Pneumonia is a poorly described disease in cats. Objectives of this study were to describe clinicopathologic, radiographic and microbiologic features of affected cats. Medical records at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital were searched to identify cats with a clinical diagnosis of bronchopneumonia (BP) or aspiration pneumonia (AP). Results extracted from the record included signalment, exam findings, pertinent historical details, and presence of conditions suspected to be risk factors for aspiration. Diagnostics were collated including CBC, BALF analysis and microbial culture. Radiographs were scored by a single, masked radiologist using a published rubric. Sixty cats with identified including 32 with AP and 28 with BP. Airway samples were obtained in 32 cats with BP and 6 with AP. 44 cats with inflammatory airway disease (IAD) were used as controls. Duration and prevalence of cough were significantly less in cats with AP (13 days, 8/32) compared to cats with BP (240 days, 27/28; P = 0.02, P < 0.0001 respectively) and respiratory rate was higher (43 versus 26, P = 0.007). Gastrointestinal disease was the most common risk factor associated with AP. Radiographically, 57 cats had evidence of disease. Cats with AP were more likely to have an alveolar pattern and higher total score than cats with BP or IAD and less likely to have a bronchial pattern. Mycoplasma (12) spp. were the most frequently cultured organisms from BALF in cats with BP. These results suggest that bacterial pneumonia should be suspected in cats with cough and severe radiographic infiltrates.
Identify risk factors for aspiration pneumonia in cats.
Discuss clinical features of bacterial pneumonia in cats and contrast them to those in cats with asthma.
Describe bacterial organisms cultured from BAL samples from cats diagnosed with pneumonia.