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Archive (2005–2015)

Haematogenous osteomyelitis: clinical presentation and outcome in three dogs

Journal: Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology (VCOT)
ISSN: 0932-0814
Issue: 2011: Issue 2 2011
Pages: 146-150

Haematogenous osteomyelitis: clinical presentation and outcome in three dogs

M. Rabillard (1), L. Souchu (1), G. W. Niebauer (1), O. Gauthier (1)

(1) Department of Small Animal Surgery, ONIRIS Veterinary School of Nantes, Atlanpole – La Chantrerie, Nantes Cedex 3, France


dog, pathological fracture, lameness, Haematogenous osteomyelitis, systemic bone infection


Haematogenous osteomyelitis is a rare form of bone infection in adult dogs. Most commonly the infection is iatrogenic or traumatic in origin. The authors report three different presentations of haematogenous osteomyelitis: a focal pelvic localisation in a growing dog, a vertebral lesion in an adult dog with associated neurological signs and a multifocal affection in another adult dog with concomitant pathological fractures. Clinical signs included pyrexia of undetermined origin, focal pain and lameness. Diagnostic investigation included radiographic imaging, bone scintigraphy, magnetic resonance imaging, surgical biopsy, and bacteriological culture with sensitivity testing of biopsy specimens as well as of peripheral blood samples. Treatment consisted of long-term antimicrobial therapy and surgical debridement with curettage of the pelvic abscess of the young dog and decompressive hemilaminectomy of the second dog, with excellent recovery. The dog affected by polyostotic bone involvement and suffering pathological fractures was euthanatized. Haematogenous osteomyelitis may be a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge and may present as a devastating skeletal condition, even in adult dogs, and should be considered amongst the differential diagnoses early on to allow effective treatment.

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