Urinary tract manifestations of protothecosis in dogs

Barrak M. Pressler, Jody L. Gookin, Jane E Sykes, Alice M. Wolf, Shelly L. Vaden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Records of 13 dogs with systemic infection with Prototheca sp. from 3 veterinary teaching hospitals were reviewed. Acute renal failure secondary to disseminated infection with Prototheca zopfii was diagnosed in 2 dogs. In 1 dog, acute renal failure developed during administration of immunosuppressive drugs for treatment of anterior uveitis. During diagnostic evaluation of this dog, Prototheca sp. organisms were noted in urine sediment and renal biopsy specimens. In the 2nd dog, acute renal failure was diagnosed after treatment for bacterial cystitis. After diagnosis of protothecosis, organisms were successfully isolated by aerobic urine culture. Both dogs with acute renal failure did not respond to conventional medical therapy. In total, Prototheca sp. was noted in urine sediment in 4 of 8 dogs and successfully cultured from urine in 5 of 7 dogs. Four of 5 dogs had organisms noted in the kidneys on histopathologic examination. In all dogs, the species identified was P zopfii. Sensitivity testing of 3 isolates revealed wide differences in in vitro drug resistance. Examination and culture of urine is recommended as a practical method for diagnosis of systemic infection with Prototheca sp.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-119
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Acute renal failure
  • Algae
  • Prototheca wickerhamii
  • Prototheca zopfii
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Urine culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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