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Canine monocytic ehrlichiosis: a retrospective study of 100 cases, and an epidemiological investigation of prognostic indicators for the disease
  1. S. Harrus, DVM1,
  2. P. H. Kass, DVM, PhD2,
  3. E. Klement, DVM1 and
  4. T. Waner, BVSc, MSc3
  1. 1 Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Department of Clinical Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, PO Box 12, Rehovot 76100, Israel
  2. 2 Section of Biometrics and Preventive Medicine, Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, California 95616-8746, USA
  3. 3 Israel Institute for Biological Research, PO Box 19, Ness Ziona, Israel

Abstract

One hundred cases of monocytic ehrlichiosis diagnosed in Israeli dogs were confirmed by the presence of anti-Ehrlichia canis indirect immunofluorescent antibody titres greater than 1:40. The disease occurred in all age groups and there was no sex predilection. German shepherd dogs were significantly over-represented whereas crossbreed dogs were significantly under-represented (P>0.0005). The most common clinical signs were depression, lethargy, lymphadenomegaly, fever, anorexia, panting, pale mucous membranes and bleeding, of which epistaxis was most common. Thrombocytopenia, anaemia (mainly normocytic normochromic) and lymphopenia were the predominant haematological findings. Forty-nine of the 100 cases were followed up for a year. Thirty-two dogs survived and 17 died. A Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to examine the effect of host, environmental, and haematological prognostic factors on survival. It was concluded that severe anaemia, severe leucopenia, pancytopenia, a tendency to bleed (especially epistaxis) and being a German shepherd dog were important indicators of poor survival in cases of monocytic ehrlichiosis in dogs.

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