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Ulcerative pododermatitis and disseminated erosive lesions associated with cowpox virus infection in a domestic cat
  1. Louisa Ludwig1,
  2. Jéromine Bohn2,
  3. Isabelle Remy2,
  4. Andy Haegeman3,
  5. Marianne Heimann3,
  6. Axel Mauroy1,
  7. Kris de Clercq4 and
  8. Etienne Thiry1
  1. 1Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, University of Liege, Fundamental and Applied Research for Animals and Health Center (FARAH), Liège, Belgium
  2. 2Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium
  3. 3Anatomie pathologie vétérinaire pour animaux de compagnie (ANAPET sprl), Rue du Faubourg, 269, B-6110 Montigny-le-Tilleul, Belgium
  4. 4Unit Vesicular and Exotic Diseases, Operational Direction Viral Diseases, Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Center – VAR – CODA – CERVA, Brussels, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Dr Etienne Thiry, etienne.thiry{at}


The authors report on a case of feline cowpox virus infection associated with severe ulcerative dermatitis of a paw and disseminated erosive lesions. While the anamnesis of the cat being a known rodent-hunter, a typical seasonality of infection and the progression of clinical signs from a primary anterior lesion (forelimb) indicated a possible cowpox virus infection, the differential diagnosis was complicated by the resemblance of clinical signs to those induced by feline herpesvirus-dermatitis or feline calicivirus infection. These differential diagnoses were excluded by means of immunostaining and PCR, respectively. Detection of eosinophilic intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies in cells from biopsy material and positive PCR and sequencing results confirmed the diagnosis of cowpox virus infection. Genetic characterisation of the isolate, based on the highly diverse haemagglutinin gene, showed that the strain (Liege 2015; GenBank accession number: KU726584) clustered with other European isolates, mostly from exotic zoo animals.

  • Cats
  • Clinical
  • Dermatology
  • Virology
  • Zoonoses
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