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J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2011 May-Jun;47(3):e36-41. doi: 10.5326/JAAHA-MS-5517. Epub 2011 Apr 15.

Disseminated histoplasmosis accompanied by cutaneous fragility in a cat.

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Clinical Sciences, Small Animal Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA.


A 4 yr old, spayed female domestic shorthair was referred with a 2 mo history of weight loss, anorexia, and diarrhea. Skin fragility was noted on presentation and a large skin tear measuring 5 cm × 5 cm was obvious over the dorsal cervical region. The patient was previously treated with short-term prednisone that was discontinued 6 wk before presentation. Initial diagnostics (complete blood count and biochemistry) did not indicate an endocrine disorder, the most common cause of acquired feline skin fragility. Necropsy revealed diffuse histoplasmosis (most significantly affecting the skin), epidermal atrophy, dermal collagen separation, and infiltration in the dermis and subcutis by inflammatory cells containing yeast organisms consistent with Histoplasma spp. Infiltrative fungal infection should be considered as a potential cause of acquired feline skin fragility.

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