The present report describes a case of spontaneous purulent granulomatous pericarditis in a 16-month-old beagle. A gross necropsy revealed pericardial effusion and multiple nodules on the surface of the heart and around the aorta adjacent to the heart. The cut surface of these nodules was solid and white in color, containing partially yellowish white regions. Microscopically, granulomatous inflammation characterized by central necrotic cellular debris surrounded by neutrophils, macrophages, lymphocytes, plasma cells, fibroblasts and collagen fibers was observed in the epicardium. In addition, degeneration or necrosis of the arterial wall with inflammation was observed in the nodules. No gross and histological findings were observed in any organs other than the heart. Bacteria and fungi were not detected by Periodic acid-Schiff staining, Gram-Hucker staining and Ziehl-Neelsen staining. Based on these findings, the dog was diagnosed as having purulent granulomatous pericarditis. Purulent pericarditis is usually caused by pyogenic bacterial or fungus infections; however, no changes indicating a possible infection were observed in this case. In cases with spontaneous vascular changes, such as idiopathic canine polyarteritis or beagle pain syndrome, epicarditis could be secondarily caused by vascular lesions. Since this case showed different pathological features from those of spontaneous vascular changes, the pathogenesis may be different and remains unclear. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report describing purulent pericarditis in beagles. Our case report is expected to be useful information that can be used as cardiac background findings for evaluating heart lesions in preclinical toxicology studies performed in beagles.
Keywords: beagle dog; heart lesion; idiopathic canine polyarteritis; infection; purulent granulomatous pericarditis.