Tuberculosis in a Dog

Submitted by Victoria Campbell  DCR(r) DMU, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Cave Veterinary Specialists


Patient presentation/clinical information

A two-year-old female border terrier presented to her first opinion vets with a recent history of lethargy and hyporexia post-season 2 weeks previously. There were no other clinical signs but for some weight loss. She was fully vaccinated and treated regularly with antiparasides. The WBC, monocytes x granulocytes demonstrated mild increase. PCV 35.6, ALB 20G/L, and the rest of biochemistry was normal.  

Ovariohysterctomy was advised by the referring vets due to the seeming correlation with the end of oestrus and onset of clinical signs. The dog underwent general anaesthaestha laparotomy for spay. The uterus appeared normal but the mesentery was filled with small granulomas. Granulomas were also present in the peritoneum but less dense. Macroscopic description of these granulomatous areas was as beige, irregular pieces of fatty tissue. Samples were taken.  Histology classified these as chronic granulomatous steatitis.

Due to the presence of this abnormal granulomatous material, the dog was referred to Cave Veterinary Services (a specialist veterinary referral hospital) for abdominal ultrasound. This was performed under sedation using a Samsung RS85 ultrasound machine and a CF4-9 paediatric probe. 

Owing to the Covid 19 Coronavirus there has been increased awareness and use of lung scanning in the human population; furthermore, lung ultrasound is recognised as a valuable tool in evaluating many pulmonary conditions in cardiovascular disease 1,2. The atypical lung patterns shown during an abdominal ultrasound scan and including intercostal approach to view the lung tissue has increased confidence in ultrasound.  This presenting case had increased B-line artefacts at the diaphragm on an abdominal ultrasound exam. B-lines are reverberation artefacts, originating from water-thickened pulmonary interlobular septa 1.

Further evaluation demonstrated areas of dense lung tissue suitable for sampling. This additional information aided the final diagnosis and subsequent treatment.

To see the diagnosis please click here