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Clinical management of concurrent ehrlichiosis and haemotropic mycoplasmosis in a dog.


Canine monocytic Ehrlichiosis is caused by Ehrlichia canis, a gram negative coccobacillary bacteria of family Anaplasmataceae. The disease is transmitted by brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus. E. canis was thought to infect only canines, but recently it has been isolated from human patients (Nicholson et al., 2010). Haemotropic mycoplasmosis or haemoplasmosis in dogs is associated with Mycoplasma haemocanis and Candidatus Mycoplasma haematoparvum, which were formerly known as Haemobartonella canis. These organisms are also transmitted by ticks. The disease is manifestated as haemolytic anaemia. In dogs, overt disease manifestations are not generally observed. Clinical disease is manifested in splenectomised or immuno-suppressed dogs or during concurrent infection with other pathogens such as Ehrlichia. The present paper reports concurrent infection of Ehrlichia canis and haemoplasma in a boxer dog.

History and Observations

A male boxer aged one year was presented with history of general weakness and occasional fits like symptoms. Clinical examination revealed pyrexia (103.60F), pale mucous membranes, splenomegaly and enlargement of popliteal lymph nodes. The animal was dull and depressed. Blood sample was collected and subjected to wet film, blood smear and haematological examinations. The faecal sample was also collected and subjected to microscopical examination to rule out parasitic infestations.

Results and Discussion

Wet film examination of blood revealed no moving parasites in blood. Blood smear examination revealed morulae of Ehrlichia canis in the cytoplasm of monocytes (Fig. 1) and inclusions suggestive of Mycoplasma haemocanis in erythrocytes (Fig. 2). The haematology revealed severe anaemia with low haemoglobin (4g/dl), volume of packed red cells (12%) and RBC count (1.3x[10.sup.6]/cmm) and thrombocytopaenia (95,000/ cmm). No ova of parasites could be detected on microscopical examination of faecal sample.

The animal was treated with Oxytetracycline @ 20mg/kg b.wt. intravenously after mixing with equal quantity of normal saline and Prednisolone @1mg/Kg b.wt. intramuscularly for five days. Considerable improvement was reported in the condition of animal and treatment was followed by Doxycycline @10mg/kg b.wt. orally daily for 10 days and Prednisolone @ 0.5 mg/kg b.wt. for five days and tapering the dose for next five days. Supportive treatment with multivitamins and haematinics was also advised orally. The animal made an uneventful recovery within two weeks and cured.


Severe anaemia is observed following infection with M. haemocanis; but more typically a chronic infection is established which is clinically inapparent. A chronically infected dog may develop overt disease when splenectomised or immune suppressed (Messick, 2004). Chronic infection with M. haemocanis is reported to be exacerbated by concurrent diseases such as ehrlichiosis (Inokuma et al., 2006) or babesiosis (Trapp et al., 2006). Oxytetracycline is effective for both ehrlichiosis and mycoplasmosis in dogs (Messick and Harvey, 2011).



Inokumo, H., Oyamada, M., Daboust, B., Boni, M., Dereure, J., Bucheton, B., Hammad, A., Watanabe, M., Itamoto, K., Okuda, M. and Brouqui, P. (2006). Epidemiological survey of Ehrlichia canis and related species infection in dogs in Eastern Sudan. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 1078: 461-63.

Messick, J.B. and Harvey, J.W. (2011). Hemotropic mycoplasmosis (hemobartonellosis) In. Greene, C.E. Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat. 4th ed. St. Louis: Saundiers Elsevier.

Messick, J.B. (2004). Hemotropic mycoplasmas (hemoplasmas): a review and new insight into pathogenic potential. Vet. Clin. Pathol. 33: 2-13.

Nicholson, W., Allen, K. and McQuiston, E. (2010). The increasing recognition of rickettsial pathogens in dogs and people. Trends in Parasitology. http:// S147149221000019X

Tropp, S.M., Messick, J.B., Vidotto, O. Jojima, F.S., de Morais, H.S. (2006). Babesia gibsoni genotype Asia in dogs from Brazil. Vet. Parasitol. 141:177-80.

P.V. Tresamol (1), J. Anumol and M.R. Saseendranath

Department of Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine

College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences

Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU)


Thrissur - 680651 (Kerala)

(1.) Corresponding author. E-mail:
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Title Annotation:Short Communication
Author:Tresamol, P.V.; Anumol, J.; Saseendranath, M.R.
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Report
Date:Jul 1, 2015
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