Poikilocytosis under dogs’ spontaneous babesiosis

Keywords: babesiosis, dog, poikilocytes, acanthocytes, vacuolization, stomatocytes, echinocytes, schizocytes.


The article presents the results of studies of changes in the shape of red blood cells during spontaneous babesiosis in dogs. It was found that in 2019, seasonal outbreaks are caused and characterized by the presence of two waves – spring-summer with a peak in June and autumn with a peak in October. The intensity of parasitemia increases synchronously with the extensity of infestation in the first half of the year(a narrow direct correlation), in the future it falls and does not correlate with outbreaks of animal disease. Clinically, the spring-summer wave of the disease is characterized by an acute-subacute typical course with pronounced classic clinical signs. The autumn wave had a predominantly subacute-atypical course, with the development of severe complications with signs of hepatopathy and acute renal insufficiency, cardiomyopathy and myocarditis, lesions of the nervous system, the development of shock with a significant tendency to decompensation. Changes in the shape of red blood cells are bright and indicative markers of the state of animals on babesiosis. Poikilocytosis was detected in 92.3 % of sick dogs. The most common changes are acanthocytosis and vacuolization of erythrocytes (irreversible forms), which qualitatively assess the degree of damage to vital organs. Echinocytes are reversible forms that appear in the early stages and determine the development of renal and hepatic pathologies. Stomatocytes accompany the development of inflammatory and dystrophic pathologies, qualitatively characterize the degree of hemolytic anemia. Their intensity is synchronous with the extent of the invasion. The appearance of schizocytes is a formidable symptom that is pathognomonic for disseminated intravascular coagulation syndrome. This marker requires immediate use of intensive care. The assessment of qualitative changes in the form of red blood cells, the calculation of the intensity of erythrocyte lesions allows you to determine the severity of the condition of the body of sick dogs, the degree of metabolic disorders, hemolytic anemia, hepatopathy, the severity of intoxication, uremic syndrome, spleen hyperplasia, as well as identify the development of DIC syndrome, kidney failure and shock kidney. Such an assessment is necessary for making timely and adequate decisions regarding therapeutic measures for spontaneous babesiosis of dogs.


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Dubova, O., Feshchenko, D., Zghozinska, O., Pinsky, O., Budnik, T., & Chala, I. (2020). Poikilocytosis under dogs’ spontaneous babesiosis. Scientific Messenger of LNU of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnologies. Series: Veterinary Sciences, 22(97), 118-124. https://doi.org/10.32718/nvlvet9719