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Hurricane Harvey Dog Adoptions

Posted in Dogs
Countless people have asked me to comment about the movement of Hurricane Harvey dogs from Texas into Ontario (and other regions). Okay… I’ll bite. As frequent readers know, risks posed by importation of animals is an interest of mine. A large reason for this is the infectious disease problems that occur, including things I’ve seen… Continue Reading

Campylobacter Outbreak From Puppies

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases
Cute. Frustrating. Cuddly. Biohazardous All of these apply to puppies. It’s well recognized that puppies (and kittens) pose increased infectious disease risks, for a few reasons. These include a higher likelihood of shedding various pathogens, greater environmental contamination when they poop on the floor (or anywhere else) and a tendency to cause minor bites and… Continue Reading

West Nile Virus in Ontario Horses

Posted in Horses
Two Ontario horses have recently been diagnosed with West Nile virus infection, prompting the equine health advisory below from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs. That’s not too surprising, as now is the typical time of year that we start seeing this mosquito-borne infection in Ontario. West Nile numbers in both humans and… Continue Reading

Ontario Rabies Update

Posted in Other animals, Rabies
Here’s the latest map of the terrestrial rabies cases in southwestern Ontario.  Raccoon-variant cases still centre on the Hamilton area.  It was never assumed that this particular outbreak would be eliminated quickly, given the case numbers seen in the first several months and the additional challenges of trying to control the spread of the virus in… Continue Reading

Psittacosis From A Horse

Posted in Horses, Other diseases
I’ve had this paper from One Health (Chan et al 2017) on my “to blog” pile for a while, since it’s an interesting story. Like any case report, it’s a bit of an oddball infection, and not likely indicative of a major or new risk. However, there are often a few good general take-home messages from… Continue Reading

H7N2 Influenza in a New York Animal Shelter: A Recap

Posted in Cats
The 2016 outbreak of H7N2 influenza in cats in a New York shelter, with transmission to one veterinarian, got a lot of attention, including a few posts on our blog. H7N2 influenza is known to have been circulating in birds in the US since at least 1994, and two human infections had been identified (a… Continue Reading

Close Encounters of the ‘Tick’ Kind…Your Pet, Pathogens & Lyme Disease

Posted in Dogs, Horses, Other diseases, Parasites
Guest Blog by Dr. Michelle Evason DVM DipACVIM, and current PhD student researching Lyme disease in dogs Recently, an interesting article on pet ownership and human tick risk was published (Jones et al, Zoonoses and Public Health 2017). The study looked at risk factors for “tick encounters” in people living in Lyme disease endemic states in the… Continue Reading

Rabid Horse: Minnesota

Posted in Horses, Rabies, Vaccination
If a horse comes into the hospital at this time of year and has some difficulty standing, incoordination and mild fever, the first thing on my list of likely causes is probably equine herpesvirus type I (EHV-1) infection. Next would be West Nile virus encephalitis. However, we consider all sudden onset neurological disease cases in… Continue Reading

Fatal viral infection from a cat?

Posted in Cats
One thing that’s a given with infectious diseases is that there’s always something new to learn. Interestingly, I had a couple enquiries about an obscure virus last week, and was subsequently sent a link to a news report about the same disease: severe fever with thrombocytopenia virus. As the mouthful of a name suggests, the virus… Continue Reading

Clostridium difficile, hospital visitation and dog risk

Posted in Dogs
A reader has been trying to post a question about an older post on C. difficile in visitation dogs. Here’s the question and my answer: Do the dogs have a risk of getting sick from the C. difficile bacteria?  I understand from the post that they can ingest and shed it in their feces, but the post never… Continue Reading

Echinococcus multilocularis: Alberta, Canada

Posted in Dogs, Parasites
Several news articles have been written lately about the recently-described cases of Echinococcus multilocularis infection in four people in Alberta. The cases of alveolar echinococcosis have occurred over the past 4 years, and raise significant concerns. Echinococcus multilocularis is a small tapeworm but it causes big problems. Why? It’s a potentially nasty parasitic disease that can act a lot… Continue Reading

Psittacosis in a Pet Store Worker

Posted in Birds
Following up on yesterday’s post about a bird-and-fish-associated infection, this next story also involves a pet bird, but with a much worse outcome. It involves a young woman who developed a very serious case of psittacosis linked to her job in a pet store. Psittacosis is a bacterial disease caused by Chlamydophila psittaci, a bacterium… Continue Reading

A Bird, Some Fish and a Near Amputation: Bizarre Headline but an Important Story

Posted in Birds
Why is it that zoonotic disease case reports in the scientific literature sometimes get titles that are…well, let’s just say “creative.” A recent example of a strange headline for an interesting case report is “The Brief Case: A Fishy Tale Prevents Digital Doom following Polly’s Peck—the Importance of Pets in a Comprehensive Medical History” published in… Continue Reading

Dog Bite Near-Death: A Cascade of Missed Opportunities

Posted in Dogs
A few sentences into a Washington Post article entitled “A dog bite sent him to the ER. A cascade of missteps nearly killed him”, I was thinking, “This sounds like a pretty typical Capnocytophaga canimorsus infection. I wonder if this guy lost his spleen earlier in life.” It turns out that was true. Unfortunately, neither… Continue Reading

Lyme disease: The Difference Between Knowing and Actually Doing…

Posted in Dogs, Horses
Guest blog by Dr. Michelle Evason, DVM DipACVIM (as well as current PhD student and coordinator of our Lifetime Lyme Study) In 2014, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) initiated a 3-year marketing campaign (news, advertisements, social media, collaboration with Parks Canada to post signage, etc.) to try to raise the general public’s awareness and… Continue Reading

A Perfect Storm for Canine Flu

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases
There were several more reports over the weekend in follow up to the canine influenza outbreak at dog shows in Florida early last week.  Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, associated cases were then found in North Carolina, and have now been reported in 11 states, no doubt  from dogs that were at the shows in Florida… Continue Reading

New Methicillin-Resistant Staph Veterinary Dermatology Guidelines

Posted in Cats, Dogs
A new Clinical Consensus Guideline, coordinated through the World Association for Veterinary Dermatology, has been released: Recommendations for approaches to methicillin-resistant staphylococcal infections of small animals: diagnosis, therapeutic considerations and preventative measures. Clinical Consensus Guidelines of the World Association for Veterinary Dermatology This large and comprehensive document is open access and can also be downloaded via… Continue Reading

H3N2 Canine Flu in Florida

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Vaccination
The recent H3N2 canine flu outbreak centred around dog shows in Florida has led to the usual round of questions and concerns. How many dogs have been affected? Hard to say. Cases aren’t carefully tracked and it is reasonable to assume that the majority of dogs that developed influenza (especially mild disease) were never diagnosed.… Continue Reading

New Ontario Lyme Disease Risk Map

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses
To continue the map-posting binge that I’ve been on lately, Public Health Ontario has just posted their updated Lyme Disease Risk Areas map for 2017.  For comparison, you can still also access the 2016 map too, and you can see that the risk areas have indeed expanded somewhat, particularly in Eastern Ontario. The estimated risk… Continue Reading

Tick Tracker Update

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses
Our online Pet Tick Tracker continues to receive lots of submissions, so here are some interesting maps showing some of the preliminary information compiled so far.  The maps show where the ticks are being reported, but remember that they’re not necessarily reflective of the true overall picture, since it depends on who is reporting and who isn’t reporting.… Continue Reading