Submitted to: Journal of American Animal Hospital Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/3/2004
Publication Date: 7/30/2004
Citation: Webb, J.A., Keller, S.L., Southorn, E.P., Armstrong, J., Allen, D.F., Peregrine, A.S., Dubey, J.P. 2005. Cutaneous manifestations of disseminated toxoplasmosis in a immunosuppressed dog. Journal of American Animal Hospital Association. 41(3):198-202.
Interpretive Summary: Infection by the single-celled parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, is common in man and animals. Humans become infected by eating undercooked infected meat or ingesting the resistant stage of Toxoplasma (oocysts) in the environment. Infections in cats is indicative of Toxoplasma infection in the environment. Humans can also become infected with Toxoplasma by contact with dog skin if the dogs have rolled over in infected cat feces. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and Ontario Veterinary College, Canada, describe a case of toxoplasmosis in skin of a dog. These results will be of interest to public health workers, parasitologists and veterinarians.
Technical Abstract: A 3.5-year-old castrated male giant schnauzer was presented with alopecic pustular dermatitis. Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia had been diagnosed 45 days previously. At the time of presentation, the dog was receiving prednisone, azathioprine and cyclosporine. Cutaneous protozoosis was diagnosed, and post mortem examination revealed protozoa within cutaneous, cardiac, pancreatic and pulmonary tissues. The protozoa divided by endodyogeny, had the morphology of Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites, and stained positively with T. gondii polyclonal antibodies but not with antibodies to Neospora caninum or Sarcocytis neurona. Immunosuppression may have predisposed this dog to disseminated toxoplasmosis. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of confirmed cutaneous toxoplasmosis in a dog.