Pathological Features of Fetal Anasarca Associated with Cleft Palate and Bird Tongue in Three Pekingese Puppies
‘Fetal anasarca’ also known as ‘hydrops fetalis’ and ‘congenital edema’ is a condition characterized by massive generalized subcutaneous edema with or without visceral effusions. Affected puppies usually causes dystocia and neonatal mortality is very high.
This report provides the first detailed histopathological description of canine fetal anasarca associated with various congenital abnormalities that appeared within the same litter. Many pathological findings that were previously reported in sheep only, will be described for the first time in dogs.
A 9-month-old Pekingese bitch was presented to clinics with dystocia for 2 days. After clinical evaluation the patient was submitted to caesarian section. Three stillborn puppies showing congenital abnormalities were removed during surgery and sent to pathology department for necropsy. After gross examination, tissue samples were routinely processed and stained.
Grossly, all three fetuses had cleft palate and bird tongue (Figure 1). Two of the puppies showed generalized soft tissue edema and filling of abdominal and thoracic cavities with serous fluid and were diagnosed as anasarca (Figure 2). One of the anasarca fetuses showed brachygnathia inferior and the non anasarca fetus had right lung hypoplasia. Histologically, extramedullary hematopoiesis was observed to different degrees in the livers and the spleens of all fetuses. Severe edema and degenerative changes were noted in the skin, the liver and the kidneys. Agria in the brain was reported in all the fetuses.
This case serves to encourage further investigations of pathological findings of anasarca, wish helps determining its etiology that is still unclear.