Short Communication

Renal pathology in working dogs in the South African National Defence Force : research communication

R.P. Short
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 70, No 4 | a787 | DOI: | © 1999 R.P. Short | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 July 1999 | Published: 12 July 1999

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Urine analysis, serumbiochemical profile and a cortical wedge biopsy for histopathological examination was performed on 42 South African National Defence Force (SANDF) dogs from around the country. The only significant finding on urine analysis and serum biochemistry was a relatively large number (16/42) of dogs with elevated serum inorganic phosphate levels. Histopathology revealed that only 9 of the animals had normal kidneys reflected in the wedge biopsy material, with over 50%of them showing signs of glomerular pathology (primarily mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis). Other conditions detected histopathologically were haemosiderosis (47 % of animals), focal nephrosis (2.4 %), membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (2.4 %), focal interstitial nephritis (4.7 %) and acute tubular nephrosis (4.7 %). The lesions observed were of limited distribution and extent; this histopathological finding may account for the absence of significant abnormalities on urine analysis or serum biochemistry profiles. It appears from these results that a large percentage of the SANDF population would be expected to have mild renal lesions, but that these lesions are not severe enough to lead to clinical signs. The findings of this study are similar to those of randomly selected populations of non-military dogs performed in other areas of the world, which also demonstrated an unexpectedly high incidence of histopathological renal pathology in dogs considered healthy. These lesions may well, however, play a role in later life, and it is recommended that military veterinarians maintain an index of suspicion for renal disease, particularly glomerular disease. The aetiology of the histopathological lesions is unknown.


Dog; Glomerulonephritis; Kidney; Renal Disease; Renal Wedge Biopsy


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