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Disseminated canine mold infections

Elad, Daniel
The veterinary journal 2019 v.243 pp. 82-90
Aspergillus, German Shepherd, antibodies, antigen detection, blood proteins, diagnostic techniques, disease diagnosis, dog diseases, dogs, drugs, etiological agents, females, fever, fungi, gait, genes, head, hosts, image analysis, mycoses, neutrophils, osteomyelitis, pathogenesis, signs and symptoms (animals and humans), specific gravity, uremia, urine, virulence, weight loss
Disseminated canine mold infections are reviewed. Case inclusion criteria were dogs as hosts, two or more non-adjacent organs affected and identification of the etiological agent at least to the genus level. Of the 157 cases identified, 59.3% were caused by Aspergillus spp. of which 36.3% belonged to the section Terrei. German Shepherd breed dogs constituted 67.8% of the cases, 89.7% of which were caused by fungi of the section Terrei. Female dogs constituted 72.7% of the cases. The average age was 4.3years (range 1–13years). Pathogenesis, especially virulence factors facilitating the hematogenous dissemination, are discussed. Clinical signs reported most frequently included weight loss, lethargy, discospondylitis, osteomyelitis, urinary tract infections, ophthalmitis, head tilt and gait difficulties. Of 50 dogs with data on temperature, 25 had a fever of 40°C (104°F) or above. The most common hematologic and biochemical test result aberrations included increased neutrophil counts and serum protein concentration, azotemia and decreased urine specific gravity. The diagnostic value of fungal antigen detection, antibody titers and imaging are discussed. An attempt to treat was made in 59 (37.6%). Failure and relapses (sometimes after years) were common, but there was some success observed in eight cases. Identification of the gene/s predisposing dogs to disseminated mycoses, increased awareness, improved diagnostic methods and less expensive drugs should contribute to the reduction of disseminated mold infections in dogs in the future.