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Vulvar pythiosis in two captive camels (Camelus dromedarius).
Medical Mycology (2012)
  • Ricardo Videla, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Sarel van Amstel, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Sarah H. O'neill
  • Linda A. Frank, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Shelley J. Newman, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Raquel Vilela
  • Leonel Mendoza

Two camels (Camelus dromedarius), 3- and 4-years-old, respectively, from an eastern Tennessee wildlife farm presented with persistent weight loss and large vulvar masses. An initial biopsy of the vulvar mass of one of the camels performed by a local veterinarian showed eosinophilic dermatitis. An allergic or parasitic dermatitis was suspected. The two camels were treated with one dose of sodium iodide (66 mg/kg, in 1.0 L of normosolR, IV) and ivermectin 1% (200 ug/kg PO). Upon presentation at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, University of Tennessee, additional biopsies of the masses again revealed eosinophilic dermatitis. Microscopic examination of a Gomori methenamine silver (GMS)-stained section prepared from the biopsy of one of the camels revealed the presence of fungal-like hyphae of a mold which was suspected to be Pythium insidiosum. The vulvar masses were surgically debulked in both animals and sodium iodide and Pythium-immunotherapy prescribed. Pythium insidiosum was isolated in culture and hyphae elements were detected in histological sections confirming the diagnosis of pythiosis in both animals. Despite signs of progressive healing of the vulvar surgical areas, postoperative persistent weight lost in one of the camels suggested the possibility of gastro intestinal (GI) tract pythiosis. This camel died 5 months after the first onset of clinical signs and unfortunately a necropsy was not performed. The other camel responded well to the combination of surgery, iodides, and immunotherapy and has currently rejoined the other members of the herd.

Publication Date
Citation Information
Ricardo Videla, Sarel van Amstel, Sarah H. O'neill, Linda A. Frank, et al.. "Vulvar pythiosis in two captive camels (Camelus dromedarius)." Medical Mycology Vol. 50 Iss. 2 (2012)
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