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Doctoral thesis1997Open access

Chronic suppurative and pyogranulomatous disease ("Stövarsjuka") in hunting dogs : pathogenesis, diagnostics and treatment

Frendin, Jan


Three conditions - thoracic/abdominal wall swellings, pleuritis with empyema and sublumbar lesions - were studied in a total of 39 adult, large-breed hunting dogs. Previously they were considered to be different diseases with poor prognosis. The aetiology and pathogenesis was obscure but filamentous microorganisms found on histopathological examination oftissue and exudate were identified as Nocardia asteroides by morphological criteria. Prodromal signs in the dogs of the present work included lethargy, low grade fever and respiratory signs. The dogs were subjected to as radical surgery as possible supported by chemotherapy. In the sublumbar cases the inflammatory lesions were located by imaging techniques including radiography, ultrasound, scintigraphy and magnetic resonance imaging. In the cases of pleuritis with empyema, pleural drainage was established by a special technique. The macroscopic appearance of the tissue changes in the three syndromes were uniform, showing new tissue masses of the pyogranulomatous type and varying amounts of viscous reddish-brown exudate, occasionally accompanied by white or yellowish granules. A "homogenous" type of nonspecific, mixed infection, composed of anaerobic bacteria including Actinomyces sp was found. Nocardia asteroides was not retrieved in any ofthe cases. In the majority, if not in all, of the cases, foreign bodies of grass origin were found in the inflammatory lesions in all three syndromes. It is proposed that aspiration of very small plant parts is the common denominator of the three conditions. According to this theory, the plant parts are aspirated, penetrate the lungs and are forced between the pleural layers in a caudal direction. The foreign bodies may remain in the pleural cavity or become trapped at the peripheral attachment of the diaphragm, and migrate further from this point into the intercostal, abdominal or sublumbar musculature, in the immediate vicinity, where local inflammatory changes occur. It is reasonable to believe that the infection arises from mucous membrane commensals, which seemingly colonise the plant parts as they penetrate the mucous membranes ofthe respiratory tract The prognosis after treatment by the proposed regime seems to be good as 34 of the 38 dogs treated returned to normal health.


hunting dogs; pyogranulomatous inflammation; thoracic/abdominal wall swellings; sublumbar lesions; pleuritis; anaerobes; migrating plant parts; aspiration

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae. Veterinaria
1997, number: 19ISBN: 91-576-5408-5
Publisher: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      SLU Authors

    • Frendin, Jan

      • Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Clinical Science

    Permanent link to this page (URI)