Evidence-based information of a cause-and-effect relationship between Ehrlichia canis infection and polyarthritis in naturally- or experimentally-infected dogs is currently lacking. The aim of this prospective study was to investigate whether synovial fluid cytological evidence of arthritis could be documented in dogs with acute monocytic ehrlichiosis. Direct synovial fluid cytology smears from eight Beagle dogs experimentally infected with E. canis were examined prior to, and on 21, 35 and 63 days post-inoculation. The cytological variables assessed included cellularity, percentages of mononuclear cells and neutrophils, macrophage reactivity and evidence of E. canis morulae. The median cellularity and percentages of mononuclear cells and neutrophils prior to inoculation did not differ when compared to post-inoculation cytological evaluation. Increased cellularity, E. canis morulae or cytological evidence of arthritis or macrophage reactivity were not observed throughout the course of the study. In the present study, no cytological evidence of arthritis was found in dogs with experimental acute canine monocytic ehrlichiosis, suggesting that E. canis infection should be considered a rather uncommon cause of arthritis in dogs.
- Ehrlichia canis
- Monocytic ehrlichiosis
- Synovial fluid
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