Case Report J Vet Intern Med 2015;29:732–735

Cavitary Effusion Associated with Anaplasma phagocytophilum Infection in 2 Equids M.M. Restifo, D. Bedenice, K.E. Thane, and M.R. Mazan Key words: Anaplasma phagocytophilum; Anaplasmosis; Tick-Borne.

Case 1 15-year-old, 558-kg Quarter Horse gelding was examined because of peripheral edema and bicavitary (pleural and abdominal) effusion, identified via field ultrasonography before referral. Two years earlier, the horse was evaluated for a similar clinical presentation, including peripheral edema, bicavitary effusion, and fever. The gelding was diagnosed with Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)a on peripheral blood. He was treated with oxytetracyclineb (approximately 10 mg/kg IV q12h for 5 days) and made a full clinical recovery. Initial evaluation during the most recent episode revealed a normal body temperature, tachycardia (60 BPM; reference range (RR): 26–501), and a normal respiratory rate and effort. Thoracic auscultation identified muffled left-sided heart sounds and bilateral absence of bronchovesicular sounds ventrally. The horse had marked pitting ventral, preputial, and pectoral edema. There were prominent jugular pulses, extending one-half to one-third up the neck. Arterial oxygen tensionc was within reference range. A subsequent serum chemistry analysis revealed low total protein levels (3.9 g/dL; RR: 5.6–7.0) characterized by panhypoproteinemia, but was otherwise unremarkable. Complete blood count (CBC)d analysis revealed mild anemia (hematocrit [HCT] 30%; RR: 32–50), leukopenia (4.8 9 103/lL; RR: 5.9–11.2), and lymphopenia (0.96 9 103/lL; RR: 1.6–5.2), consistent with inflammation. The serum fibrinogen (375 mg/dL; RR: 100–400) and platelet count (159 9 103/lL; RR: 100–400) were within normal limits. No granulocytic inclusions were noted.


From the Department of Clinical Sciences, Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, 200 Westboro Rd., N. Grafton, MA 01536(Restifo, Bedenice, Thane, Mazan). Corresponding author: D. Bedenice, Dr med. vet., Diplomate ACVIM, Diplomate ACVECC, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, 200 Westboro Rd., North Grafton, MA 01536; e-mail: [email protected]

Submitted August 27, 2014; Revised November 5, 2014; Accepted January 14, 2015. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes. DOI: 10.1111/jvim.12552


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Abdominal and thoracic ultrasound examination confirmed the presence of moderate, hypoechoic bicavitary effusion, and identified mild dilatation of the liver sinusoids. Bilateral thoracentesis yielded moderate volumes (4 L from the left hemithorax, 3 L from the right hemithorax) of a neutrophilic transudate. As the horse’s clinical signs could be attributable to heart failure, an echocardiogram was subsequently performed. The examination revealed a structurally normal heart with normal cardiac measurements, but mild pulmonic valve insufficiency and mild tricuspid valve regurgitation. Moderate pericardial effusion was present, resulting in irregular motion of the right cardiac chambers, consistent with mild tamponade. Regional epicardial thickening with fibrin accumulation was also noted. An electrocardiogram identified a second-degree atrioventricular block. Subsequent pericardiocentesis yielded 5 L of serosanguinous fluid, which was characterized as a mixed inflammatory exudate with a total protein of 3.8 g/dL (RR:

Cavitary effusion associated with Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection in 2 equids.

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