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J Feline Med Surg. 2008 Feb;10(1):95-101. Epub 2007 Aug 28.

Broncholithiasis in a cat: clinical findings, long-term evolution and histopathological features.

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  • 1Cardiorespiratory Service, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, University of Murcia, 30100 Espinardo, Murcia, Spain.


A 14-year-old neutered male Persian cat was evaluated because of an acute exacerbation of a chronic cough of 2-3 years of duration. Physical examination was normal except for the auscultation of accentuated breath sounds and wheezes cranially on both sides of the chest. Complete blood count, biochemical parameters and urinalysis were normal. Thoracic radiographs showed a generalised nodular pattern with multiple mineral opacities. Oral prednisone and doxycycline were prescribed. Two weeks later, the frequency of the cough was significantly reduced. Terbutaline was recommended for relief of acute exacerbations. Three years later the cat was evaluated again due to a non-related disease that led to the euthanasia of the cat. Concerning its respiratory disease, the cat had experienced nearly asymptomatic periods of 3-6 weeks of duration punctuated by acute exacerbation periods of 7-10 days, during which terbutaline was useful to relieve the cough. Thoracic radiographs showed a mild increase in the size and extent of the pulmonary mineralisation. Histopathologically, mild bronchitis and bronchiectasis were evident, accompanied by calcified bronchial plugs and marked hyperplasia and hypertrophy of the seromucinous glands. Based on clinical and pathoanatomical findings, a final diagnosis of miliary broncholithiasis and bronchiectasis was made. Broncholithiasis should be considered in differential diagnosis of pulmonary mineralisation in cats. When no concomitant diseases are present, this rare disease appears to have a slowly progressive evolution that does not appear to carry a bad prognosis and may be satisfactorily managed with combinations of bronchodilators and corticosteroids.

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