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Pregnancy-associated immune-mediated polyarthritis in a dog
  1. Tijmen W.J. Willemse1,
  2. Valerie Lamb2 and
  3. Darren Kelly2
  1. 1Southern Counties Veterinary Specialists, Ringwood, UK
  2. 2Internal Medicine, Southern Counties Veterinary Specialists, Ringwood, UK
  1. Correspondence to Tijmen W.J. Willemse; Tijmen.willemse{at}


A two-year and seven-month-old female entire golden retriever was referred for investigation of sudden-onset, suspected immune-mediated polyarthritis (IMPA). The dog was five weeks into gestation. On presentation, the dog was unable to stand or walk without assistance. The initial clinical suspicion of IMPA was confirmed on cytology of the synovial fluid from eight joints which showed marked neutrophilic inflammation. Pregnancy was confirmed by abdominal ultrasound examination, with no other abnormalities seen on thoracic radiographs or abdominal ultrasound. Based on the known association between pregnancy and immune-mediated diseases in human beings and the potential risks associated with administration of immunosuppressive medications to the fetuses and pregnant bitch, ovariohysterectomy was performed. Following surgery, the dog was treated with meloxicam and paracetamol. Within 48 hours of surgery and starting analgesic medications, the clinical signs had completely resolved, and follow-up examinations one, two and six months postdiagnosis showed no evidence of relapsing disease.

  • dogs
  • pregnancy
  • immune mediated polyarthritis
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  • Contributors All persons who meet the authorship criteria are listed as authors, and all authors certify that they have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for the content, including participation in the concept, design, analysis, writing or revision of the manuscript. Furthermore, each author certifies that this material or similar material has not been and will not be submitted to or published in any other publication before its appearance in the Veterinary Record Case Reports. TW, VL, DK: conception and design of the study, acquisition of data, analysis and/or interpretation of data, drafting the manuscript, revising the manuscript critically for important intellectual content, and approval of the version of the manuscript to be published.

  • 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 availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article.

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