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Vet Parasitol. 2006 May 31;138(1-2):126-39. Epub 2006 Feb 24.

The South African form of severe and complicated canine babesiosis: clinical advances 1994-2004.

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1
Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort 0110, South Africa. linda.jacobson@rogers.com

Abstract

Babesia (canis) rossi infection is common in dogs in South Africa, and frequently causes severe, life-threatening disease. Acidemia, persistent hyperlactatemia, hemoconcentration, elevated creatinine, cerebral babesiosis, pulmonary edema and pancreatitis are all associated with mortality rates above 30%, compared with overall mortality of 12% in admitted cases. Although half the admitted cases are severely anemic, hemoconcentration is associated with far higher mortality. Cerebral babesiosis is uncommon, but carries a poor prognosis. The pathological mechanism has been suggested to be endothelial cell damage and necrosis, followed by segmental microvascular necrosis with perivascular edema and hemorrhage. Renal involvement in babesiosis resembles the functional renal failure of sepsis. Hypotension is common, and other cardiovascular disturbances have been documented. Cerebellar ataxia, rhabdomyolysis and pancreatitis are recently identified complications. While the previous categorization into "severe" (life-threatening anemia) and "complicated" (complications not directly attributable to anemia) disease has proved useful, the distinction is artificial and probably unnecessary. An updated approach to classification is suggested, aimed at grouping animals by severity and prognosis, and using simple measures, such as clinical collapse and abnormal breathing, as much as possible. Although inflammatory mechanisms are undoubtedly important in the pathophysiology of babesiosis, there can be little doubt that tissue hypoxia plays a major role in the disease process.

PMID:
16503090
DOI:
10.1016/j.vetpar.2006.01.047
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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