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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
Print version ISSN 1019-9128


SWEERS, L et al. The scintigraphic evaluation of the pulmonary perfusion pattern of dogs hospitalised with babesiosis. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. [online]. 2008, vol.79, n.2, pp.76-83. ISSN 2224-9435.

The possibility of coagulopathy in Babesia canis rossi infections in the canine patient has been suggested in the literature, but minimal work has been done to evaluate the clinicopathological nature of it in further detail. Pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) has not yet been implicated in canine babesiosis (CB), but may also be one of the causes of the sudden dyspnoea and tachypnoea that are frequently seen in complicated CB patients. The objective of this study was to prospectively evaluate the scintigraphic pulmonary perfusion pattern in hospitalised dogs with babesiosis in an attempt to ascertain whether a scintigraphic pattern consistent with clinically relevant PTE does indeed occur in these patients. The study consisted of a normal control group of 9 mature healthy Beagle dogs (group 1) and a Babesia group with 14 dogs of a variety of breeds that were naturally infected with Babesia (group 2). Pulmonary perfusion scintigraphy was performed after making thoracic radiographs and performing a blood gas analysis in both groups. The scintigraphic images were visually inspected for changes suggestive of PTE, but not a single dog in group 2 had pleural-based, wedge-shaped perfusion defects which would have resulted in a high probability for clinically relevant PTE. The scintigraphic pulmonary perfusion pattern demonstrated was not significantly different between the 2 groups (P=1.00).

Keywords : canine babesiosis; pulmonary perfusion; pulmonary thromboembolism; scintigraphy.

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