Peritoneal fluid from an alpaca
A 2.5 year old castrated male alpaca presented febrile and obtunded with a history of diarrhea. Upon presentation, significant peritoneal effusion was noted. Blood was drawn for a CBC and chemistry profile and abdominocentesis was performed to collect peritoneal fluid. Significant CBC findings included a marked neutropenia (400 cells/ul; reference interval 3.5 – 11.7 x 103/uL) with a degenerative left shift extending to metamyleocytes (band neutrophil count of 4,200 cells/ul; reference interval 0 x 103/uL) with moderate toxic change in neutrophils. The chemistry profile revealed mild electrolyte depletion, moderate azotemia, a mild hyperglobulinemia, and a high anion gap titrational metabolic acidosis.
View the representative photomicrographs to aid in your consideration of the following questions:
- What is the most likely causative agent based on morphological features evident in the photomicrographs?
- What is the likely source of the infection (in terms of route of entry into the host as well as the suspected carrier)?
- Are the cytological features of the neutrophils concordant with the pathological process that is occurring?