Feline leishmaniosis is a chronic disease with clinical signs and clinicopathological abnormalities similar to those found in dogs. (See table below)

The most common muco-cutaneous lesions described are ulcerative and nodular dermatitis mostly distributed on the head or symmetrically on distal limbs (Figures 3 and 4). Uveitis is the most important ocular lesion (Figure 5). Oral lesions consist of nodules (tongue and/or gingival mucosa) or chronic stomatitis (Figure 6).

Complete blood count, biochemical profile and urinalysis are required in any suspected case to identify hyperglobulinemia, non-regenerative anemia, renal disease or other less common laboratory abnormalities associated with leishmaniosis.

FIV and FeLV testing are recommended in case of risk of exposure, as well as investigation of other concurrent diseases that alter feline immunocompetence.

Figure 3: Nodular conjunctivitis (upper eyelid) and ulcerative dermatitis

Figure 4: Ulcerative dermatitis on distal limb

Figure 5: Bilateral uveitis with bleeding in the anterior chamber (hyphema)

Figure 6: Stomatitis and glossitis involving the cheeks and margin of the tongue
Pictures: © Maria Grazia Pennisi

Frequency of clinical and clinicopathological abnormalities reported in FeL
*: present in around 50% of cases
**: present in around 30% of cases
***: present in less than 25% of cases and listed in descending order of frequency

Clinical and clinicopathological abnormalities reported in feline leishmaniosis
Reported frequently* Uncommon** Rare***
Skin and/or muco-cutaneous nodules and ulcers
Ocular lesions
Oral lesions
Pale mucous membranes
Weight loss – Anorexia – Lethargy
Hepatomegaly – Splenomegaly
Cachexia – Fever
Vomiting – Diarrhea
Chronic nasal discharge
Dyspnoea – Wheezing
Hypergammaglobulinemia Proteinuria
Mild to moderate non-regenerative anemia
Azotemia – Hypoalbuminemia
Monocytosis – Neutrophilia