J Zoo Wildl Med. 2020 Mar 17;51(1):202-209. doi: 10.1638/2019-0005.


Nine cases of amyloidosis in caracals (Caracal caracal) from three different institutions in Europe were reviewed and evaluated histopathologically. The six males and three females died between 2008 and 2018 at an age of 6 yr ± 2.5 mo (median ± interquartile range). In two out of nine (2/9) animals, amyloidosis was an incidental postmortem finding; the animals died of bronchopneumonia and gastric ulceration due to Helicobacter spp., respectively. Seven (7/9) animals suffered from acute renal failure due to amyloidosis, one of them additionally of cardiac decompensation. The predominant clinical signs were weight loss, lethargy, dys- or anorexia, dehydration, increased BUN and creatinine, and azotemia. The main gross lesion was a pale renal cortex on cut surface; in two animals, the kidneys appeared enlarged. Histologically, glomerular amyloid was present in every animal (9/9), and was the predominant renal manifestation of amyloidosis. Additional findings included splenic amyloid (8/8), amyloid in the lamina propria of the intestine (5/5), and amyloid in the lingual submucosa (4/4). Gastric mineralization was present in four animals suffering from renal failure. In the animal dying from bronchopneumonia, severe pancreatic amyloid deposits mainly affecting the exocrine pancreas (1/5) were identified. Immunohistochemistry was employed to identify amyloid AA in eight cases; only in the caracal dying from bronchopneumonia AA was amyloid confirmed. In several organs, especially in those where only small amyloid deposits were detected, a Congo red stain was often necessary to confirm the deposition. The etiology of the amyloidosis remains unknown. Three caracals were related within two generations, another three within four generations, so one might hypothesize a familial trait. In conclusion, amyloidosis should be considered as a significant disease in the caracal. Particularly in cases with renal disease, it should be included as a major differential diagnosis.

Keywords: Amyloid AA; felid; gastric mineralization; intestine; pancreas; renal failure.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Amyloidosis / diagnosis
  • Amyloidosis / etiology
  • Amyloidosis / veterinary*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Zoo*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Europe
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Felidae*
  • Female
  • Male