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Vet Pathol. 2012 Sep;49(5):755-9. doi: 10.1177/0300985811415703. Epub 2011 Aug 8.

Pathologic findings and toxin identification in cyanobacterial (Nodularia spumigena) intoxication in a dog.

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Department of Veterinary Biosciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, PO Box 66, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland.


A 3-year-old Cairn Terrier dog that had been in contact with sea water containing cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) was euthanized because of acute hepatic failure and anuria after a 5-day illness. Histologic findings included lytic and hemorrhagic centrilobular hepatocellular necrosis and renal tubular necrosis. The cyanotoxin nodularin was detected in liver and kidney by high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Nodularin is a potent hepatotoxin produced by the algal species Nodularia spumigena. The intensity of algal blooms has increased during the past decades in the Baltic Sea region, thus increasing the risk for intoxications in domestic and wild animals. The authors describe the pathologic findings of cyanobacterial toxicosis in a dog with direct identification of the toxin from organ samples.

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