Lymph node aspirate from a California wine-country dog

Jennifer L. Johns, Jennifer L. Strasser, Joseph G. Zinkl, Mary M Christopher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A 4-year-old, male Golden Retriever was presented to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California-Davis with a history of lethargy, inappetance, and vomiting. The patient had generalized lymphadenomegaly, marked thrombocytopenia, mild anemia, and moderate hypoalbuminemia. Moderate to marked histiocytic inflammation and lymphocytic-plasmacytic reactivity of the mesenteric, left popliteal, and right mandibular lymph nodes were diagnosed cytologically. Many macrophages contained granular to amorphous material of a uniform blue color, occasionally in morula formation, suggestive of rickettsial organisms. Exposure to raw trout was subsequently documented, leading to a presumptive diagnosis of salmon poisoning disease (SPD). The patient responded quickly to doxycycline therapy for the causative agent of SPD (Neorickettsia helminthoeca). SPD should be considered as a differential diagnosis for a canine patient with clinical signs of vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and lymphadenomegaly; laboratory findings of thrombocytopenia and hypoalbuminemia; and potential exposure to raw fish from an endemic area. The cytologic finding of rickettsial inclusions within lymph node macrophages is reportedly seen within a majority of SPD cases and can be valuable in supporting a clinical suspicion of SPD, as it was in this case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-246
Number of pages4
JournalVeterinary Clinical Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Histiocytic inflammation
  • Lymph node cytology
  • Morulae
  • Nanophyetus salmincola
  • Neorickettsia helminthoeca
  • Salmon poisoning disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • veterinary(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Lymph node aspirate from a California wine-country dog'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this