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The Splenectomized Dog: Do We Have to Say Farewell to an Established Hemorrhagic Shock Model?

Kemming, Gregor I. MD*†; Thein, Eckart VMD*; Messmer, Konrad MD, PhD*; Messick, Joanne B. VMD, PhD

doi: 10.1213/01.ANE.0000156675.24364.54
Letters to the Editor: Letters & Announcements

*Institute for Surgical Research, †Clinic of Anesthesiology, Ludwig-Maximilian-University, Munich, Germany,, ‡College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, New York, NY

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To the Editor:

Braz et al. report the effects of fluid resuscitation in acutely splenectomized dogs (1). We would like to address an issue that we believe is dramatically underestimated. Recently, we reported the endemic occurrence of Mycoplasma haemocanis infection in laboratory dogs (2)—an incident that previously had occurred in United States laboratories (3). M. haemocanis is a red cell parasite that causes disease mainly in immunosuppressed or splenectomized dogs. The clinical course of infected dogs may be dramatic, including severe hemolytic anemia. Yet chronic infection may remain undetected in dogs. In both cases oxygen transport to tissues may be affected, as bacteria adheres to and alters the red cell surface. We have shown that persistent eradication of M. haemocanis is unlikely (2). First data suggest that there may be an increased prevalence of M. haemocanis in kennel-raised dogs provided to research laboratories (6 in 20, 7 in 20, and 20 in 23 animals), whereas pets may less often bear M. haemocanis (0 in 60 animals) (4). Because the potential to adversely affect or confound research results exists we believe that before conducting future shock research in the splenectomized dog, an effective screening for M. haemocanis infection should be established. The most reliable test for detecting infection is the polymerase chain reaction (5).

Gregor I. Kemming, MD*†

Eckart Thein, VMD*

Konrad Messmer, MD, PhD*

Joanne B. Messick, VMD, PhD‡

*Institute for Surgical Research

†Clinic of Anesthesiology


Munich, Germany

‡College of Veterinary Medicine

Cornell University

New York, NY

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1. Braz JRC, do Nascimento P Jr, Filho PO, et al. The early systemic and gastrointestinal oxygenation effects of hemorrhagic shock resuscitation with hypertonic saline and hypertonic saline 6% dextran-70: A comparative study in dogs. Anesth Analg 2004;99:536–46.
2. Kemming G, Messick JB, Müller W, et al. Can we continue research in splenectomized dogs? Mycoplasma haemocanis: Old problem—new insight. Eur Surg Res 2004;36:198–205.
3. Pryor WHJr, Bradbury RP. Haemobartonella canis infection in research dogs. Lab Anim Sci 1975;25:566–9.
4. Kemming GI, Messick JB, Enders G, Boros et al. Mycoplasma haemocanis infection: A kennel disease? Comparative Med 2004;54:404–9.
5. Brinson JJ, Messick, JB. Use of a polymerase chain reaction assay for detection of Haemobartonella canis (Mycoplasma haemocanis) in a dog. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:1943–5.
© 2005 International Anesthesia Research Society