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Clinical presentation and management of African horse sickness in two dogs
  1. Zandri Whitehead1,2,
  2. Christelle le Roux1,
  3. Nicolize O'Dell3 and
  4. Josef Hanekom1
  1. 1 Companion Animal Clinical Studies, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
  2. 2 Specialist Medicine Clinic, Tygerberg Animal Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa
  3. 3 Paraclinical Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to Dr Josef Hanekom; joe.hanekom{at}


A 10-month-old, spayed, female beagle (case 1) and an unrelated two-year-old, intact, female labrador retriever (case 2), both living in Pretoria, South Africa, presented individually on separate occasions with acute onset dyspnoea and severe hypoxia. Thoracic radiographs demonstrated severe, diffuse interstitial to alveolar lung patterns with mild pleural and mediastinal effusion. Mixed airway inflammation was seen on transtracheal aspirate cytology in case 1. Both cases received supportive therapy, but only one dog survived (case 2). African horse sickness (AHS) was diagnosed at necropsy based on histopathology and immunohistochemistry in case 1 and was diagnosed antemortally using reverse transcriptase-PCR on whole blood in case 2. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first report to detail the haematological, biochemical, thoracic radiological, arterial blood gas and transtracheal aspirate cytology findings of AHS in dogs. This report also describes the treatment of a dog surviving clinical AHS infection.

  • African horse sickness
  • dogs
  • treatment
  • radiography
  • cytology
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  • Present affiliation The present affiliation of Zandri Whitehead is: Specialist Medicine Clinic, Tygerberg Animal Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

  • Contributors The above authors have all contributed significantly to the production of this article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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