On the morning of Day 4, the dog was bright, alert, and responsive and was eating dry Purina Pro Plan (Nestlé Purina). The
dog's rectal temperature was 102.4 F. A follow-up abdominal radiographic examination revealed improved serosal detail, a large
bladder, formed stool in the colon, and no obvious pattern of gastrointestinal obstruction. We discharged the patient with
instructions to continue the metronidazole for 10 days and the enrofloxacin for nine days. We also instructed the owners to
continue feeding the dry Pro-Plan diet and to return for a recheck in one week.
The following afternoon, the dog was presented to our hospital acutely stiff and in pain. Earlier in the day, the dog had
been running with other dogs in the yard. In addition, the dog had produced a normal stool and had been eating and drinking
normally. No vomiting or diarrhea had been noted. The owner had not given the metronidazole in the morning. On examination,
the patient had a rectal temperature of 103.4 F (39.7 C). The dog's mucous membranes were pink, and its hydration was normal.
The abdomen appeared slightly tense, and the dog walked with a slightly stiff gait.
The dog was hospitalized and was given ketoprofen (2 mg/kg intramuscularly). We continued the oral metronidazole and enrofloxacin.
The next morning (Day 6 since initial presentation), the dog was again bright, alert, and responsive and was walking well
with no evidence of pain. The dog's rectal temperature was 100.6 F (38.1 C). We discharged the dog and continued the oral
metronidazole and enrofloxacin therapy. In addition, we advised the owner to give half of a 325-mg buffered aspirin tablet
once or twice a day as needed for pain.
The following week, the patient showed mild stiffness for two consecutive days (Days 9 and 10 after initial presentation),
and the owner gave the dog buffered aspirin. On Day 12, the dog was bright, alert, and responsive and had a normal temperature.
The results of a CBC showed an increased but improving total white blood cell count and neutrophilia. We advised a recheck
examination in 10 days, and the metronidazole and enrofloxacin were continued for an additional 10 days.
Table 1 Patient Findings Throughout Treatment*
The dog became clinically normal after Day 25 with an improving white blood cell count beginning on Day 25, but a mild anemia
was present for about one month before the dog relapsed on Day 43 (Table 1).
Forty-three days after the initial presentation, the dog was presented to our hospital for evaluation of an intense acute
exacerbation of clinical signs. The owner stated that the dog seemed stiff without anti-inflammatory medication and that the
dog's discomfort seemed to wax and wane over several days' time. The owner had given one 325-mg buffered aspirin tablet once
a day for two consecutive days before presentation.
On physical examination, the patient had a rectal temperature of 103.2 F (39.6 C), moderate paraspinal pain, and mild ocular
inflammation. The patient's weight was normal at 42.7 lb (19.4 kg). An in-clinic CBC showed marked leukocytosis with neutrophilia
We revised our differential diagnoses to include autoimmune, rickettsial, protozoal, and fungal diseases. We submitted blood
samples to a diagnostic laboratory for a canine autoimmune profile, a CBC, and tick serology and initiated treatment with
doxycycline hyclate (100 mg orally b.i.d.) for 14 days.