The inflammatory response to infection can activate the coagulation system via complex interactions. If uncontrolled, this may lead to a consumptive coagulopathy, a major risk factor for a poor clinical outcome. This prospective observational study was conducted to determine whether consumptive coagulopathy in dogs with Babesia rossi infection is related to mortality. Seventy-two client-owned dogs diagnosed with canine babesiosis were included. Diagnosis was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction and reverse line blot and dogs co-infected with Babesia vogeli or Ehrlichia canis were excluded. Blood samples were collected at admission. Coagulation factor-, antithrombin (AT)-, and protein C (PC)-activity, prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), fibrinogen and D-dimer concentrations were measured.The mortality rate was 18% (13/72 dogs) and the median activities of all the coagulation factors were significantly lower in the non-survivors compared to the survivors. Median PT and aPTT were significantly longer in the non-survivors compared to the survivors. Median AT activity was not significantly different but median PC activity was significantly decreased in the non-survivors. Median D-dimer concentrations were significantly higher in non-survivors compared to survivors. This study showed that dogs that died from B. rossi infection had a more severe consumptive coagulopathy compared to survivors, characterized by procoagulant activation, inhibitor consumption, and increased fibrinolytic activity.
Veterinary Journal, 2013, Vol 196, Issue 2, p. 213-217