Author: W. Tarello 1
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  • 1 C.P. 1644, 06129 Perugia 5
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Medical records of thirty-five consecutive cases of canine granulocytic ehrlichiosis (CGE) diagnosed cytologically in Central Italy in 1995-2000 were analysed retrospectively. Tick exposure was reported in 16 dogs (45.7%) and concurrent babesiosis in 19 dogs (54.3%). Ehrlichia-like inclusion bodies were found in neutrophils in a percentage varying from 0.5% to 11%. Frequently recorded clinical signs included anorexia (71.4%), lethargy (45.7%), conjunctivitis (31.4%), fever (25.7%), lameness (20%) and ataxia (20%). Among the 16 representative dogs in which protein electrophoresis was performed, 10 (62.5%) showed high globulin levels and 6 (37.5%) had concurrent high total protein levels. During treatment with doxycycline, all associated symptoms, including those unusually described, such as pyoderma intertrigo, erythema, apparent blindness and oral papillomatosis, progressively disappeared in 31 (89%) out of 35 dogs. The efficacy of treatment was marked in dogs simultaneously treated twice with imidocarb dipropionate: among the 14 dogs in which a fast recovery was noted, 11 (80%) were concurrently affected by babesiosis and consequently treated with the specific medicament leading to excellent outcomes. The main conclusion is that CGE is present among dogs from Central Italy and should be included in the differential diagnosis of possible zoonotic agents affecting the canine population.

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