An adult dog was presented for chronic cough and a recent development of ulcerated, erythematous nares with nasal discharge. Cytology of enlarged peripheral lymph nodes revealed many intracellular and extracellular organisms. These round or rarely oval organisms measured approximately 5-9 µm in diameter and frequently contained several globular structures, ranging from deeply basophilic to magenta. A thin, clear halo was present. Smaller 1-2 µm, magenta forms were also observed. Fungal culture yielded small, wet, raised, irregularly shaped, white to pale tan colonies. Microbiologic staining of cultured material revealed features suggestive of algae. Histopathology of the lymph nodes revealed marked granulomatous inflammation with intralesional algal organisms suggestive of Prototheca. Electron microscopic findings were also consistent with protothecosis. Polymerase chain reaction, followed by direct DNA sequencing, identified the organism as Prototheca wickerhamii. A brief literature review discussing protothecosis in veterinary medicine is included.
- nasal ulceration
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