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Small intestinal intussusception in five dogs with acute renal failure and suspected leptospirosis (L. australis)


  • This work was presented in abstract form at the European College of Internal Medicine Conference in Barcelona, Spain in 2004.

  • Ariane Schweighauser is a former Hill's resident.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to
Dr. Ariane Schweighauser, Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Division of Small Animal Internal Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Berne, Längassstrasse 128, PO Box 8466, CH-3001 Berne, Switzerland. Email:


Objectives – This case series describes 5 dogs with small intestinal intussusception and acute kidney injury due to infection with Leptospira interrogans serovar Australis.

Case Series Summary – Small intestinal intussusception was observed in 4 dogs diagnosed with acute kidney injury due to leptospirosis presented between 1997 and 2005. Intussusception was diagnosed at initial presentation or later during hospitalization. An additional dog fulfilling our inclusion criteria was presented to a small animal specialty clinic nearby and was included. Upon admission, all dogs were severely azotemic and thrombocytopenic. All 5 dogs showed the strongest microscopic agglutination test serology reaction to L. interrogans serovar Australis. Two dogs survived with no apparent residual renal damage, 1 survived with subsequent mild chronic kidney disease, and 2 dogs were euthanized at the owners' request due to a guarded prognosis.

New or Unique Information Provided – Intussusception can occur or may be seen in dogs with leptospirosis due to L. interrogans serovar Australis and patients should be monitored closely for this potential complication. As all 5 dogs described in this case series showed the highest titer for L. interrogans serovar Australis, these precautions may be especially applied in geographic areas where this particular serovar is seen.

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