Pathomorphological changes in German boxer dog infected with Babesia canis parasites. Clinical case

  • O. Shchebentovska Stepan Gzhytskyi National University of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnologies Lviv, Lviv, Ukraine
  • B. Prus Stepan Gzhytskyi National University of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnologies Lviv, Lviv, Ukraine
  • M. Danko Stepan Gzhytskyi National University of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnologies Lviv, Lviv, Ukraine
Keywords: Ixodes ticks, merozoites, hemolytic jaundice, splenomegaly, edema, glomerulonephritis


The article covers the results of a comprehensive pathomorphological study of Babesia canis parasitic infestation in a dog of the German boxer breed. In April 2020, a male German boxer with pronounced clinical signs of anorexia, remitting fever, hematuria, and manifestations of general jaundice was admitted to the Dr. Markevych clinic (Lviv). The anamnesis evidenced that after daily walks in the park of Lychakiv district (Lviv) the pet’s owner had been detecting 3–5 Ixodes ticks on the dog’s body for several days in a row. Cytological examination of blood smears stained by the RomanovskyGiemsa method revealed a massive lesion of erythrocytes by the Babesia canis parasite. The applied treatment strategy, namely the introduction of the drug with the active substance imidocarb dipropionate, was not successful. The dog died in the clinic. An autopsy was performed in agreement with the pet owner. Macroscopic examination revealed foamy fluid in the trachea, pulmonary edema and lobar pneumonia, massive diffuse hemorrhages on the epicardium and costal pleura, splenomegaly, serous lymphadenitis, acute venous stasis, hepatic and renal dystrophy, and pancreonecrosis. General anemia and transudate accumulation in serous cavities were established. Tissue fragments of lungs, kidneys, liver, spleen, and pancreas were selected for a histopathological examination and fixed in 10 % neutral aqueous formalin solution, followed by dehydration in alcohols, filling into paraffin blocks and subsequent production of histopreparations. Staining was performed with eosin and Ehrlich’s hematoxylin according to the conventional methods. Microscopically, the lungs showed the alveoli swelling, thickening of the alveoli walls with blood overflow, bronchioles’ inflammatory infiltration with the accumulation of desquamated epithelium and exudate in the lumens of large bronchi. Extracapillary glomerulonephritis and hyaline-drop renal tubular dystrophy were observed in the kidneys. Vascular endothelium edema, granular hepatocyte dystrophy, sharp dilation of central vein and intraparticle and interparticle capillaries were found in the liver. Significant hyperplasia was observed in the red pulp of the spleen. Reticuloendothelial proliferation, erythrocyte proliferation with a diffuse accumulation of hemosiderophages due to increased erythrocyte disintegration, sinus dilatation, and atrophy of white pulp lymph nodes were also revealed.


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Shchebentovska, O., Prus, B., & Danko, M. (2022). Pathomorphological changes in German boxer dog infected with Babesia canis parasites. Clinical case. Scientific Messenger of LNU of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnologies. Series: Veterinary Sciences, 24(105), 10-17.