Between 2009 and 2018, five common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) at the US Navy Marine Mammal Program presented with superficial cervical lymphadenitis. Clinical findings included ultrasonographic evidence of cervical lymph node enlargement, severe leukocytosis, elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rates, and reduced serum iron. Three of the dolphins presented with clinicopathologic changes without presence of clinical signs, and the other two cases additionally presented with partial to complete anorexia, lethargy, and refusal to participate in training sessions. Ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration or biopsy of the affected lymph nodes yielded Streptococcus phocae by PCR in all cases, and the organism was cultured in one of five cases. Animals were treated with a combination of enteral, parenteral, intralesional antimicrobial, or a combination of those therapies and supportive care. Time to resolution of clinical disease ranged between 62 and 188 days. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of Streptococcus phocae cervical lymphadenitis in cetaceans. Streptococcus phocae lymphadenitis should be a differential for cervical lymphadenopathy in this species, especially when associated with pronounced systemic inflammation and a history of potential exposure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology