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  • Author or Editor: Ilze Matise x
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Objective—To identify clinical, laboratory, and ultrasonographic characteristics associated with gallbladder disease and rupture in dogs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—45 client-owned dogs.

Procedures—Medical records of dogs with histologically confirmed gallbladder disease that had ultrasonographic evaluation were reviewed. Signalment, history, clinical signs, laboratory values, bacteriologic culture of bile, gallbladder status at surgery or necropsy (intact vs ruptured), histopathologic findings, radiographic findings, ultrasonographic findings, and outcome were analyzed.

Results—The most common ultrasonographic findings were echogenic peritoneal fluid, thickened or laminated gallbladder wall, and echogenic reaction in the gallbladder fossa. Eighteen of 45 (40%) dogs had gallbladder rupture. Rupture was associated with histologic evidence of gallbladder necrosis, decreased serosal detail radiographically, and pericholecystic echogenic reaction, pericholecystic echogenic fluid, and generalized echogenic abdominal effusion ultrasonographically. Twenty-one of 45 (47%) dogs had mucocele, and 9 (43%) of those had gallbladder rupture. Eleven of 40 dogs had positive results of bacteriologic culture, and 5 of those had gallbladder rupture. Only 2 dogs had concurrent positive results of bacterial bile culture and gallbladder mucocele. Survival rate was 86% and not significantly related to presurgical bile leakage, positive results of bacterial culture, or mucocele.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Ultrasonographic findings of pericholecystic reaction, localized or generalized echogenic peritoneal fluid, or decreased radiographic peritoneal detail should raise the index of suspicion for gallbladder rupture. Mucocele or bacterial gallbladder infection was the most common concurrent finding in dogs with gallbladder rupture.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Case Description—1 dog evaluated because of inappetence and lameness of the left hind limb of 1 day's duration and 1 dog evaluated because of inappetence, fever, and lymphadenopathy of 2 weeks' duration.

Clinical Findings—Histologic examination of excisional biopsy specimens from lymph nodes revealed pyogranulomatous lymphadenitis in both dogs. Quantitative real-time PCR assays detected Bartonella henselae DNA in blood samples and affected lymph node specimens from both dogs. Antibodies against B henselae were not detected via immunofluorescent antibody testing during active disease in either dog.

Treatment and Outcome—1 dog recovered after 6 weeks of treatment with doxycycline (5 mg/kg [2.3 mg/lb], PO, q 12 h), whereas the other dog recovered after receiving a combination of azithromycin (14.5 mg/kg [6.6 mg/lb], PO, q 24 h for 21 days), doxycycline (17.3 mg/kg [7.9 mg/lb], PO, q 24 h for 4 weeks), and immunosuppressive corticosteroid (prednisone [3 mg/kg {1.4 mg/lb}, PO, q 24 h], tapered by decreasing the daily dose by 25% every 2 weeks) treatment.

Clinical RelevanceB henselae is implicated as a possible cause or a cofactor in the development of pyogranulomatous lymphadenitis in dogs. In dogs with pyogranulomatous lymphadenitis, immunofluorescent assays may not detect antibodies against B henselae. Molecular testing, including PCR assay of affected tissues, may provide an alternative diagnostic method for detection of B henselae DNA in pyogranulomatous lymph nodes.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



In Latvia in 2014, acquired idiopathic megaesophagus (AIME) was observed in increased numbers of dogs that consumed varieties of 1 brand of dog food. Within 2 years, 253 dogs were affected. In Australia in November 2017, 6 working dogs that consumed 1 diet of another brand of dog food developed AIME. In total, 145 Australian dogs were affected.


AIME was diagnosed predominantly in large-breed male dogs (> 25 kg [55 lb]). Regurgitation, weight loss, and occasionally signs consistent with aspiration pneumonia (coughing, dyspnea, or fever) were noted. Most Latvian dogs had mild to severe peripheral polyneuropathies as evidenced by laryngeal paralysis, dysphonia, weakness, and histopathologic findings consistent with distal axonopathy. In Australian dogs, peripheral polyneuropathies were not identified, and histopathologic findings suggested that the innervation of the esophagus and pharynx was disrupted locally, although limited samples were available.


Investigations in both countries included clinical, epidemiological, neuropathologic, and case-control studies. Strong associations between the dog foods and the presence of AIME were confirmed; however, toxicological analyses did not identify a root cause. In Latvia, the implicated dietary ingredients and formulations were unknown, whereas in Australia, extensive investigations were conducted into the food, its ingredients, the supply chain, and the manufacturing facilities, but a cause was not identified.


A panel of international multidisciplinary experts concluded that the cause of AIME in both outbreaks was likely multifactorial, with the possibility of individualized sensitivities. Without a sentinel group, the outbreak in Australia may not have been recognized for months to years, as happened in Latvia. A better surveillance system for early identification of pet illnesses, including those associated with pet foods, is needed. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2021;259:172–183)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association