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Vet J. 2007 Jul;174(1):193-5. Epub 2006 Jun 12.

Cardiac arrhythmias associated with piroplasmosis in the horse: a case report.

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  • 1Veterinary Clinical Department, Alma Mater Studiorum-Universit√† di Bologna, Via Tolara di Sopra 50, I-40064 Ozzano Emilia (BO), Italy.


Cardiac dysfunction is a rare complication of babesiosis in domestic animals. The horse in this report showed clinical signs of anorexia, depression, fever, icterus and brown urine, and laboratory results (monocytosis, thrombocytopenia, azotemia, hyperbilirubinemia and bilirubinuria) indicated sub-acute piroplasmosis. Furthermore, junctional and polymorphic ventricular premature complexes and tachycardia associated with increased serum cardiac troponin I and myocardial-bound creatine kinase concentration were found. The diagnosis of piroplasmosis was confirmed by serology. Specific and supportive therapy for babesiosis allowed remission of clinical signs and laboratory profile abnormalities, including those of myocardial involvement. Myocardial damage associated with cardiac arrhythmia may be a complication of equine babesiosis as already demonstrated in other species.

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