we had a 3 year old lab. we found her dead this morning in her pen. After we took her to the vet to have a necropsy done, he said she had a chest infection caused by actinomyces and that she had 1 1/2 gallons of flood on her chest. he said it can come from grass seeds and is common in sporting dogs. We can't find any info on the internet about possible causes or why why didn't see a prob in her until last night when she was having a little labored breathing. any advice would help. Faith
Here. This might help: GRAM-POSITIVE BACILLI (NON-SPORE-FORMING) ACTINOMYCES Actinomycetes are fungus-like bacteria that form filamentous branches. These Gram-positive obligate anaerobes are known to reside in the mouth and in the intestinal tract. Pathogenic proliferation of the organisms, which is usually a result of trauma to the region of infection, can lead to actinomycosis. The patient will form abscesses and swelling at the site of infection. A diagnosis can be made upon microscopic examination of pus. The fluid will have a granular texture which is caused by sulfur granules. These sulfur granuules are actually composed of the bacterium and its waste. The species of Actinomyces which is most commonly associated with actinomycosis is A. israelii, but several other bacteria in this genus are capable of causing the disease as well. Actinomycosis can often be treated with penicillin. LABORATORY INDICATIONS: Indole - Catalase - Lipase - DNase - I'll put more. Sincerely Natalie
Actinomycosis Actinomycosis of dogs and cats is a chronic, sporadic, bacterial disease manifested most frequently in two principal forms: a localized granulomatous abscess(es) involving the skin and subcutis; and a pyogranulomatous thorax, with suppurative lesions involving the lungs, pericardium and pleura and occasionally the peritoneal cavity. Etiology - The gram-positive rod Actinomyces viscosus and/or A. hordeovulneris (very rarely by A. bovis) and occasionally unnamed Actinomyces. These actinomycetes occur as commensals in the oral cavity of dogs and cats. Distribution - Occurrence is probably worldwide. A moderately common infection; seen most often in hunting dogs. Mode of Infection/Transmission - Infection is by inhalation and via wounds, often from bites and occasionally due to gunshot or grass awns. Clinical Features - The disease is chronic but rarely disseminated; the course is variable. In the thoracic form: abnormal lung and pleural sounds, low-grade fever, dullness, dyspnea, anorexia, vomiting, abdominal swelling and tenderness, ascites and weight loss. In the skin form there are pyogranulomatous abscesses and nodules in various locations. Diagnosis - The disease resembles nocardiosis clinically which is also seen in the two forms mentioned above. Other diseases to be considered are blastomycosis, cryptococcosis, other fungous infections, abscesses due to other causes and various pulmonary and pleural infections. Abscesses and cellulitis initiated by bites and caused by a wide variety of microorganisms, including anaerobes, are frequent in dogs and even more common in cats. Because the treatment of actinomycosis and nocardiosis is different, it is advisable to seek a diagnosis, preferably, by the isolation and identification of the causative organism. Fresh material from the localized form (skin, subcutis); the granulomatous abscess may have to be opened surgically. A tracheal wash and/or fluid obtained by thoracocentesis should be submitted in the thoracic form. Demonstration of the organism in gram-stained smears of material from lesions. Actinomyces viscosus, A. hordeovulneris and Nocardia asteroides resemble one another morphologically; however, the latter organism can be distinguished from the other two in that it is partially acid-fast. A highly presumptive diagnosis of these diseases can be made on the basis of the Gram and acid-fast staining of smears from typical lesions. Isolation and identification of A. viscosus or A. hordeovulneris from characteristic lesions are definitive. Treatment - Surgical debridement and drainage including placement of a chest tube for pyothorax. Prolonged treatment with penicillin G, amoxicillin, tetracyclines, or chloramphenicol is usually effective; however, because there may be a difference between the antimicrobial susceptibility of A. viscosus and A. hordeovulneris, all significant isolates should be subjected to drug susceptibility tests. Penicillin is not effective in the treatment of nocardiosis. Control - Vaccines are not employed. Public Health Significance - Dog bites have resulted in infrequent A. viscosus human infections; however, its zoonotic potential is not considered significant.