Objective—To identify subclinical Babesia gibsoni
infection in American Pit Bull Terriers from the southeastern
United States and to determine the genetic
sequence of parasite DNA isolated from these dogs.
Animals—33 American Pit Bull Terriers and 87 dogs
of various other breeds.
Procedure—Blood smears were examined for microscopic
evidence of the parasite, and DNA was
extracted from blood samples and used in a polymerase
chain reaction (PCR) assay designed to amplify
the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequence of
B gibsoni. Amplification products of the expected size
were sequenced, and sequences were compared
with published sequences for B gibsoni isolates.
Hematocrit, platelet count, mean platelet volume,
WBC count, and eosinophil count were compared
between dogs with positive PCR assay results and
dogs with negative results.
Results—Results of the PCR assay were positive for
18 of the 33 (55%) American Pit Bull Terriers, including
all 10 dogs with microscopic evidence of parasitemia.
Only 1 of these dogs was clinically ill at the
time blood samples were collected. Results of microscopic
evaluation of blood smears and of the PCR
assay were negative for the 87 other dogs.
Hematocrit and platelet count were significantly
lower in dogs with positive PCR assay results than in
dogs with negative results.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest
that American Pit Bull Terriers in the southeastern
United States may be subclinically infected with B
gibsoni. However, subclinical infection was not identified
in dogs of other breeds from the same geographic
area. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:
Objective—To characterize rib, intrathoracic, and concurrent
orthopedic injuries, and prognosis associated
with traumatic rib fracture in cats.
Procedure—Medical records from January 1980 to
August 1998 were examined for cats with traumatic
rib fracture. Signalment, cause of trauma, interval
from trauma to evaluation at a veterinary teaching
hospital, referral status and date, method of diagnosis,
duration of hospitalization, number and location of
rib fractures, presence of flail chest, costal cartilage
involvement, intrathoracic and concurrent orthopedic
injury, and clinical outcome were reviewed.
Results—Median age was 3 years. Twenty-five
(58%) cats with reported cause of trauma were
injured by interaction with another animal. Fortyseven
(78%) cats that were treated survived. Cats
that died had a median duration of hospitalization of
< 1 day. Ten (13%) cats had flail chest. Sixty-five
(87%) cats had intrathoracic injury (median, 2
injuries). Nine (100%) cats without detected intrathoracic
injury that were treated survived. Thirty-five
(47%) cats had concurrent orthopedic injury. Cats
with flail chest, pleural effusion, or diaphragmatic
hernia were significantly more likely to die than cats
without each injury.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Traumatic rib
fracture in cats is associated with intrathoracic and
concurrent orthopedic injury. Aggressive treatment of
cats with traumatic rib fracture is warranted, because
the prognosis is generally favorable. Diagnosis and
treatment of intrathoracic injury associated with traumatic
rib fracture in cats should precede management
of concurrent orthopedic injury. ( J Am Vet Med
Objective—To determine clinical and pathologic findings before and after short-term (group 1) and longterm (group 2) treatment in dogs with Hepatozoon americanuminfection.
Animals—53 dogs with H americanuminfection.
Procedure—Medical records of dogs that were treated for hepatozoonosis diagnosed on the basis of meront or merozoite stages in skeletal muscle were reviewed.
Results—Circulating gametocytes of H americanum were identified in 12 of 53 dogs. Dogs were treated with various drugs, including toltrazuril, trimethoprimsulfadiazine, clindamycin, pyrimethamine, and decoquinate. Mean WBC counts prior to treatment were 85,700 and 75,200 cells/µl in groups 1 and 2, respectively, and 1 month after initiation of treatment were 12,600 and 14,600 cells/µl, respectively. Initial response to treatment was excellent in all dogs. Twenty-three of 26 dogs in group 1 relapsed at least once and died within 2 years; mean (± SD) survival time was 12.6 ± 2.2 months. Twenty-two of 27 group-2 dogs survived; 11 dogs had no clinical signs and were still receiving decoquinate (mean duration of treatment, 21 months), 11 dogs had no clinical signs after treatment for 14 months (range, 3 to 33 months; mean survival time, 39 months [range, 26 to 53 months]), 2 dogs were lost to follow-up, and 3 dogs were euthanatized because of severe disease.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although no treatment effectively eliminated the tissue stages of H americanum, treatment with trimethoprim-sulfadiazine, clindamycin, and pyrimethamine followed by long-term administration of decoquinate resulted in extended survival times and excellent quality of life. ( J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:77–82)