Experimental staphylococcal mastitis in bitches: Clinical, bacteriological, cytological, haematological and pathological features
AuthorVerveridis, H. N.; Mavrogianni, V. S.; Fragkou, I. A.; Orfanou, D. C.; Gougoulis, D. A.; Tzivara, A.; Gouletsou, P. G.; Athanasiou, L.; Boscos, C. M.; Fthenakis, G. C.
The objectives of the work were to study the features of experimentally induced canine mastitis and to present hypotheses regarding the pathogenesis of the disease. The tight caudal abdominal mammary gland of six bitches was inoculated on day 8 after whelping with Staphylococcus intermedius to induce mastitis; adjacent mammary glands were used as controls. Clinical examination, bacteriological and cytological (whiteside test, Giemsa) examination of mammary secretion, as well as haematological tests were performed from 5 days before until 34 days after challenge. Mastectomy was sequentially performed 1, 2, 4, 18, 26 and 34 days after challenge in each of the bitches, in order to carry out a pathological examination of mammary glands. All animals developed clinical mastitis: challenged glands became painful, hot, enlarged and oedematous; secretion was brownish, purulent, with flakes or clots, subsequently becoming yellowish and thick. Staphylococci were isolated from all inoculated glands (up to 22 days). WST was positive in 41/46 samples from inoculated glands and 66/138 samples from control glands; neutrophils predominated during the acute stage. Blood leukocyte counts increased, whilst platelet counts decreased. Gross pathological findings initially included congestion, purulent discharge and subcutaneous oedema; then abscesses, brownish areas and size decrease were seen. Salient histopathological features were initially neutrophilic infiltration, haemorrhages, destruction of mammary epithelial cells and alveoli, and then infiltration by lymphocytes, shrunken alveoli, loss of glandular architecture and fibrous tissue proliferation. We conclude that in bitches, intrammamary inoculation of Staphylococcus intermedius can induce clinical mastitis, followed by subclinical disease. The disorder is characterized by bacteria isolation and leukocyte influx in challenged glands, by leukocyte presence in adjacent mammary glands, by increased blood leukocyte counts and by destruction of mammary parenchyma. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.