January 2018
Infectious Disease
Peer Reviewed

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Recognizing infectious diseases can be challenging, as clinical signs and laboratory findings are often similar among diseases and may mimic neoplastic or immune-mediated disease. The cases presented here illustrate how some uncommon but re-emerging infectious diseases can be identified rapidly and treated appropriately. 


A 3-year-old, neutered male crossbreed sighthound is presented with a week-long history of lethargy and progressive loss of appetite. The dog was recently adopted from a shelter in the Los Angeles area and appeared healthy at adoption. He received all core vaccinations and was neutered while under the care of the shelter.

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On physical examination, the veterinarian notices pale mucous membranes with pinpoint petechiae (Figure 1). Abdominal palpation reveals moderate splenomegaly. The remainder of the examination is within normal limits.

Figure 1

CBC results reveal normal values for lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils. However, the following parameters are outside reference ranges:

ParameterValueReference Interval
Hematocrit (%)28.340-55
MCV (fL)87.665-75
MCHC (g/dL)29.733-36
WBC (cells/µL)34606000-13 000
Neutrophils (cells/µL)15923000-10 500
Platelets (cells/µL)85 000150 000-400 000
MPV (fL) 23.07-13

MCHC = mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, MCV = mean corpuscular volume, MPV = mean platelet volume


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Infectious Diseases in Dogs: 2 Cases

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Author information Show

Jonathan Dear

DVM, DACVIM (SAIM) University of California, Davis

Jonathan Dear, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM), is an assistant professor of clinical internal medicine at University of California, Davis, where he also completed a residency in small animal internal medicine. Dr. Dear’s research interests include vector-borne infectious disease, lower urinary tract disease, and infectious respiratory disease of dogs and cats.

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