Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Neonatal isoerythrolysis

Contributor(s): Michael Day, Richard Squires, Severine Tasker

Introduction

  • Uncommon cause of neonatal illness ('fading kittens'  Fading kitten syndrome) and death (although risks can be high in some pedigree cat breeds).
  • Cause: kittens of blood Type Blood types A or AB born to Type B mothers in which naturally occurring anti-A alloantibodies circulate and are passed to the neonate in colostrum.
  • Queens may be primiparous as alloantibodies are naturally occurring.
  • Signs: related to anemia in kittens.
  • Diagnosis: laboratory data: hemoglobinuria (red brown urine), Coombs' test, persistent autoagglutination.
  • Treatment: prevent kittens suckling from queen for first 48 hours.
  • Prognosis: guarded if clinically affected.

Pathogenesis

Pathophysiology

  • Disease seen in blood Type A or AB kittens born to blood Type B mothers, ie the result of a mating between Type B queen and Type A tom.
  • Type II hypersensitivity involving IgG and to a lesser extent IgM maternal alloantibodies to blood type A antigen on the kitten's red blood cells.
  • Antibodies pass from mother to kitten in colostrum and cause hemolysis. Absorption of the colostral antibodies across the kitten's gastrointestinal tract generally occurs during the first 24 hours of life only.
  • The severity of disease depends upon the quantity and nature (weak or strongly agglutinating) of the alloantibodies ingested.
  • Both intravascular and extravascular hemolysis occur.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Knottenbelt C M, Day M J, Cripps P J et al (1999) Measurement of titres of naturally occurring alloantibodies against feline blood group antigens in the UK. JSAP 40 (8), 365-370 PubMed.
  • Knottenbelt C M, Addie D D, Day M J et al (1999) Determination of the prevalence of feline blood types in the UK. JSAP 40 (3), 115-118 PubMed.
  • Hubler M, Kaelin S, Hagen A et al (1987) Feline neonatal isoerythrolysis in two litters. JSAP 28 (9), 833-38 VetMedResource.
  • Cain G R & Suzuki Y (1985) Presumptive neonatal isoerythrolysis in cats. JAVMA 187 (1), 46-48 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Day M J (1999) Clinical Immunology of the Dog and Cat. London: Manson Publishing. ISBN 1 8745 4598 7.
  • Callan M B & Giger U (1994) Transfusion Medicine. In: Consultations in Feline Internal Medicine 2. John August (Ed), Saunders, Philadelphia pp 525-532.
  • Giger U (1992) The feline AB blood group system and incompatibility reactions. In: Kirk & Bonagura, Kirks Current Veterinary Therapy XI., Saunders, Philadelphia pp 470-474.
  • Websites: www.rapidvet.com and www.alvediavet.com/products for information on blood typing methods.


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