plaques, mucosal friability) consistent with inflammation in 9 of 18 cats. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Compared with endoscopy of the gastrointestinal tract or abdominal radiography, clinical signs and ultrasonographic findings appear to have the best association with histologic grade of IBD in cats.
J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996 Sep 15;209(6):1114-6 : Relationship between inflammatory hepatic disease and inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, and nephritis in cats.
Weiss DJ, Gagne JM, Armstrong PJ.
Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St. Paul 55108, USA.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether cats with inflammatory hepatic disease had concurrent inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), pancreatitis, or chronic interstitial nephritis. DESIGN: Prospective case series. SAMPLE POPULATION: 78 tissue sections of liver, intestine, pancreas, and kidney from cats that had previous necropsy examinations at the teaching hospital. PROCEDURE: We reviewed histologic sections of liver, intestine, pancreas, and kidney from cats that had previous necropsy examinations and determined the prevalence of lymphocytic portal hepatitis, cholangiohepatitis, IBD, pancreatitis, and chronic interstitial nephritis, and the relationship among them. RESULTS: 36 cats had lymphocytic portal hepatitis, 18 had cholangiohepatitis, and 24 did not have inflammatory hepatic disease. The prevalence of IBD (10/36; 28%) and pancreatitis (5/36; 14%) in cats with lymphocytic portal hepatitis was not significantly different from cats without inflammatory hepatic disease. The prevalence of IBD (15/18; 83%) and pancreatitis (9/18; 50%) was greater (P < 0.05) for cats with cholangiohepatitis, compared with cats without inflammatory hepatic disease. Thirty-nine percent of cats (7/18) with cholangiohepatitis had IBD and pancreatitis. Evidence of IBD in association with cholangiohepatitis was characterized by infiltration of lymphocytes and plasma cells into the lamina propria; however, neutrophilic infiltrates also were found in 6 of 15 (40%) cats with cholangiohepatitis. Pancreatitis was mild in all cats. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Cats with a diagnosis of cholangiohepatitis should be evaluated for IBD and pancreatitis.
Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 1993 May;23(3):569-86 : Feline inflammatory bowel disease.
Tams TR.
West Los Angeles Animal Hospital, California.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is one of the most common causes of chronic vomiting and diarrhea in cats. A definitive diagnosis is made only by biopsy. This article presents an overview of differential diagnosis of IBD in cats. Treatment of this syndrome is reviewed in detail. A great majority of cats with IBD can be managed successfully. This can be best assured by establishing a definitive diagnosis relatively early in the course of the disease.
Managing the refractory case of feline IBD
A E Jergens
Dept of Clin Vet Sci, College of Vet Med,Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 50011, USA
Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery 5, 1, February 2003, 47-50
Feline inflammatory bowel disease (FIBD) is characterized by persistent gastrointestinal signs, histologic evidence of mucosal inflammation, and responsiveness to immunotherapeutic intervention. Since a concise and comprehensive review of IBD has been recently presented (Jergens 1999), the purpose of this overview is to provide current perspectives on FIBD, and strategies for dealing with patients that fail to respond to routine medical management.
Feline inflammatory bowel disease: Treatment, prognosis, and new developments MR Krecic
Univ Penn,Philadelphia,PA 19104 USA

Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian, 2001, Vol 23, Iss 11, pp 964+
Controlled diet and corticosteroids are often successful in controlling the clinical signs associated with feline inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). If inflammation is severe and - the cat is not responding to an initially prescribed therapy of diet and corticosteroids, other drug therapies can be added. Elucidation of the immune cells of the normal feline intestine and the prospect of new tests for monitoring therapeutic response are exciting new developments in feline gastrointestinal (GI) health.


Radiographic, ultrasonographic, and endoscopic findings in cats with inflammatory bowel disease of the stomach and small intestine: 33 cases (1990-1997).
Baez JL, Hendrick MJ, Walker LM, Washabau RJ
Dept of Clin Studies, School of Vet Med, Univ of Penn, Philadelphia 19104-6010, USA.
J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999 Aug 1;215(3):349-54

OBJECTIVE: To characterize imaging findings in cats with confirmed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) of the upper gastrointestinal tract (i.e., stomach and small intestine) and relate these findings to clinical signs and histologic changes. DESIGN: Retrospective study. ANIMALS: 32 cats with clinical and histopathologic diagnoses of IBD. PROCEDURE: Medical records were reviewed for signalment, clinical signs, clinicopathologic findings, radiographic and ultrasonographic findings, and results of endoscopic examination. Histologic findings were reviewed and characterized by severity and type of inflammatory infiltrate. RESULTS: All cats had 1 or more clinical signs (e.g., vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and anorexia) consistent with IBD. Lymphocytic and plasmacytic infiltrates were observed in histologic sections of gastrointestinal tissue. Crypt distortion, villous blunting and fusion, and fibrosis were most commonly seen in cats with moderate or severe IBD. Clinicopathologic findings of some cats included anemia, leukocytosis or leukopenia, hypocholesterolemia, and hyper- or hypoproteinemia. Abnormalities were not found on abdominal radiographic views in 9 of 9 cats. However, contrast studies using barium revealed radiographic abnormalities in 1 of 3 cats. In 13 of 17 cats, abdominal ultrasonography revealed several intestinal abnormalities (e.g., poor intestinal wall layer definition, focal thickening) and large mesenteric lymph nodes with hypoechoic changes consistent with IBD. Endoscopic observation revealed findings (e.g., erythema, plaques, mucosal friability) consistent with inflammation in 9 of 18 cats. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Compared with endoscopy of the gastrointestinal tract or abdominal radiography, clinical signs and ultrasonographic findings appear to have the best association with histologic grade of IBD in cats.


Feline inflammatory bowel disease: Pathogenesis, diagnosis, and relationship to lymphosarcoma MR Krecic
Univ Penn,Philadelphia,PA 19104 USA
Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian, 2001, Vol 23, Iss 11, pp 951+

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an idiopathic group of digestive tract diseases characterized by nonspecific chronic gastrointestinal (Gl) signs and a cellular infiltrate of lymphocytes, plasma cells, eosinophils, neutrophils, or histiocytes in the mucosa and submucosa. Diagnostic; biopsies from the upper and lower GI tract are obtained via endoscopy or laparotomy. Pathologists may have difficulty interpreting some biopsy specimens if an inadequate amount of tissue has been submitted or if the changes noted by the pathologist indicate possible malignancy.


Diet and drugs: The keys to managing feline colonic disease
DL Zoran
Texas A&M Univ,Coll Vet Med,Dept Small Anim Med & Surg,College Stn,TX 77843 USA
Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian, 1999, Vol 21, Iss 8, pp 731+

Feline colonic diseases are less common than diseases of the small bowel but are nevertheless diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. One aspect of developing a rational approach to diagnosing and treating colonic disease is to understand the colon's unique physiologic and functional differences. Large bowel diarrhea can be acute (present for less than 3 weeks) or chronic. Acute diarrhea is often associated with dietary disturbances (e.g., dietary indiscretion, food intolerance) or infectious/inflammatory diseases, including parasitic or protozoal infestations. Empiric therapy with antibiotics or anthelmintics or dietary changes often correct the problem. However, many chronic colonic diseases (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease, neoplasia) require lifelong pharmacologic and/or dietary intervention.


J Feline Med Surg 2001 Sep;3(3):125-32 : Review of feline pancreatitis part two: clinical signs, diagnosis and treatment.
Mansfield CS, Jones BR.
Department of Small Animal Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Republic of Ireland.

In the past decade pancreatitis has become recognised as a significant disease in the cat. Chronic, mild pancreatitis is often associated with more commonly diagnosed diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease or cholangitis/cholangiohepatitis. Furthermore, acute pancreatitis with similar complications to those seen in dogs is now diagnosed more frequently in cats. Unfortunately, the clinical signs and clinicopathological findings in cats with pancreatitis are often non-specific and vague. The lack of specific signs often results in a diagnosis being made only when the veterinary surgeon has a strong index of suspicion for pancreatitis and vigorously pursues that diagnosis. Pancreatitis is an important disease in cats, has been implicated as a potential cause of diabetes mellitus, and when present complicates the treatment of diabetes and other intra-abdominal diseases in cats. Copyright 2001 European Society of Feline Medicine.
J Vet Intern Med 2001 Jan-Feb;15(1):26-32 : Comment in: J Vet Intern Med. 2001 Jul-Aug;15(4):327-8.
Subnormal concentrations of serum cobalamin (vitamin B12) in cats with gastrointestinal disease.
Simpson KW, Fyfe J, Cornetta A, Sachs A, Strauss-Ayali D, Lamb SV, Reimers TJ.
Department of Clinical Science, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
KWS5@cornell.edu

The present study sought to determine the spectrum of diseases associated with subnormal concentrations of serum cobalamin in cats undergoing investigation of suspected gastrointestinal problems. The solid-phase boil radioassay (RA) for cobalamin employed in the present study was immunologically specific, precise, and accurate, with a sensitivity of 15 pg/mL. The RA yielded results that strongly correlated with those obtained by bioassay (Spearmann rho = .805; P < .0001), although the absolute values were lower for the RA. Forty-nine of 80 serum samples submitted during the period of January 1996-January 1998 had cobalamin concentrations below the reference range for healthy cats (range 900-2,800 pg/mL; mean +/- SD, 1,775 +/- 535 pg/mL; n = 33). Cats with subnormal cobalamin concentrations (mean +/- SD; 384 +/- 272 pg/mL, range 3-883 pg/mL) were middle-aged or older and were presented for weight loss. diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia, and thickened intestines. Definitive diagnoses in 22 cats included inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), intestinal lymphoma, cholangiohepatitis or cholangits, and pancreatic inflammation. Serum concentrations of cobalamin were particularly low in cats with intestinal lymphoma, three-fifths of whom also had subnormal serum concentrations of folate (< 9 ng/mL). The simultaneous presence of disease in the intestines, pancreas, or hepatobiliary system in many cats made it difficult to determine the cause of subnormal cobalamin concentrations. The circulating half-life of parenteral cyanocobalamin was shorter in 2 cats with IBD (5 days) than in 4 healthy cats (12.75 days). The presence of subnormal serum concentrations of cobalamin in 49 of 80 cats evaluated suggests that the measurement of serum cobalamin may be a useful indirect indicator of enteric or pancreatic disease in cats. The rapid depletion of circulating cobalamin in cats suggests that cats may be highly susceptible to cobalamin deficiency. However, the relationship of subnormal serum cobalamin concentrations to cobalamin deficiency and the effect of cobalamin deficiency on cats remain to be determined.
Vet Immunol Immunopathol 2000 Jun 30;75(1-2):27-42 : Characterization of the diffuse mucosal associated lymphoid tissue of feline small intestine.
Roccabianca P, Woo JC, Moore PF.
Istituto di Anatomia Patologica Veterinaria e Patologia Aviare, Facoltai di Medicina Veterinaria, Via Celoria n. 10, 20133, Milan, Italy.

Characterization of the feline intestinal mucosal associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) will facilitate investigation of intestinal disease in the cat and promote the cat as an animal model for a range of human diseases which involve the intestinal lymphoid tissue. This includes inflammatory bowel disease, viral and non-viral associated intestinal lymphomas and immunodeficiency associated syndromes. Morphologic and phenotypic characterization of the normal small intestinal diffuse MALT in 22 SPF cats was performed using flow cytometry and cytology on isolated intestinal leukocytes from the intra-epithelial and lamina proprial compartments, as well as immunohistology on tissues from the feline duodenum, jejunum and ileum. The intra-epithelial compartment (IEC) was dominated by lymphocytes (>85%) which frequently contained intracytoplasmic granules. The most striking findings in the IEC were the elevated percentages of CD8 alpha+ lymphocytes (40%), presumed to express CD8 alpha alpha chains, and CD4-/CD8- (double negative) lymphocytes (44%), and the consistent presence of a minor subpopulation of CD3+/CD11d+ IELs (6%). Small percentages of CD4+ lymphocytes (10%) were observed such that the IEL CD4:CD8 ratio (0.25) was low. The LPC also contained a majority of T cells and few plasma cells. However, this compartment had reduced percentages of CD8 alpha+ lymphocytes (28%) and increased percentages of CD4+ lymphocytes (27%) relative to the IEC. However, the LPL CD4:CD8 ratio (1.0) remained low compared with the ratio in peripheral blood. In feline MALT, MHC class II expression was lower than in other peripheral lymphoid compartments. The results of this study provide important reference values for future investigations involving feline intestinal lymphocytes and demonstrates that the leukocyte distribution and phenotypic characteristics of the feline diffuse MALT appear largely similar to the murine, rat and human counterparts.