The course of the haemopoietic response during canine babesiosis caused by Babesia rossi has not previously been studied. This prospective, descriptive longitudinal study on clinical cases describes the haematological kinetics during the first six days following treatment of natural babesiosis infection. Ninety client-owned dogs diagnosed with B rossi infection, based on examination of a Cam’s Quick-Stain-stained thin capillary blood smear and confirmed by polymerase chain reaction analysis, were included. At first consultation, 24 hours, three days and six days after first consultation, or until death, an EDTA sample was collected from the jugular or cephalic vein and submitted for a full automated blood count, using a CELL-DYN 3700 analyzer. Manual leukocyte differential counts were performed. Based on the treatment protocol, the dogs were divided into a blood transfusion group, and a non blood transfusion group. A slightly to moderately regenerative normocytic normochromic anaemia occurred throughout the study period for both treatment groups. The anaemia was very severe at presentation in dogs that received a blood transfusion and moderate at presentation in dogs that did not receive a blood transfusion. Anaemia was still present by the end of the study period in both treatment groups. The regenerative response was moderate in severely anaemic dogs and mild in moderately anaemic dogs. A mild inflammatory leukocytic response was found in both treatment groups. The median segmented neutrophil count for both treatment groups was within the reference interval throughout the study period. A left shift occurred more commonly in dogs that received a blood transfusion, and was significantly influenced by the degree of anaemia at presentation. In dogs with a left shift, a degenerative left shift, not influenced by the degree of anaemia at presentation, was found more commonly. Severe thrombocytopaenia for both treatment groups, which resolved within a week in both groups, was found. Treatment with a blood transfusion reduced the anaemia, but had no significant effect on white blood cell or platelet responses. Blood cell responses were not significantly influenced by age, previous infection with babesiosis or duration of illness.
Dissertation (MSc (Veterinary Science))--University of Pretoria, 2008.