Original Research

Serial haematology results in transfused and non-transfused dogs naturally infected with Babesia rossi

E. Scheepers, A. L. Leisewitz, P. N. Thompson, M. M. Christopher
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 82, No 3 | a51 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v82i3.51 | © 2011 E. Scheepers, A. L. Leisewitz, P. N. Thompson, M. M. Christopher | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 April 2011 | Published: 13 April 2011

About the author(s)

E. Scheepers, Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, Pretoria, 0110 South Africa., South Africa
A. L. Leisewitz, Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, Pretoria, 0110 South Africa., South Africa
P. N. Thompson, Department of Production Animal Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, Pretoria, 0110 South Africa., South Africa
M. M. Christopher, Department of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA, USA., United States

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Abstract

This prospective longitudinal study investigated the progression of haematological changes in 32 transfused and 54 non-transfused dogs naturally infected with Babesia rossi over the 1st 6 days following diagnosis and treatment. The effect of patient age on the results of complete blood counts was determined. Haematology data were analysed at presentation and at 24 hours, 3 days and 6 days after presentation. Dogs were treated with diminazene aceturate at diagnosis and a blood transfusion was given if deemed clinically required. Mildly to moderately regenerative normocytic normochromic anaemia was observed in all dogs throughout the study period. Transfused dogs more often had an inflammatory leukogram at presentation and at 24 hours, than dogs that were not transfused. In dogs with a left shift, a concurrent normal or decreased segmented neutrophil count was found more commonly than neutrophilia. Severe thrombocytopenia that resolved within a week was common. Blood transfusion alleviated the anaemia, but had no significant effect on white blood cell or platelet responses. Blood cell responses were not significantly influenced by age. In conclusion, the red blood cell and white blood cell responses were less than expected in dogs with babesiosis, given the degree of anaemia and inflammation present. The magnitude of thrombocytopenia and rapid return of the platelet count to normal suggested a possible immune-mediated mechanism for the thrombocytopenia.

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