Original Research

Blood pressure changes in dogs with babesiosis

L.S. Jacobson, R.G. Lobetti, T. Vaughan-Scott
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 71, No 1 | a670 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v71i1.670 | © 2000 L.S. Jacobson, R.G. Lobetti, T. Vaughan-Scott | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 July 2000 | Published: 10 July 2000

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L.S. Jacobson,
R.G. Lobetti,
T. Vaughan-Scott,

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Systemic arterial blood pressures were measured in 30 dogs with acute babesiosis, 10 each with mild uncomplicated, severe uncomplicated and complicated disease. Ten healthy dogs were used as controls. Hypotension was defined as more than 3 standard deviations below the control mean. Normal mean pressures (±SD) were: systolic arterial pressure 151 (±11) mm Hg, diastolic arterial pressure 89 (±8) mm Hg and mean arterial pressure 107 (±10) mmHg. Hypotension was the most frequent abnormality, and increased strikingly in incidence as disease severity increased, with 5/10 dogs in the complicated group being hypotensive for systolic, diastolic and mean arterial pressures, compared with 2/10 in the severe uncomplicated group and 0/10 in the mild uncomplicated group. Systolic, diastolic and mean arterial pressures in the complicated group and severe uncomplicated group, and systolic pressure in the mild uncomplicated group, were significantly lower than in the controls. There were no significant relationships between arterial pressures and age, pulse rate, respiratory rate, temperature, mucous membrane colour or haematocrit. There was a significant negative correlation between arterial pressures and white cell and immature neutrophil counts. Arterial pressures differed significantly between dogs that were clinically collapsed and those that were not, but not between survivors and non-survivors. Pulse pressure (systolic - diastolic) was low in 7/10 complicated, 1/10 mild uncomplicated, and 1/10 severe uncomplicated cases, and differed significantly between the complicated and control groups. The high incidence of hypotension in clinically severe babesiosis has important implications for therapy.


Babesia Canis; Babesiosis; Blood Pressure; Canine; Dog; Hypotension; Shock


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