Ehrlichia canis infections on the island of Curaçao An overview of the clinical picture and current diagnostics & therapies
Krogt, J.S. van der
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During a ten week period the clinical picture caused by an Ehrlichia canis infection in fifty dogs was investigated and the clinical signs and current ideas about diagnostics and therapies were described on the island of Curaçao. All the dogs were examined, a blood sample was taken, as many ticks as possible were removed and the dog owners filled in a questionnaire. The clinical signs had a wide variety and were often non-specific. Most common clinical signs were anorexia and lethargy, followed by a little more specific signs like pale mucous membranes, lymphadenopathy, fever and tick infestation. Thirty-two of the fifty dogs were tested for hematological abnormalities of which 84% had thrombocytopenia, 69% had anemia and 3% had leucopenia. The Snap ® 3Dx ® test was performed on 42 dogs, with an positive test result for 30 dogs and a negative test result for 12 dogs. Not all dogs diagnosed with ehrlichiosis showed antibody titers against E. canis. Treatment for the infected dogs was started with doxycycline hyclate (5-10- mg/kg/day) for a period of one to three weeks. Additional treatment with Imidocarb dipropionate , 6.6 mg/kg (Imizol®) in combination with atropine-sulfate 0,03-0,1 mg/kg (Atropine®) against possible side effects, repeated after two weeks for a total of two treatments was given to two dogs and prednisolone-acetate 0,5-4 mg/kg/day (Prednisolon®) was given to one dog. A clinical and hematological check-up was performed on ten out of the fifty dogs (22%), whereas all owners were requested to come back after treatment had finished. Three out of the ten dogs needed prolonged treatment, because they were still suffering from anemia and/or severe thrombocytopenia.