Congenital erythropoietic porphyria is a rare hereditary disease of cats, cattle, pigs, sheep, and people. It results from low levels of an enzyme involved in the production of heme. Heme is a part of hemoglobin, which is the molecule that carries oxygen in the blood. Affected animals have reddish brown discoloration of the teeth, bones, and urine at birth that continues for life. In addition, affected animals develop hemolytic anemia, a condition in which there are not enough circulating red blood cells because the body destroys them too quickly.
Last full review/revision July 2011 by George M. Barrington, DVM, PhD, DACVIM; David L. Evans, BVSc, PhD; Don A. Franco, DVM, MPH, DACVPM; Katharine F. Lunn, BVMS, MS, PhD, MRCVS, DACVIM; Donald C. Sawyer, DVM, PhD; Jean A. Hall, DVM, PhD, DACVIM; Sharon J. Spier, DVM, PhD, DACVIM; Ivan W. Caple, BVSc, PhD, MACVSc, MRCVS