Vasculitis

Vasculitis is rarely reported in cats. Clinical signs may include ulceration of the footpads, pinnae and lips. Vasculitides in veterinary medicine are a diagnostic challenge, since small blood vessel damage is a consequence of a variety of disease processes where the immune system targets blood vessel walls. True vasculitis is often a transient process followed by more chronic changes, sometimes termed vasculopathy. The diagnosis usually relies on carefully collected skin biopsies and appropriate histological findings. In many other cases there is an exhaustive investigation for an underlying cause of the vasculitis/vasculopathy, with many cases proving idiopathic. If there is no evidence for drugs, neoplasia, infection or immunemediated diseases as the cause then one is left with a variety of possible therapeutic modalities; the mainstay of therapy has been steroids and in some cases sulpha drugs, but these are often associated with marked side-effects.

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