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Therapeutic management of canine ehrlichiosis--a case report.


Canine Ehrlichiosis is a tick borne rickettsial disease caused by obligate intracellular organism Ehrlichia canis. This small pleomorphic gram negative coccoid bacterium appears intracytoplasmically with in monocytes and macrophages. Common clinical signs include depression lethargy, anorexia, weight loss and hemorrhagic tendencies. Physical examination may also reveal lymphadenomegaly and spleenomegaly (Harrus et al.). Clinical laboratory findings include characteristic moderate to severe thrombocytopenia, anemia and leucopenia. Diagnosis of Ehrlichiosis can be made by identification of inclusion bodies or morula of Ehrlichia canis in leukocytes from blood smears or from buffy coat smears and lymphnode aspiration (Faria 2010). Ultrasonographic changes of liver and spleen in tick born intracellular hemoparasitic diseases can be used as further diagnostic help apart from other diagnostic procedure (Sarma et al., 2014). Doxycycline is considered as choice therapy semisynthetic, lipid soluble tetracycline that is readily absorbed to produce high blood, tissue and intracellular concentrations.



History, Clinical Observations and Treatment

A six year old Rottweiler reported with history of corneal opacity, inappetance, dull, depression, pyrexia (104[degrees]F) and unilateral limb oedema. Clinical examination revealed all superficial lymph nodes are swollen (Fig. 1). The whole blood was collected for complete blood count and for detection of haemoprotozoans. Abdominal ultrasonography was taken for further diagnosis. The clinical case treated with tab Doxycycline @ 10mg/kg b.wt. SID for one month and tab Prednisolone 0.5mg/kg b.wt. for 10 days at tapering dose.


Results and Discussion

Examination of blood smears revealed presence of morula in monocytes and hematological examination revealed neutrophilia and monocytosis (Fig. 2). The diagnosis of canine ehrlichiosis made by demonstration of morula in monocytes (Faria 2010). Abdominal ultrasonography revealed spleenomegaly with presence of inflammatory lesions in spleen (Fig. 3). The present findings were in agreement with Sarma et al. (2014). After one month of treatment, the dog recovered unevethfull results. Doxycycline along with other supportive medication for about a month could cure a critical case of canine ehrlichiosis (Barman et al., 2014). Shekar et al. (2011) reported vision of the dogs was restored with the combination therapy of glucocorticoid intraocular, diuretic, Oxytetracycline and Doxycycline. In the present case, the vision of dog was cured with combination of Morbifloxacin eye drops and oral administration of Vitamins.


Barman, D., Baishya, B.C., Sarma, D., Phukan, A. and Dutta, T.C. (2014). A case report of Canine Ehrlichia infection in a Labrador dog and it's therapeutic management. J.Vet. Med 12: 237-39.

Faria, J.L.M., Dagnone, A.S., Munnoz, T.D., Joao, C.F., Pereira, W.A.B., Machado, R. Z. and Coasta, M.T. (2010). Ehrlichia Canis morulae and DNA detection in whole blood and spleen aspiration sample. Rev. Bras. Parasitol.Vet. Jaboticabal. 19: 98-102.

Harrus, S., Waner, T. and Neer, T.M. (2012). Ehrlichia canis infection. In: Greene C E (ed) Infectious Diseases of Dog and Cat, 4th edn. Saunders, Philadelphia, p. 227-38.

Sarma, K., Mondal, D.B. and Saravanan, M. (2014). Ultrasonographic changes in dogs naturally infected with tick born intracellular diseases. J. Parasit. Dis. 1: 1-3.

Shekhar, Pallav, K., Bipin, K. and Ajit (2011). Canine Ehrlichiosis and associated Corneal Opacity in Dogs A Clinical Study of 4 Cases. Intas Polivet 12: 87-89.

(1.) Corresponding author. E-mail:

K. Basava Reddy (1), V. Vaikunta Rao and J. Jai Lakshmi

Department of Veterinary Medicine

NTR College of Veterinary Science

Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University (SVVU)

Gannavaram--521102 (Andhra Pradesh)
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Title Annotation:Short Communication
Author:Reddy, K. Basava; Rao, V. Vaikunta; Lakshmi, J. Jai
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Report
Date:Jul 1, 2015
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