Worms & Germs Blog

Archives: Cats

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Personal pet visitation in a Hamilton hospital

Posted in Cats, Dogs
I’ve had a lot of emails about some news reports describing a program at Juravinski Hospital in Hamilton (Ontario) that allows personal pets to visit. Zachary’s Paws for Healing is touted as the first of its kind in Canada (which is far from true, but perhaps it’s the most formal). Animals in healthcare facilities are… Continue Reading

Get Smart About Antibiotics Week

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses, Miscellaneous, Other animals
Since their discovery in the mid-1900s (which really wasn’t that long ago in the grand scheme of things), antibiotics have revolutionized human medicine, veterinary medicine and even food production.  They save lives and prevent illness, helping to make both people and animals healthier, happier and more efficient at what they do.  But if we want… Continue Reading

Oddball infections or concerns?

Posted in Cats, Dogs
Anytime you see a case report in the medical literature, you know it must be something rare or new. Otherwise, no one would publish the occurrence of a single case. That can skew people’s perceptions because weird things get more attention. So, it’s always hard to say what we should think about one-off reports of… Continue Reading

Tick ID card

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses
Knowing your ticks is important. Certain ticks are able to transmit certain diseases, so knowing what to look for, on yourself and your animals, is useful. To help with that, Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health has released a quick-reference Tick ID Card.  When folded in half, it’s about the size of a business card, so… Continue Reading

New Ontario rabies website

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses, Other animals, Rabies, Vaccination
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has launched its new (and long-awaited) rabies website.  The site includes a section for the public which is an ideal resource for clients, and a section for veterinarians with detailed information about reporting, risk assessment, sample submission and testing, and post-exposure management (for companion animals and… 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

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

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

Antibiotics in animals: ACVIM consensus statement

Posted in Cats
Every year, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) commissions "consensus statements" on specific topics. They’re developed by an expert panel, put up for review by ACVIM members (board certified veterinary internal medicine specialists), and published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Hot off the (electronic) press is the 2015 ACVIM Consensus Statement… Continue Reading

Cats and peritoneal dialysis

Posted in Cats
If you’re a regular reader, you’ll note the recurring theme of "every animal (and person) is carrying multiple microbes that can harm you, given the right circumstances. Fortunately, the right circumstances don’t usually occur." There are situations in which those risks increase, and understanding cost-benefit is a key aspect of disease prevention. Sometimes pet factors… Continue Reading

Rabies exposure in a shelter, again

Posted in Cats
As I mentioned a few days ago, eliminating the risk of rabies in animal shelters is pretty much impossible. Another shelter-associated rabies exposure situation highlights the problems. A cat at the Washington Area Humane Society was recently diagnosed with rabies, resulting in three people receiving post-exposure prophylaxis (i.e. rabies antibodies and a series of rabies… Continue Reading

Cat hoarding and rabies

Posted in Cats
Over 50 cats have been euthanized in Delaware, US, after rabies was diagnosed in one 4-week-old kitten. The cats were mainly indoor cats owned by one person – a pretty classical case of cat hoarding. All were in very poor condition. There were vaccination records for 15 of them, but there was no way to… Continue Reading

Casual cat causality

Posted in Cats
The credit (or blame) for the alliteration goes to colleague and frequent blog material supplier Dr. Stephen Page. It relates to an article in the prestigious medical journal Lancet (Kagihara et al. 2014) entitled “A fatal pasteurella empyema.” The article describes the case of a 60-year-old man from Honolulu who was admitted to hospital in… Continue Reading

Vet clinic infections…who should pay?

Posted in Cats
The following question was posed to Dr. Patty Khuly in an article she writes for the Miami Herald. "Our cats had to go to the vet hospital last week to have their teeth cleaned. The procedures went very well and, as predicted, both were back to normal that evening. Unfortunately, two days later they both… Continue Reading

Cystic fibrosis and pet ownership

Posted in Cats
Two recent papers have raised concerns about cats in households with cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. People with CF are at high risk for a range of complications because of their condition and the treatments that are required. Some complications can be life-threatening, so there’s lots of research into factors associated with disease in people with… Continue Reading

Rabies confusion and clarification: Ontario

Posted in Cats
Following the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (rather mind-boggling) abandonment of the rabies response portfolio, there’s been a scramble by provinces to figure out what to do. The CFIA will still perform testing, but will not have any role in sample collection, sample shipping or investigation. I’m not sure what most provinces are doing (and based on… Continue Reading

Rabies three ways

Posted in Cats
Not many days go by when I don’t get a few calls about rabies. Here are a couple from yesterday that highlight some important issues. An indoor cat tangled with a bat. The bat’s no longer around to test so this is considered a potential rabies exposure (bats being important rabies vectors, and catching and… Continue Reading

Another preventable rabies death

Posted in Cats
A recent rabies death in a Russian man highlights multiple screw-ups that led to the man’s death. A 50-year-old man in Smolino Kovvrosko, Russia was bitten by his cat at the end of February. Problem #1. The cat was presumably not vaccinated against rabies. Vaccination is not 100% protective but it’s pretty likely this was… Continue Reading

Cat attack pins family in bedroom

Posted in Cats
Actually, the title of this post should be “Obese cat attacks family after being booted in the rear as a disciplinary measure. Family freaks out but wants to keep cat.” Oh, where to start.  1) A 22 lb cat is obese and there are obviously animal care issues. 2) Kicking a cat in the rear… Continue Reading

Cat bite infections (and dumb headlines)

Posted in Cats
It’s a scary sounding headline: “Cat Bites Pose Risk Of Infection As 1 In 3 Patients Bitten Hospitalized; Teeth Inject Bacteria Into Joints, Tissue” and it cites a research article from the Mayo Clinic in the Journal of Hand Surgery (Babovic et al 2014). Cat bites are nasty. The mouth of any cat harbours thousands… Continue Reading