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More Ontario Echinococcus multilocularis cases

Posted in Dogs
This tiny parasite continues to cause a stir around Ontario. While infections are (apparently) still rare, it’s becoming clear that this nasty worm has somehow stealthily established itself in the province. That presumably means it’s either also in neighbouring provinces and states, or heading there. Echinococcus multilocularis is a small tapeworm that can cause severe disease. Canids… Continue Reading

More Pasteurella in the news

Posted in Cats, Dogs
The Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology has been good, recently, for a zoonotic disease article or two. The latest edition has a report of Pasteurella multocida infections of prosthetic joints (Lam et al. 2015). Pasteurella multocida is a bacterium that’s commonly found in the mouths of dogs and cats, and can cause… Continue Reading

New USEF equine vaccination requirements

Posted in Horses, Vaccination
Mandatory vaccination for horses entering shows, other events and sales has been a surprisingly contentious issue for years. Some groups have required equine influenza vaccination for a long time, and it’s an accepted measure. Attempts to mandate vaccination for some other groups or events have often been met with resistance, even when those attempts were… Continue Reading

West Nile virus in Ontario

Posted in Horses, Vaccination
The season has arrived. Right on schedule, the first case of West Nile virus (WNV)  infection in an Ontario horse has been identified, prompting an advisory from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). The affected horse was from Sudbury, Ontario, and was euthanized because of progressive and severe neurological disease. It… Continue Reading

Equine strangles persistence

Posted in Horses
This week, a horse show in Halifax (UK) was cancelled because of some local cases of strangles (Streptococcus equi subsp equi infection). We can debate whether that was prudent or overkill (or whether measures could have been put in place to reduce the risk and make it manageable), but it highlights the concerns that accompany… Continue Reading

H3N2 influenza in a cat?

Posted in Cats
In what would be an interesting but not completely surprising twist, there’s a report of H3N2 influenza infection in a cat from a New York city shelter. The report’s pretty limited in detail, and it’s not clear to me how solid the diagnosis is, but it would be interesting if true. It probably doesn’t represent… Continue Reading

Canine importation editorial

Posted in Dogs
Click below for an editorial that appeared in the July 2015 edition of Clinician’s Brief. Clinician’s Brief Canine Importation Editorial It asks some very to-the-point questions about why dogs continue to be imported in massive numbers into some regions (including Ontario), despite the animal and public health risks.  The issue is slowly gaining recognition, particularly… Continue Reading

Yet another influenza in dogs

Posted in Dogs
This latest flu strain probably isn’t as big a deal as some other influenza viruses found in dogs, but it demonstrates that it’s important to monitor influenza in different species and look for changes. A paper published ahead of print in Emerging Infections Diseases (Lin et al, Dec 2015) describes an H6N1 influenza virus in… Continue Reading

Miscellaneous dog bite studies

Posted in Dogs
Dog bites continue to be a major cause of injury, especially in kids. Here are a few recent papers with some interesting information on this topic. A review of hospitalizations from dog bites in Ireland (O Suilleabhain et al. The Veterinary Journal 2015) had a few noteworthy findings: There were 3164 hospitalizations during the study… Continue Reading

Pets as sentinels (and maybe saving lives)

Posted in Dogs
“One Health” gets talked about a lot these days, but is acted on much less often. Getting physicians and vets to talk is tough. Getting physicians to query animal contact is variably successful. Some get it and do it well, others don’t. When I speak to human medical or public health groups about zoonotic diseases,… Continue Reading

Greek debt crisis and dog importation

Posted in Dogs
The Greek debt crisis is obviously getting a lot of attention, and now people are trying to link it to increased importation of stray pets. That’s a stretch. Greek dogs have been coming into the country in large numbers for years. Over the past week, I’ve had countless emails about issues with dogs and cats… Continue Reading

Craigslist rabid puppy update

Posted in Dogs, Rabies
The other day, I wrote about an effort to track down adopters of puppies from a litter in the Clay County, Texas, area after one of the puppies was confirmed to be rabid. At last report, 8 of the 9 remaining puppies have been located. Two of these puppies were adopted by one family, with… Continue Reading

Craigslist + Rabid puppy = Bad news

Posted in Dogs, Rabies
There are lots of reasons not to get a puppy from Craigslist. While getting a rabid one isn’t likely, it can happen and result in a lot of trouble. Case and point: A litter of 9 puppies from Henrietta, Texas was recently advertized on Craigslist, and at least one of the adopted puppies had rabies.… Continue Reading

Equine herpes alert…Ottawa

Posted in Horses
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs has issued a Biosecurity Alert (2015-07-09 EHM advisory) in response to an equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy  (EHM) case. This neurological disease, caused by equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) gets a lot of attention now, when 10 years ago it would have largely been dismissed (or at least… Continue Reading

Raw food recall…with a twist

Posted in Cats, Dogs
I don’t usually write about recalls of raw pet foods because… well, finding Salmonella, E. coli or Listeria in raw meat is far from surprising (although certainly concerning). However, the recent recall of Stella & Chewy’s products because of Listeria contamination is noteworthy. Why? Because their food is treated with high pressure pasteurization (HPP). This… Continue Reading

A near fatal dog lick?

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Other diseases
I like to write about interesting papers that appear in the medical literature. A problem with that is that it’s often weird cases that get published.  So, it’s important to keep things in perspective. Regardless, reports of rare things still provide some insight, as long as people don’t over-react (which, unfortunately, is often the case).… Continue Reading

Giardia in dogs

Posted in Dogs
The parasite Giardia often raises concern for both dog and human health. In reality, while it’s a potential problem, it’s probably over-rated (or at least there’s a bit too much paranoia at times). A reasonabe percentage of healthy dogs (probably ~7% in Ontario) are shedding the parasite at any given time, but very few will… Continue Reading

More dog travel issues

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
Importation issues, Part 1 A Facebook post was forwarded to me the other day. It reads “Drove to the airport today to pick up this lovely little girl [puppy] who flew all the way to Montreal from Baku Azerbaijan. Spent the afternoon with her romping around in Westmount Park. She will be up for adoption… Continue Reading

Equine infectious disease research: Call for Ontario participants

Posted in Horses, Miscellaneous
Are you an Ontario horse owner? University of Guelph researchers now recruiting for new equine project! Horses travel frequently, and the nature and extent of these travel patterns can contribute to the introduction and spread of diseases. The University of Guelph is conducting a study to determine how these movement patterns can influence new disease… Continue Reading

Horses, strangles, streptococcus

Posted in Horses
A paper in the journal BMC Research Notes describes a case of meningitis in a 73-year-old man that was attributed to contact with a horse (Madzar et al 2015). The man was admitted to hospital with fever, headache, neck stiffness, malaise and drowsiness. He was ultimately diagnosed with meningitis caused by Streptococcus zooepidemicus (technically, Streptococcus… Continue Reading

US Turtle Laws

Posted in Reptiles
Turtles are notorious Salmonella vectors. Because of that, various jurisdictions have rules limiting their sale, particularly the sale of small turtles (i.e. those that young kids are more likely to handle and try to put in their mouths). A recent publication from the CDC’s Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support is a Menu… Continue Reading