*Ana Goicoa, Luciano Espino, German Santamarina, José Ramiro Gónzalez, María Luisa Suárez
*Facultad de Veterinaria de Lugo. Hospital Clínico Veterinario Rof Codina. Campus Universitario s/n
Canine babesiosis is a tick-borne disease caused by the haemoprotozoan parasite Babesia which primarily affects erythrocytes, but that can also involve multiple organs as liver, kidney, brain, spleen, and others to produce a fatal outcome. The aim of the present work was to evaluate two different treatments for canine babesiosis (Imidocarb vs imidocarb-doxycycline).
60 dogs of different age and breed with naturally occurring Babesia canis were used. Diagnosis of babesiosis was made by demonstrating the presence of Babesia organisms within erythrocytes by examination of peripheral blood smears stained with May-Grünwald-Giemsa. Large, piriform organisms usually present in pairs were observed and they was considered to belong to Babesia canis. Concurrent infection with Ehrlichia canis was not ruled out, but we consider this disease not common in our area because we have found low incidence and of this infection in previous studies where Ehrlichia canis titres were determined.
Animals were randomly assigned in two different treatment groups: Group 1: dogs given imidocarb dipropionate, 5 mg/kg SC in 2 injections 15 days apart. Group 2: dogs treated with a combination of imidocarb dipropionate (at the dosage described above) and doxycycline, 10 mg/kg PO SID for 15 days, beginning with both drugs on the same day. Dogs were classified according to their evolution in:
Poor: response in more than 72 h.
Moderate: response less than 48 h
Good: response in less than 24 h.
Hematocrit and platelet number were used as indicators of treatment efficiency. Statistically analysis were performed using SPSS 10.0 for Windows and differences between groups determined by T-Student test.
There were not statistical differences between groups in their evolution, although evolution in Group B was shorter (40% good response in group B vs 35% good response in Group A). In reference to the hematological parameters we did not observed statistical differences but the Group B showed a better response than Group A (HCT 43.6% vs 37%; PLT 379.92 x 109/l vs 291.50 x 109/l).
Combination of imidocarb-imidocarb induced better clinical evolution but a great number of dogs to achieve statistically differences were needed.