Canine hepatozoonosis is a tick-borne disease caused by apicomplexan hemoparasites of the genus Hepatozoon spp. (Apicomplexa: Hepatozoidae). We report a clinical case of hepatozoonosis in a domestic Siberian husky dog, Canis lupus familiaris (Linnaeus). The dog was a male of 2 years remitted to the University Veterinary Hospital because it appeared lame in the hind limbs. During clinical evaluation it presented ataxia, loss of proprioception in both hind limbs, hyperreflexia of the right hind limb, and hyporeflexia of the left hind limb. Intervertebral disc disease was ruled out with radiographic and magnetic resonance imaging. Serological tests for infectious diseases such as ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis (SNAP 4Dx Plus® test, IDEXX Laboratories), and leptospirosis (SNAP® Lepto Test, IDEXX Laboratories) were negative. Four biopsy samples of the biceps femoris muscle were taken. Histopathological diagnosis reported “onion skin” cysts 200 to 300 µm, suggestive of Hepatozoon americanum. Clinical confirmation of Hepatozoon spp. at the border of Mexico with Texas and New Mexico could impact differential diagnosis of neuromuscular disease in the area, especially in dogs where the causes of muscular pain and weakness and lameness are non-diagnostic.
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Vol. 45 • No. 4