Canine babesiosis typically causes a haemolytic anemia and results in hypoxia and sepsis, which can eventually result in multiple organ dysfunction. Human patients with severe injury or disease such as shock, sepsis and malaria often have persistent hyperlactataemia, and there is a correlation between blood lactate and survival rate. There are various similarities between human malaria and canine babesiosis, eg. anaemia, renal failure, cerebral forms, coagulopathy, hepatopathy, pulmonary oedema, and shock. In severe malaria, lactate levels in blood rise in direct proportion to the severity of the disease. Venous lactate concentrations measured at 4 hours after admission appears to be the best prognostic indicator in severe malaria. In dogs blood lactate has been shown to be of prognostic value in patients with gastric dilatationvolvulus and in dogs admitted to intensive care units. Blood lactate has also been shown to be of prognostic value in equine colic. Blood lactate was determined in ninety dogs with naturally occurring canine babesiosis. Forty-five dogs (50%) presented with hyperlactataemia (blood lactate > 2.5mmol/L) and 20 (22.2%) with hypoglycaemia (blood glucose < 3.3 mmol/L). Measurements significantly associated with mortality were hypoglycaemia on admission, blood lactate > 5mmol/L on admission, blood lactate > 2.5 mmol/L at 8, 16 and 24 hours after admission, and increase or < 50% decrease in blood lactate within 8 and 16 hours after admission. Blood lactate persistently > 4.4 mmol/L indicated a very poor prognosis. The study concluded that serial blood lactate measurements are useful in predicting survival in dogs with severe and complicated canine babesiosis.
Dissertation (MMed Vet (Med))--University of Pretoria, 2006.