Haematological changes and evidence of multiple organ involvement in natural babesiosis in Nigerian dogs

  • Temidayo Olutayo Omobowale
  • Benjamin Obukowho Emikpe
  • Olugbenga Olayinka Alaka
  • Helen Oyebukola Nottidge


This study describes some haematological changes and the multiple organ damage observed in Nigerian dogs that died of canine babesiosis. 17 infected dogs with babesiosis, diagnosed by the detection of parasites in Giemsa stained thin blood smears and another 17 apparently healthy large breeds of dogs presented at the University of Ibadan Veterinary Teaching Hospital were enrolled in this study. Infected dogs were further sub-divided into the uncomplicated and complicated groups based on disease manifestations, while the full blood count and erythrocyte morphology were done using standard techniques. Tissue samples (brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, spleen and liver) were taken from five dogs that died of natural canine babesiosis and histopathological processed using standard techniques. Babesia negative dogs had lower neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio when compared with Babesia positive dogs. Complicated groups had higher neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio. Anisocytosis was the commonest encountered morphological abnormality. All of the five dogs used for the histopathological study had multiple organ lesions that involved the lungs 3(60 %), kidney 2(40 %), heart 2(40 %), brain 1(20 %), spleen 2(40 %) and liver 5(100 %). In conclusion, this study showed that neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio is a good diagnostic index to detect complications in babesiosis and also that multiple organ dysfunction is a major phenomenon in the pathophysiology of babesiosis in Nigerian dogs.

Keywords: Canine babesiosis, Neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio, Multiple organ damage, Nigerian dogs


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eISSN: 1597-3115