Breed and Sex Risk Factors for Canine Babesiosis in South Africa
Article first published online: 30 AUG 2011
Copyright © 2011 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Volume 25, Issue 5, pages 1186–1189, September/October 2011
How to Cite
Mellanby, R.J., Handel, I.G., Clements, D.N., de C. Bronsvoort, B.M., Lengeling, A. and Schoeman, J.P. (2011), Breed and Sex Risk Factors for Canine Babesiosis in South Africa. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 25: 1186–1189. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2011.00779.x
- Issue published online: 20 SEP 2011
- Article first published online: 30 AUG 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 JUL 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 3 JUN 2011
- Manuscript Received: 9 NOV 2010
- Risk factor;
- South Africa
In South Africa, canine babesiosis typically is an acute disease in susceptible individuals and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Despite the importance of the disease, there have been no large studies that have examined the influence of breed and sex on disease susceptibility.
Toy breeds have a lower risk of babesiosis than working dogs.
A total of 1,222 dogs diagnosed with canine babesiosis and 11,484 noninfected dogs presented to the Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital's small animal outpatient clinic between 2004 and 2010.
Intact male, neutered male, and neutered female dogs had a significantly higher odds of being diagnosed with canine babesiosis compared to intact female dogs. Five of the 6 Toy breeds had significantly lower odds of being diagnosed with canine babesiosis than did the reference breed, Labrador Retrievers. In contrast, none of the 8 working dog breeds had significantly lower odds compared to the reference breed.
Conclusions and Clinical Importance:
Intact male, neutered male, and neutered female dogs were at increased risk of canine babesiosis compared to intact female dogs. Several dog breeds, notably Toy breeds, had a lower risk of babesiosis in a hospital population of dogs in South Africa. The mechanism or mechanisms by which Toy breeds are protected from developing canine babesiosis may be related to genetic background or environmental exposure and deserves further study.