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Eosinophils are important components of the immune system and are often involved in hypersensitivity disorders and parasitic infestations. Eosinophilia is defined as an increase in the total eosinophil count in blood or tissue. This chapter covers pathophysiology; causes of eosinophilia; diagnosis and treatment.

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Image of 15.2
15.2 Lateral thoracic radiograph from a 4-year-old neutered female German Shepherd Dog presented with vague signs of lethargy. The resting respiratory rate was mildly increased (40 breaths per minute), and the peripheral eosinophil count was 2.8 × 10/l. The lateral radiograph of the thorax shows a mild increase in interstitial opacity. Bronchoalveolar lavage demonstrated a high eosinophil count (35%) and parasitic testing was negative. The dog responded well to prednisolone treatment.
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15.3 Lateral thoracic radiograph from a 3-year-old male Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The dog had a history of coughing for 1 week, and had presented with severe dyspnoea and haemoptysis. The resting respiratory rate was 55 breaths per minute and there were some abnormal lung sounds on auscultation. There was marked circulating eosinophilia (7.5 × 10/l) and a significant proportion of eosinophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. No other organ system appeared to be involved and parasite testing was negative. The dog initially responded well to prednisolone treatment, but relapsed upon discontinuation and deteriorated rapidly.
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15.4 Diagnostic flow chart for eosinophilia.
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