Evaluation of granulocytic ehrlichiosis in dogs of Missouri, including serologic status to Ehrlichia canis, Ehrlichia equi, and Borrelia burgdorferi

S. L. Stockham From the Departments of Veterinary Pathology (Stockham, Schmidt, Curtis) and Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (Tyler, Simpson), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211, and Pet Center, Ltd (Schauf), 2504 W Worley, Columbia, MO 65203.

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D. A. Schmidt From the Departments of Veterinary Pathology (Stockham, Schmidt, Curtis) and Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (Tyler, Simpson), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211, and Pet Center, Ltd (Schauf), 2504 W Worley, Columbia, MO 65203.

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K. S. Curtis From the Departments of Veterinary Pathology (Stockham, Schmidt, Curtis) and Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (Tyler, Simpson), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211, and Pet Center, Ltd (Schauf), 2504 W Worley, Columbia, MO 65203.

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B. G. Schauf From the Departments of Veterinary Pathology (Stockham, Schmidt, Curtis) and Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (Tyler, Simpson), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211, and Pet Center, Ltd (Schauf), 2504 W Worley, Columbia, MO 65203.

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J. W. Tyler From the Departments of Veterinary Pathology (Stockham, Schmidt, Curtis) and Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (Tyler, Simpson), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211, and Pet Center, Ltd (Schauf), 2504 W Worley, Columbia, MO 65203.

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S. T. Simpson From the Departments of Veterinary Pathology (Stockham, Schmidt, Curtis) and Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (Tyler, Simpson), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211, and Pet Center, Ltd (Schauf), 2504 W Worley, Columbia, MO 65203.

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Summary

Canine granulocytic ehrlichiosis was diagnosed in 37 dogs by finding ehrlichial morulae in 0.1 to 26.2% of their blood neutrophils and eosinophils. All 37 dogs had clinical signs of arthritis or muscular stiffness. Titer to Ehrlichia canis was determined in sera from 31 of the 37 dogs; 25 dogs had titer ranging from 1:20 to 1:5,120. In the other 6 dogs, titer to E canis was <1:10. The most common hematologic abnormality in these dogs, other than rickettsiemia, was thrombocytopenia.

Granulocytes infected with ehrlichial organisms were not found in another 10 dogs that had clinical signs of arthritis or muscular stiffness. Of these 10 dogs, 3 had titer to E canis ranging from 1:40 to 1:320. Titer in the other 7 dogs was < 1:10.

Ehrlichial morulae were not found in the granulocytes of 18 healthy dogs. Of these 18 dogs, 9 had titer to E canis ranging from 1:20 to 1:5,120. Titer in the other 9 dogs was <1:10

Titer to Borrelia burgdorferi was determined in dogs with granulocytic ehrlichiosis, arthritic dogs without detected rickettsiemia, and in healthy dogs. Low titer determined by 2 laboratories was considered to be nonspecific reaction in all 3 groups of dogs and, thus, did not indicate that the arthritic disorders were attributable to canine borreliosis.

Summary

Canine granulocytic ehrlichiosis was diagnosed in 37 dogs by finding ehrlichial morulae in 0.1 to 26.2% of their blood neutrophils and eosinophils. All 37 dogs had clinical signs of arthritis or muscular stiffness. Titer to Ehrlichia canis was determined in sera from 31 of the 37 dogs; 25 dogs had titer ranging from 1:20 to 1:5,120. In the other 6 dogs, titer to E canis was <1:10. The most common hematologic abnormality in these dogs, other than rickettsiemia, was thrombocytopenia.

Granulocytes infected with ehrlichial organisms were not found in another 10 dogs that had clinical signs of arthritis or muscular stiffness. Of these 10 dogs, 3 had titer to E canis ranging from 1:40 to 1:320. Titer in the other 7 dogs was < 1:10.

Ehrlichial morulae were not found in the granulocytes of 18 healthy dogs. Of these 18 dogs, 9 had titer to E canis ranging from 1:20 to 1:5,120. Titer in the other 9 dogs was <1:10

Titer to Borrelia burgdorferi was determined in dogs with granulocytic ehrlichiosis, arthritic dogs without detected rickettsiemia, and in healthy dogs. Low titer determined by 2 laboratories was considered to be nonspecific reaction in all 3 groups of dogs and, thus, did not indicate that the arthritic disorders were attributable to canine borreliosis.

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