Submitted to: Wiener Tierarztliche Monatsschriff
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 8, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Neospora caninum is a recently discovered single celled parasite of livestock and companion animals. It causes abortion in dairy cattle and paralysis in dogs. Its life cycle and sources of infection are unknown. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the University of Vienna in Austria report the first cases of fatal neosporosis in dogs from Austria. The lesions described will help in recognition of this disease in dogs and will be of interest to veterinarians and diagnosticians.
In a litter of American Staffordshire terriers two animals with an age of 5 and 8 weeks showed ataxia, head tilt, nystagmus, exophthalmus and signs of pain. Due to progredient deterioration the animals were euthanatized. Histologically, there was a multifocal encephalomalacia. In the brain numerous tachyzoites and tissue cysts were found, which were identified as Neospora caninum by immunohistochemistry. Additionally, a diffuse non- suppurative myocarditis was present. Spinal cord, spinal nerves and skeletal muscle were not significantly altered. The dam and two clinically healthy littermates had antibodies against Neospora caninum. This paper presents the first documented cases of neosporosis in Austria.