Splenitis in dogs is an inflammatory or infectious disease of the spleen, usually associated with enlargement (splenomegaly).
Splenomegaly is most commonly observed during routine anesthetic procedures due to the chemical relaxation of intrasplenic smooth muscles induced by drugs such as acepromazine, thiopentone and propofol. Splenomegaly in this situation is considered a nonpathological process.
The spleen acts primarily as a blood filter and sequestration of generalized septicemia or parasitemia precludes it to inflammatory and infectious disease.
Primary infection may also be attributed to necrosis associated with splenic tumors.
Causes of splenitis and splenomegaly include:
- Bacterial septicemia
- - Anaplasma spp
- - Babesia gibsoni
- - Bartonella spp
- - Echinococcus spp
- - Ehrlichia spp
- - Gnathostoma spp
- - Leishmania infantum
- - Rangelia vitalii
- - Theileria spp
- - Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia
- - Immune-mediated neutropenia
- - Rheumatoid arthritis
- - Doberman hepatitis
- Splenic torsion
Clinically affected dogs often present with acute-onset nonspecific signs such as anorexia, vomiting. A palpably enlarged spleen is usually obvious on digital manipulation of the abdomen.
Blood tests may reveal leucocytosis if the underlying pathology is an infectious splenitis.
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