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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

Leptospirosis vaccination risks

Posted in Dogs, Vaccination
Vaccination discussions can get pretty heated. It’s not as bad with animals as with humans (thanks in part to the discredited (and formerly Dr.) Andrew Wakefield). Yet, there is still a reasonable number of people who are opposed to vaccination of pets, and probably a bigger number who are wary. There are various reasons for… Continue Reading

Ontario canine respiratory disease update

Posted in Dogs
Disease status Things seem to be slowing down. Whether that’s because of a true decrease in disease or “reporting fatigue” is a good question. However, I’m pretty certain that the outbreak is burning itself out in the areas that were most affected. Sporadic reports of sick dogs are still coming in from a few areas, but… Continue Reading

Ontario canine respiratory disease update

Posted in Dogs
Here’s a quick update about what we know… which really isn’t a lot more than yesterday. Case reports continue to roll in from different areas. I suspect the outbreak is burning itself out in Orangeville, but a few new cases are still being reported there. A few other clusters seem to be ongoing in different towns such… Continue Reading

Canine respiratory disease outbreak update

Posted in Dogs
As I’ve written about a couple times over the past few days, we seem to have increased canine respiratory disease activity in a few areas of Ontario. The first reports came from Orangeville (incidentally, the town where I worked as a veterinarian in general practice when I first graduated), based on information provided by an astute… Continue Reading

Canine respiratory disease precautions

Posted in Dogs, Vaccination
If you’re one of the many (many) people asking about what to do in the midst of a canine respiratory disease outbreak, or someone who just wants to know what to do to reduce everyday risk of CIRDC, here are some basic pointers: The microbes that cause respiratory disease in dogs are primarily spread by… Continue Reading

Increased canine infectious respiratory disease: Ontario

Posted in Dogs
Infectious respiratory disease isn’t exactly rare in dogs. A variety of viruses, bacteria and Mycoplasma can cause what we generically call canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC, formerly and still commonly called “kennel cough”). We see clusters of disease periodically and hear rumours of larger outbreaks, but usually there’s not a lot of additional information… 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

Canine Giardia in a person

Posted in Dogs
As someone who has had Giardia (including one episode that put me in the hospital when I was in vet school), I know how bad it can be. However, my concern about the human health risks from dogs with Giardia has been pretty low. Giardia comes in several different “assemblages” (types) and these types like different hosts.… 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

Rabies socks

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
When I  saw “rabies socks“, my first thought was “someone’s going to be cursing their autocorrect“. Apparently not. The Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians (OAVT) Rabies Response Program (RRP) World Rabies Day socks (they might want to come up with a shorter name) are on sale now, with a portion of the proceeds going to the… Continue Reading

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

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