There are few reports of naturally occurring muscular dystrophy in domestic animals. Herein, we describe a case of muscular dystrophy in a 4-year-old neutered male American domestic shorthair cat that died unexpectedly following anesthesia for an elective surgical procedure. Macroscopic muscular hypertrophy and histologic evidence of myofiber size variation, mineralization, myofiber degeneration, and necrosis were compatible with a diagnosis of muscular dystrophy. Extensive endomysial fibrosis was noted histologically in the diaphragm. A complete absence of dystrophin protein in Western blot confirmed the diagnosis of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Immunofluorescence microscopy revealed reduced levels of dystrophin-associated proteins and an upregulation of utrophin at the sarcolemma. Anesthetic deaths can occur in dystrophin-deficient cats, and therefore muscular dystrophy and the associated cardiomyopathy should be considered in the differential diagnoses for perianesthetic death in cats.
- domestic cat
- muscular dystrophy