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Ulcerative pododermatitis and disseminated erosive lesions associated with cowpox virus infection in a domestic cat


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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