NetF toxigenic Clostridium perfringens type A diarrhea in an 11-month-old dog  

Iman Mehdizadeh Gohari, Durda Slavic

A role for C. perfringens type A in hemorrhagic and necrotizing gastroenteritis of dogs has long been suspected but not well defined as this bacterium is also commonly present in the intestinal tract and feces of healthy animals. However, the recent discovery of a novel beta-pore-forming toxin (NetF), which is strongly associated with canine hemorrhagic gastroenteritis and foal necrotizing enteritis should improve our understanding of the role of C. perfringens type A in enteric disease. NetF has been shown to have cytotoxic effects on equine ovarian cells, and it has been isolated from 8 of 11 (73%) cases of canine fatal hemorrhagic gastroenteritis.

A fecal sample from an 11-month-old Labrador-cross dog with diarrhea of 4 days duration was submitted to the AHL for bacteriology testing. No ova were detected in the stool based on the fecal flotation test performed at the clinic. The sample was also negative for Salmonella spp., Yersinia spp., and Campylobacter spp., but large numbers of C. perfringens were isolated. Further characterization of C. perfringens revealed that was toxin type A and that it also carried a gene for NetF. No additional details on the clinical presentation and follow up were available.

Veterinarians should consider that NetF-producing C. perfringens type A strains may have a pathogenic potential in cases of canine enteritis, especially in hemorrhagic ones.   


Kristiina Ruotsalo

Canine CBCs now include an additional parameter generated by the Advia 2120 hematology analyzer, the plateletcrit (PCT). The plateletcrit is derived from multiplication of the total platelet number by the mean platelet volume, and is an indicator of circulating platelet mass. The plateletcrit can provide clinically important information when platelet numbers alone are an incomplete representation of primary hemostatic capacity, particularly in breeds of dogs with genetic macrothrombocytopenia such as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and Norfolk and Cairn Terriers.   

Lipase assay  

Kristiina Ruotsalo

The AHL Clinical Pathology Lab would like to reassure its clients that the DGGR lipase assay, which has recently gained exposure as a 'novel' test for the diagnosis of pancreatitis, has been a standard test within our canine and feline biochemistry panels for more than 10 years.  We continue to offer the DGGR-lipase assay for your canine and feline patients.   

Two new AHL LabNotes available

Thanks to Dr. Josepha DeLay and colleagues, we’ve posted 2 new LabNotes on the AHL website:

AHL LabNote Number 41 November 2015

Fixation and transport of large excisional biopsies AHL Histology Laboratory

AHL LabNote Number 42 November 2015

Field and clinic postmortems: Simplified protocol and image list