Lycoperdonosis is a rare respiratory disease that results from the inhalation of spores released from the Lycoperdon (puffball) mushroom. In the present study, 2 cases of confirmed canine lycoperdonosis are described. The first case presented to the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and the second case was submitted for postmortem examination to the University of Tennessee Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Both dogs presented in respiratory distress, and owners reported that the dogs had been playing or digging in areas with puffball mushrooms prior to the onset of clinical signs. In the initial case, thoracic radiographs revealed a diffuse interstitial and multifocal alveolar pulmonary pattern. Despite aggressive medical treatment and mechanical ventilation, the dog continued to worsen and was euthanized. Postmortem examination revealed firm lung lobes and enlarged tracheobronchial lymph nodes. Histologically, there was a severe diffuse histiocytic and pyogranulomatous bronchointerstitial pneumonia. Throughout the lung and lymph nodes, most commonly within macrophages, were round, 3-5 µm in diameter, Gomori methenamine silver-positive structures, consistent with Lycoperdon spores. An approximately 750-base pair DNA fragment was amplified from lung of both cases by polymerase chain reaction using primers specific to yeast ribosomal DNA, and the sequence of the fragment was determined to be most closely related to Lycoperdon pyriforme. Importantly, reexamination of an endotracheal wash from the initial case revealed intrahistiocytic spores, suggesting that airway sampling may assist in diagnosing lycoperdonosis.
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