Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

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Kernicterus in an adult dog

Sonne, LucianaRaymundo, Djeison LutierCecco, Bianca Santana deSantos, Adriana da SilvaPescador, Caroline ArgentaOliveira, Eduardo Conceição deDriemeier, David

Background: Kernicterus or bilirubin encephalopathy is a condition rarely observed in animal characterized by a yellowish discoloration of the central nervous system. It is a potentially fatal condition due to bilirubin neurotoxic effects caused by the increase of non-conjugated bilirubin pigment, which passes blood brain barrier and has been attributed to an imbalance between albumin and bilirubin levels. Intracellular bilirubin is toxic for cells and can cause decrease in protein synthesis, specially albumin, depression of cell respiration and cellular death. This paper describes kernicterus in a 2-year-old Great Dane female dog.Case: Clinically, the animal showed apathy, lethargy, weight loss and jaundice, which progressed to vomiting and neurological signs characterized by loss of consciousness and eventually coma. Blood parameters were within normal range, except for high levels of alanine aminotransferase (523 U/L), suggesting a liver lesion. The animal was submitted to euthanasia due to the poor prognosis, and at post-mortem examination it showed dehydration and severe jaundice, especially oral, vaginal and ocular mucosas, subcutaneous tissue and blood vessels intima surface. The liver had an accentuated lobular pattern, and the stomach mucosa was reddened. Multiple petechiae were observed in the epicardium, as well as icterus in the blood vessels of the heart. Furthermore, the brain and cerebellum cortex, thalamic region and nuclei region of brainstem showed extensive icteric areas. Microscopically, the liver presented a mononuclear portal hepatitis, centrilobular necrosis and presence of yellowish pigments. The brain had neuronal necrosis, mild vacuolization of the white matter, perineuronal edema and Alzheimer type II astrocytes, while cerebellum showed Purkinje cells necrosis. Hepatic cooper measurement was within range values, and direct imunofluorescence for the detection of Leptospira sp. was negative.[...](AU)

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