Pathology of carbon monoxide poisoning in two cats

Arya Sobhakumari, Robert H Poppenga, J. Brad Pesavento, Francisco A Uzal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Carbon monoxide (CO), a common cause of poisoning in human beings has also been implicated in the death of animals. Though there are multiple studies on CO poisoning and relevant lethal blood COHb concentrations in humans, there are no reliable reports of diagnostic lethal carboxyhemoglobin percentage of saturation (COHb%) in cats. Additionally, due to shared housing environments, exposures to companion animals can be a surrogate for lethal exposures in human beings and provide valuable information in concurrent forensic investigations. Case presentation: Two adult Singapura brown ticked cats were submitted to the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory (CAHFS) for necropsy and diagnostic work-up. These animals were found dead along with their two deceased owners. Similar lesions were observed in both cats. At necropsy, gross lesions consisted of multifocal, large, irregular, bright red spots on the skin of the abdomen and the inner surface of ear pinnae, bright red muscles and blood. The carcasses, and tissues fixed in formalin retained the bright red discoloration for up to two weeks. Microscopic lesions included diffuse pulmonary congestion and edema, and multifocal intense basophilia of cardiomyocytes mostly affecting whole fibers or occasionally a portion of the fiber. Based on the clinical history,gross and microscopic changes, cyanide or carbon monoxide poisoning was suspected. Blood samples analyzed for carbon monoxide showed 57 and 41% carboxyhemoglobin COHb%. Muscle samples were negative for cyanide. Conclusion: There are no established reference values for lethal COHb concentration in cats. The COHb % values detected in this case which fell within the lethal range reported for other species, along with the gross lesions and unique histological findings in the heart suggest a helpful criteria for diagnosis of CO intoxication associated death in cats. This case demonstrates that since pets share the same environment as human beings and often are a part of their activities, they can be useful adjuncts in potential forensic investigations to help solve human cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number67
JournalBMC Veterinary Research
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 5 2018

Fingerprint

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Cats
lesions (animal)
cats
carbon monoxide
Pathology
Carbon Monoxide
Carboxyhemoglobin
Pets
Cyanides
cyanides
pets
poisoning
necropsy
blood
dietary fiber
Ear Auricle
death
Muscles
muscles

Keywords

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Cats
  • COHb %
  • Forensic investigation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

Cite this

Pathology of carbon monoxide poisoning in two cats. / Sobhakumari, Arya; Poppenga, Robert H; Pesavento, J. Brad; Uzal, Francisco A.

In: BMC Veterinary Research, Vol. 14, No. 1, 67, 05.03.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{9e13556958f1444eba7f3b4181c0bc7b,
title = "Pathology of carbon monoxide poisoning in two cats",
abstract = "Background: Carbon monoxide (CO), a common cause of poisoning in human beings has also been implicated in the death of animals. Though there are multiple studies on CO poisoning and relevant lethal blood COHb concentrations in humans, there are no reliable reports of diagnostic lethal carboxyhemoglobin percentage of saturation (COHb{\%}) in cats. Additionally, due to shared housing environments, exposures to companion animals can be a surrogate for lethal exposures in human beings and provide valuable information in concurrent forensic investigations. Case presentation: Two adult Singapura brown ticked cats were submitted to the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory (CAHFS) for necropsy and diagnostic work-up. These animals were found dead along with their two deceased owners. Similar lesions were observed in both cats. At necropsy, gross lesions consisted of multifocal, large, irregular, bright red spots on the skin of the abdomen and the inner surface of ear pinnae, bright red muscles and blood. The carcasses, and tissues fixed in formalin retained the bright red discoloration for up to two weeks. Microscopic lesions included diffuse pulmonary congestion and edema, and multifocal intense basophilia of cardiomyocytes mostly affecting whole fibers or occasionally a portion of the fiber. Based on the clinical history,gross and microscopic changes, cyanide or carbon monoxide poisoning was suspected. Blood samples analyzed for carbon monoxide showed 57 and 41{\%} carboxyhemoglobin COHb{\%}. Muscle samples were negative for cyanide. Conclusion: There are no established reference values for lethal COHb concentration in cats. The COHb {\%} values detected in this case which fell within the lethal range reported for other species, along with the gross lesions and unique histological findings in the heart suggest a helpful criteria for diagnosis of CO intoxication associated death in cats. This case demonstrates that since pets share the same environment as human beings and often are a part of their activities, they can be useful adjuncts in potential forensic investigations to help solve human cases.",
keywords = "Carbon monoxide, Cats, COHb {\%}, Forensic investigation",
author = "Arya Sobhakumari and Poppenga, {Robert H} and Pesavento, {J. Brad} and Uzal, {Francisco A}",
year = "2018",
month = "3",
day = "5",
doi = "10.1186/s12917-018-1385-4",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "14",
journal = "BMC Veterinary Research",
issn = "1746-6148",
publisher = "BioMed Central",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Pathology of carbon monoxide poisoning in two cats

AU - Sobhakumari, Arya

AU - Poppenga, Robert H

AU - Pesavento, J. Brad

AU - Uzal, Francisco A

PY - 2018/3/5

Y1 - 2018/3/5

N2 - Background: Carbon monoxide (CO), a common cause of poisoning in human beings has also been implicated in the death of animals. Though there are multiple studies on CO poisoning and relevant lethal blood COHb concentrations in humans, there are no reliable reports of diagnostic lethal carboxyhemoglobin percentage of saturation (COHb%) in cats. Additionally, due to shared housing environments, exposures to companion animals can be a surrogate for lethal exposures in human beings and provide valuable information in concurrent forensic investigations. Case presentation: Two adult Singapura brown ticked cats were submitted to the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory (CAHFS) for necropsy and diagnostic work-up. These animals were found dead along with their two deceased owners. Similar lesions were observed in both cats. At necropsy, gross lesions consisted of multifocal, large, irregular, bright red spots on the skin of the abdomen and the inner surface of ear pinnae, bright red muscles and blood. The carcasses, and tissues fixed in formalin retained the bright red discoloration for up to two weeks. Microscopic lesions included diffuse pulmonary congestion and edema, and multifocal intense basophilia of cardiomyocytes mostly affecting whole fibers or occasionally a portion of the fiber. Based on the clinical history,gross and microscopic changes, cyanide or carbon monoxide poisoning was suspected. Blood samples analyzed for carbon monoxide showed 57 and 41% carboxyhemoglobin COHb%. Muscle samples were negative for cyanide. Conclusion: There are no established reference values for lethal COHb concentration in cats. The COHb % values detected in this case which fell within the lethal range reported for other species, along with the gross lesions and unique histological findings in the heart suggest a helpful criteria for diagnosis of CO intoxication associated death in cats. This case demonstrates that since pets share the same environment as human beings and often are a part of their activities, they can be useful adjuncts in potential forensic investigations to help solve human cases.

AB - Background: Carbon monoxide (CO), a common cause of poisoning in human beings has also been implicated in the death of animals. Though there are multiple studies on CO poisoning and relevant lethal blood COHb concentrations in humans, there are no reliable reports of diagnostic lethal carboxyhemoglobin percentage of saturation (COHb%) in cats. Additionally, due to shared housing environments, exposures to companion animals can be a surrogate for lethal exposures in human beings and provide valuable information in concurrent forensic investigations. Case presentation: Two adult Singapura brown ticked cats were submitted to the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory (CAHFS) for necropsy and diagnostic work-up. These animals were found dead along with their two deceased owners. Similar lesions were observed in both cats. At necropsy, gross lesions consisted of multifocal, large, irregular, bright red spots on the skin of the abdomen and the inner surface of ear pinnae, bright red muscles and blood. The carcasses, and tissues fixed in formalin retained the bright red discoloration for up to two weeks. Microscopic lesions included diffuse pulmonary congestion and edema, and multifocal intense basophilia of cardiomyocytes mostly affecting whole fibers or occasionally a portion of the fiber. Based on the clinical history,gross and microscopic changes, cyanide or carbon monoxide poisoning was suspected. Blood samples analyzed for carbon monoxide showed 57 and 41% carboxyhemoglobin COHb%. Muscle samples were negative for cyanide. Conclusion: There are no established reference values for lethal COHb concentration in cats. The COHb % values detected in this case which fell within the lethal range reported for other species, along with the gross lesions and unique histological findings in the heart suggest a helpful criteria for diagnosis of CO intoxication associated death in cats. This case demonstrates that since pets share the same environment as human beings and often are a part of their activities, they can be useful adjuncts in potential forensic investigations to help solve human cases.

KW - Carbon monoxide

KW - Cats

KW - COHb %

KW - Forensic investigation

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85043324946&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85043324946&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1186/s12917-018-1385-4

DO - 10.1186/s12917-018-1385-4

M3 - Article

C2 - 29506505

AN - SCOPUS:85043324946

VL - 14

JO - BMC Veterinary Research

JF - BMC Veterinary Research

SN - 1746-6148

IS - 1

M1 - 67

ER -