Original Research

The response of the pituitary-adrenal and pituitary-thyroidal axes to the plasma glucose perturbations in Babesia canis rossi babesiosis

J.P. Schoeman, M.E. Herrtage
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 78, No 4 | a326 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v78i4.326 | © 2007 J.P. Schoeman, M.E. Herrtage | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 June 2007 | Published: 05 June 2007

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J.P. Schoeman,
M.E. Herrtage,

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This prospective, cross-sectional, interventional study was designed to determine the association between the hormones of the pituitary-adrenal and pituitary-thyroid axes and other clinical parameters with the blood glucose perturbations in dogs with naturally occurring Babesia canis rossi babesiosis. Thirty-six dogs with canine babesiosis were studied. Blood samples were obtained from the jugular vein in each dog prior to treatment at admission to hospital and serum endogenous adrenocorticotrophic hormone(ACTH), pre-ACTH cortisol, thyroxine, free thyroxine and TSH concentrations were measured. Immediately thereafter each dog was injected intravenously with 5 µg/kg of ACTH (tetracosactrin). A 2nd blood sample was taken 1 hour later for serumpost-ACTHcortisol measurement. Three patient groups were recruited: hypoglycaemic dogs (glucose < 3.3 mmol/ℓ, n = 12); normoglycaemic dogs (glucose 3.3–5.5 mmol/ℓ, n = 12); hyperglycaemic dogs (glucose > 5.5 mmol/ℓ, n = 12). Basal and post-ACTH serum cortisol concentrations were significantly higher in hypoglycaemic dogs, whereas body temperature, serum thyroxine and free thyroxine were significantly lower in hypoglycaemic dogs. Haematocrit was significantly lower in both hypo-and hyperglycaemic dogs compared with normoglycaemic dogs. Low blood glucose concentrations were significantly associated with high basal and post-ACTH cortisol concentrations and with low serum thyroxine and free thyroxine concentrations in dogs suffering from B. canis rossi babesiosis.


ACTH; Babesia Canis Rossi; Body Temperature; Cortisol; Free Thyroxine; Glucose; Post-ACTH Cortisol; Thyroxine; TSH; Haematocrit


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