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Emphysematous gastritis associated with Clostridium perfringens type A in a cat
  1. Jessica Burn1,
  2. Nicolas Rousset1,
  3. Debra W Henderson1,
  4. Carolyn Legge2 and
  5. Francisco A Uzal3
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine, Western Veterinary Specialist and Emergency Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  2. 2Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  3. 3School of Veterinary Medicine, California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory, University of California, Davis, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Carolyn Legge; chlegge{at}


A ten-year-old male neutered Maine Coon cat was presented with lethargy, weakness, dehydration and inappetence of 48 hours' duration. Initial ultrasound revealed gastric distension, a normal gastric wall and segmental circumferential thickening of the jejunum wall. The cat initially improved with supportive care, but deteriorated on the second day of hospitalisation. Repeat ultrasound examination and radiography 24 hours after presentation showed marked gastric wall thickening with emphysematous changes. At gastroscopy, severe gastric mucosal discoloration was seen, suggestive of necrosis. Euthanasia was performed post-gastroscopy due to the deteriorating clinical signs and a suspicion of generalised gastric wall necrosis. Postmortem examination and results of ancillary tests confirmed moderate necrosuppurative and emphysematous gastritis, and focal, mild, necrosuppurative and emphysematous enteritis associated with Clostridium perfringens type A infection. C perfringens infection is rare in small animals; however, it can cause severe and sometimes fatal gastrointestinal disease if the bacteria invade and colonise the gastrointestinal wall.

  • feline
  • diagnostic imaging
  • emphysematous gastritis
  • clostridium perfringens
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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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