Immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia and thrombocytopenia associated with Anaplasma phagocytophilum in a dog



A 10-year-old, crossbreed dog was presented with a history of severe lethargy, pyrexia and inappetence of several days' duration. Clinical examination revealed pallor of the mucous membranes, petechiae, generalised lymphadenopathy and effusions in multiple joints. Laboratory evaluation showed severe anaemia and thrombocytopenia, with positive in-saline agglutination and the presence of antiplatelet antibodies. The DNA of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, an endemic granulocytic rickettsial parasite, was detected by PCR. A poor response to doxycycline and immunosuppressive therapy with corticosteroids was seen. Euthanasia was performed after the development of disseminated intravascular coagulation. Postmortem examination demonstrated changes consistent with the development of disseminated intravascular coagulation and infection with granulocytic ehrlichiosis. This case documents the presence of canine granulocytic ehrlichiosis caused by A phagocytophilum in the UK, and highlights the range of clinical signs and clinicopathological abnormalities that may be observed in infected dogs.