September 2012

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"Twinkles," an 18-year old female spayed DSH feline presents to your clinic with a one day history of lethargy – according to the owner, the cat was "fine" until last night when she just started "laying around." The owner also reports that she has lost five cats in the last two years – four due to renal failure, and one due to FIP.

Physical Exam

The cat is obtunded and unable to stand. Lung sounds are clear bilaterally, but the cat is tachypnic with intermittent open-mouth breathing. There is a positive withdrawal response in the hind limbs, but deep pain response is absent. Both pupils are non-responsive. On palpation, the thoracic and pelvic girdles are very prominent. The bladder is distended, and you are unable to palpate either kidney.

A urine dipstick reveals the following:

  • Bilirubin: negative
  • Urobilinogen: normal
  • Ascorbic acid: negative
  • Glucose: normal
  • Protein: 30
  • Blood: +5-10
  • pH 5
  • Nitrite: negative
  • Leukocytes: 75
  • Specific Gravity: 1.015

Due to the cat's declining condition, the owner elects to euthanize.

Necropsy Photos

Figure 1

Figure 2


  1. What is the organ?
  2. What is your morphologic diagnosis? (Duration, distribution, severity, process, tissue)
  3. What additional gross lesions might you see in this animal?
  4. What would you expect this lesion to look like histologically?
  5. Could this lesion alone explain the clinical condition of the animal?