A free-ranging, adult, male Persian leopard (Panthera pardus ciscaucasica) was found at Geloul-Sarani protected zone, province of North-Khorasan, Iran and transported to the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The leopard had normal temperature and respiratory and cardiac frequency, but was significantly dehydrated and had elevated capillary perfusion. The animal also was cachectic, with pale mucus membranes, third-eyelid protrusion, and bilaterally enlarged submandibular lymph nodes. The leopard was stabilized by intensive fluid and electrolyte therapy and hospitalized. In 2 days, the leopard had improved clinically but had severe ataxia and head pressing. Blood smears revealed gamonts of Hepatozoon sp. within some neutrophils. Hematologic and plasma chemistry abnormalities included moderate anemia, leukocytosis, hypocholestrolemia, and hypophosphatemia. In radiographic evaluations, no sign of periosteal reactions or new bone formation was seen on the skull, spine, long bones, pelvis, or vertebrae. The leopard was treated successfully with Tazocin and clindamycin for 1 mo. This is the first detection of a Hepatozoon sp. in wild Felidae in Iran. Because most Iranian wild felids and canids are endangered, knowing whether Hepatozoon infection represents a threat for these animals is important.
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Vol. 48 • No. 3