*Jose Murciano., Amalia Agut., Marta Soler, Anabel Castro, Mónica González., Estela Cejas
*Hospital Clínico Veterinario Universidad de Murcia, Campus de Espinardo. Universidad de Murcia.
Espinardo, Murcia, ES
A 5 year-old female Spanish Mastiff dog was referred to the Veterinary Clinical Hospital of Murcia University with a history of lameness and pain at the rear limbs. The dog had been undergone to a surgical procedure 3 days previously. The referring veterinarian had treated the dog with carprofen (2 mg/kg/12h) for 5 days, and later with prednisolone (2 mg/kg/12h) and buprenorphine (0´01 mg/kg/8h) for a week without improvement. Physical examination revealed pain at the level of L7-S1, and neurologic examination paresis and hypotonicity of the muscles of the rear limbs, tail and anal sphincter. Spinal radiography revealed diskospondylitis lesions at L7-S1 vertebrae. Thoracic radiography didn't show any abnormality. Hematologic and biochemical analysis were within normal limits except a leukocytosis. Empiric treatment with cefalexina was prescribed (30 mg/kg/12h) for 6 weeks but the dog continued with pain and had lost weight. Radiography revealed now a more aggressive lesion. Hematologic and biochemical analysis were within normal values. Urinary analysis demonstrated proteinuria, hematuria and pyuria, and urate crystals were seen at the sediment. Culture of urine isolated Pseudomonas aeruginosa. A treatment with colistina was prescribed (2´5 mg/kg/8h) for 2 weeks. Culture from percutaneous biopsy of spinal lesion was positive for Aspergillus flavus. Itraconazole at 10 mg/kg/24h was prescribed for 60 days, but 2 weeks later the owner declined further treatment because of lethargy and gastric disorders in the dog. At the present the dog has not clinical signs.
Diskospondylitis is a disease that causes destruction of the vertebrae disks and endplates. It is usually caused by bacteria and it is sometimes accompanied by neurologic deficits. Disseminated aspergillosis with discospondylitis has been reported in the dog, although these cases are rare. However in our case the aspergillosis was not disseminated, neurologic deficits compatible with discospondylitis were reported in this dog. This fungi are considered to be only opportunistic pathogens that are distributed in the environment, and their dissemination can occur in patients immunosuppressed as result of chronic illness, neoplasia, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or simply after a general to remove the fourth premolar three days previously.