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Companion Animal Practice
Diagnosis of pyrexia of unknown origin
  1. David Bennett

    David Bennett qualified with honours from the Royal Veterinary College, London, in 1972 having gained a BSc in physiology in 1969. He was awarded a PhD from Glasgow in 1980 for a study of the naturally occurring inflammatory arthropathies of the dog. In 1990, he was appointed reader in veterinary orthopaedic surgery and rheumatology at Liverpool where he is now director of the arthritis research group. Dr Bennett has been offered the chair in small animal studies at the University of Glasgow and hopes to take up the post in March 1996.


CASES referred to as fever or pyrexia of unknown origin often present a diagnostic challenge to practitioners. The main approach to diagnosis is to identify the reason for the pyrexia. Clinical signs are often non-specific and may fluctuate in severity and alter with chronicity. Although it is theoretically desirable not to instigate any treatment before a full investigation has been carried out, in practice this is often difficult and a response to specific therapies can help in the diagnosis. If there are no localising signs, a series of simple screening tests is necessary to try to identify a septic, inflammatory or neoplastic focus.

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