Ehrlichia canis infection causes multisystemic disease in dogs (canine monocytic ehrlichiosis, CME) which is associated with variable morbidity and mortality. Atypical clinical manifestations, including gastrointestinal signs, may occasionally occur in CME and approximately 10-15% of dogs are presented with historical or clinical evidence of vomiting, diarrhea, and/or abdominal discomfort. The objective of this study was to investigate if there are any alterations in serum canine pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity (cPLI) in dogs with experimentally induced or naturally occurring monocytic ehrlichiosis. Serum samples from 10 Beagle dogs experimentally infected with E. canis and two healthy uninfected Beagles were serially examined; samples from 20 naturally infected dogs (10 with non-myelosuppressive [NME] and 10 with myelosuppressive [ME] ehrlichiosis) were also examined at a given point in time (cross-sectional sampling). None of the experimentally infected Beagles showed gastrointestinal signs or increased cPLI concentrations prior to or following the artificial infection. Three naturally infected dogs with NME and one with ME demonstrated serum cPLI concentrations in the diagnostic range for pancreatitis (>400. μg/L) without showing gastrointestinal signs. The results of the present study indicated that 4/20 (20%) of dogs naturally infected with E. canis demonstrated increased serum cPLI concentrations consistent with mild and clinically inapparent pancreatitis.
- Ehrlichia canis
- Monocytic ehrlichiosis