Feline pancytopenia is a potentially fatal illness characterized by a decrease in red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Since April 2021, veterinarians in the United Kingdom have documented over 350 cases of feline pancytopenia. Normally, there are few cases in this period of time.
Owners reported noticing a poor appetite and a decrease in activity in affected cats. More specific signs included evidence of bruising or bleeding, including blood noted in vomit or stools and bleeding from the mouth. Treatment for the disease is supportive and may include blood transfusions.
The mortality rate in affected cats is about 70%, according to the Royal Veterinary College, University of London. Known causes of pancytopenia include toxins, infections, and some cancers. This time, however, veterinarians are concerned about a possible link to foods from Fold Hill. The company immediately began a voluntary precautionary recall of the foods. While the link between the foods and the illness has not been proven, investigations are continuing.