Information

False pregnancy in cats

False pregnancy in cats


False pregnancy in cats and dogs has been described in a number of reports.[@bib1] In a study of 628 naturally conceived cats at a large veterinary hospital, 16% of cats aborted spontaneously.[@bib2] In a survey of over 500 dogs at a university teaching hospital, 37.5% of the dogs (mostly dogs treated for urinary tract infections) had an asymptomatic ovulation on a radioimmunoassay (RIA) test, and 9.5% were aborted or had a spontaneous abortion.[@bib3] Other reports describe asymptomatic or aborted ovulation in cats and dogs.[@bib4], [@bib5], [@bib6], [@bib7], [@bib8], [@bib9] Reports suggest that pregnancy loss is more common in dogs with pyometra than in dogs without pyometra.[@bib10], [@bib11] We evaluated cats and dogs with cystic nephrospermacomites for concurrent pregnancy.

We reviewed the records of dogs and cats at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at the University of California-Davis between March 2010 and August 2014. Cases were selected when a cystic nephrospermacomite was detected by ultrasonography, then pregnancy was confirmed or pregnancy was excluded. The study was approved by the University of California-Davis Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

Routine physical examinations were performed on each cat and dog, including assessment of body weight, vital signs, and overall appearance. Blood was obtained by jugular venipuncture or venacave puncture. Urine was collected by cystocentesis, and blood and urine analyses were performed. All animals were anesthetized for abdominal ultrasonography with propofol, and the ovaries were evaluated by transabdominal ultrasonography. Animals were euthanized at the discretion of the attending clinician, and the presence of a cystic nephrospermacomite was confirmed by abdominal exploration. Information collected included signalment, signalment history, results of blood work and urinalysis, clinicopathologic data, treatment, and whether pregnancy was confirmed or pregnancy was excluded. Findings on physical examination were recorded as present or absent.

When pregnancy was confirmed, data from the study group were compared with those of the control group (pregnant cats and dogs without cystic nephrospermacomites). The control group consisted of cats and dogs with confirmed pregnancies that were delivered after ultrasonographic visualization of the female reproductive tract. Information on signalment, pregnancy status, and results of blood work and urinalysis performed during pregnancy were recorded, and birth weight and gender were recorded.

Descriptive statistics were performed, and univariable analysis of covariance was used to test for statistically significant differences in variables between the study and control groups. To account for the small number of cases, a *P* value of 0.025 was set as the cutoff for statistical significance in the comparison between the 2 groups.

Results {#jvim14673-sec-0012}

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No cystic nephrospermacomites were diagnosed in the control group (n = 20), but 20 cystic nephrospermacomites were identified in the study group. The mean age of cats with cystic nephrospermacomites was 5.7 ± 3.2 years. Cats with cystic nephrospermacomites were significantly older than those without cystic nephrospermacomites (*P* = .0001). There was a sex bias toward males with cystic nephrospermacomites (15 males and 5 females). No signalment differences were observed between cats with and without cystic nephrospermacomites.

Anamnesis was available for all 20 cats with cystic nephrospermacomites. Two owners reported a history of urinary tract infection in their pet. Six cats had a history of recurrent urinary tract infections, 2 of which were diagnosed in the control group. One owner reported a history of pyometra in her pet, and 4 cats had a history of pyometra in the study group. Two cats had a history of renal insufficiency, and 3 cats had a history of nephritis or tubulointerstitial disease in the study group. Owners reported that 1 cat with cystic nephrospermacomites had experienced a spontaneous abortion at 20 weeks of gestation. Two cats had been on long‐term treatment with prednisolone. One cat with cystic nephrospermacomites had been placed on long‐term treatment with cephalexin after experiencing acute renal failure that responded to treatment.

Clinical examination revealed that cats with cystic nephrospermacomites were older than cats without cystic nephrospermacomites, had a smaller body size, and were more likely to have increased body weight and abdominal distention. Owners reported that cats with cystic nephrospermacomites had smaller and/or matted hair coats than cats without cystic nephrospermacomites, but that their skin color and hair coat quality was similar.

No significant differences were found between cats with and without cystic nephrospermacomites with regard to auscultation findings, pulse rate, body temperature, and mucous membranes.

Hematology was performed on a subset of the cats (*n* = 5) with cystic nephrospermacomites. Serum biochemistry included serum urea nitrogen, creatinine, sodium, chloride, phosphorus, total calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, and cholesterol. The subset of cats did not differ from the cats without cystic nephrospermacomites with regard to any of these parameters.

Ultrasound was performed on a subset of cats (*n* = 5) with cystic nephrospermacomites, and included sonographic assessment of the spleen, liver, kidneys, bladder, and heart. Cats with cystic nephrospermacomites were significantly more likely to have a slightly increased liver echo‐pattern score and slightly decreased kidney echo‐pattern score than cats without cystic nephrospermacomites. All other ultrasound findings did not differ between cats with and without cystic nephrospermacomites.

3.2. Renal biopsy and histopathologic findings {#jvim15122-sec-0012}

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The final diagnoses in each group of cats are shown in Table [1](#jvim15122-tbl-0001){ref-type="table"}. The diagnosis was FIP in 13 cats in the cystic nephrospermacomites group (65%) and 11 cats in the control group (55%). Five of the cats with FIP had both solid and cystic nephrospermacomite‐associated lesions (35%). Twenty‐four cats had no evidence of disease (the majority had no abnormalities identified in any of the physical or laboratory examinations), 4 had leukopenia, 2 had uremia, 2 had elevated aspartate aminotransferase (AST), 2 had increased alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and 3 had elevated amyloid A protein (AA) in the serum (Table [1](#jvim15122-tbl-0001){ref-type="table"}).

The most common gross pathologic diagnosis in both the cystic nephrospermacomites group and the control group was nephritis (10 cats, 45% in


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