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THE so-called ‘puffball’ mushrooms encompass a number of species that are classified within the family Lycoperdaceae. They are found commonly in Britain as well as other temperate regions of the world, and occur in areas that are frequently used for exercising pets (such as grassland and woodland). Lycoperdonosis has been reported only rarely worldwide. This short communication describes a case of lycoperdonosis in a pet dog in the UK.
A two-year-old female, neutered miniature dachshund weighing 4.75 kg was presented with sudden-onset dyspnoea and tachypnoea to a veterinary practice in Cheltenham, UK. Abnormalities on clinical examination included harsh lung sounds, tachycardia (heart rate 160 bpm) and tachypnoea (respiratory rate 80 breaths/minute). The dog had recently been observed by the owner playing with a puffball mushroom. Initial treatment comprised 0.3 mg/kg dexamethasone (Colvasone; Norbrook Pharmaceuticals Worldwide), administered intravenously, and 100 mg etamiphylline (Millophyline-V; Dechra Veterinary Products), administered orally twice a day. The dog showed some initial clinical improvement before deteriorating again over the following five to seven days. At this point, the dog was pyrexic (39.7°C), dull and inappetent. The respiratory rate had increased to 100 breaths/minute with harsh lung sounds, and there was persistent tachycardia (160 bpm). Blood was obtained for routine haematology and biochemistry; the results were unremarkable apart from mild hypercholesterolaemia (9.69 mmol/l, reference range 2.84 to 8.27 mmol/l). Thoracic radiographs revealed a diffuse, nodular interstitial pattern (Fig 1). Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was performed and samples of lavage fluid were submitted for cytological evaluation. Cellularity …