Published: 20/04/2012 15:15:50
AHT team lead study into robotic cats
Vets from the AHT have been investigating a novel neurological condition that has been affecting Scottish cats during the last decade.
The cats are believed to have a slowly-progressing neurological disease, which manifests as an odd walking gait with a stiff, extended tail. This strange movement has seen the cats dubbed as ‘robotic cats’.
21 cats from North-East Scotland were involved in the collaborative study, which collected data from 2001-2010, and the information has lead neurologists to believe that a central nervous system infection causing a lymphohistiocytic meningoencephalomyelitis could be the cause.
Luisa De Risio, Head of Neurology at the AHT, said: “All the cats included in our study, belong to the rural population accustomed to hunting birds and rodents. We think it is possible that the causative agent may be transmitted from these animals to cats.”
The investigating team has concluded that the late onset age of this disease, its slow progression, peculiar clinical signs and the data from the tests suggest these cats were affected by the same unique, previously unreported condition.
The full results of the study have been published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery in the following paper: Slowly progressive lymphohistiocytic meningoencephalomyelitis in 21 adult cats presenting with peculiar neurological signs by Luisa De Risio, Richard Brown, Bryn Tennant, Andy Sparkes, Lara Matiasek, Alberta de Stefani, Herbert Weissenböck and Kaspar Matiasek - http://jfm.sagepub.com/content/14/4/250.full
If you are concerned that your cat may be showing signs of ‘robotic cat syndrome’, please click here to read information about the illness and our ongoing study
We need your help with our ongoing investigation. We would like to investigate new cases and further work is in progress to attempt identification of the causative agent, including screening for unknown infectious agents.
PLEASE DO NOT SEND VIDEOS OF SUSPECTED ROBOTIC CATS DIRECTLY TO THE AHT. If you are concerned about your cat please take it to your vet. If your vet also suspects your cat is displaying signs consistent with the disease then please ask them to email a short video of the cat, along with a full neurological examination of the cat and a copy of the cat's medical record to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are an animal lover and would like to help with our study, please make a donation to our investigation fund by clicking here.
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