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Do headline writers actually read the articles?

Posted in Dogs
Part I Lyme disease is accompanied by enough paranoia. Bad headlines don’t help. A recent article on The Daily Mail is about Lyme disease and pets. It’s actually not a bad article, outlining some important issues. However, the headline shows a big disconnect between some good content in the article and a complete misunderstanding of… Continue Reading

BC fake service dog crackdown

Posted in Dogs
It’s great to see some places taking service dog fraud seriously. I’ve ranted about this before because I’m a strong believer in the need for service dogs to have full access, and the need to make sure that’s not screwed up by selfish people who don’t actually have a service dog. Too many people are… Continue Reading

Dogs and norovirus

Posted in Dogs
Anyone who’s had norovirus gastroenteritis knows that it’s pretty nasty. It spreads easily from person-to-person, and from (gross, yes, but true) vomit- and diarrhea-contaminated surfaces. The last thing we need is another source of infection to worry about. The potential for dogs to be sources of norovirus has gotten a lot of attention (often misguided)… Continue Reading

More on canine H3N2 flu

Posted in Dogs
Not surprisingly, I’ve been inundated with emails and calls about the H3N2 canine influenza outbreak that’s ongoing in the US. How far will it spread? Who knows? It’s always hard to predict what will happen with influenza viruses. The spread of the H3N8 canine flu virus was surprisingly slow and sporadic, and it has yet… Continue Reading

So…how did Asian H3N2 canine flu get here?

Posted in Dogs
There’s no answer to how Asian H3N2 canine flu arrived in North America, but importation of infected dogs seems likely. There seems to be quite a bit of dog movement from Korea to the US, as highlighted in a couple of articles below. There’s no way to know for sure, but well meaning yet unregulated… Continue Reading

Vet clinics: Dealing with a canine flu outbreak

Posted in Dogs
Infection control in veterinary clinics has come a long way in the past few years. However, there are still many challenges, and new situations like the large H3N2 canine flu outbreak in the US Midwest raise more issues. Just like human hospitals, vet clinics need to be proactive to reduce the risk of flu virus… Continue Reading

Chicago canine flu strain shocker

Posted in Dogs
Cornell University, the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the National Veterinary Services Laboratory has indicated that the large, ongoing canine flu outbreak in the midwest US is being caused by an H3N2 influenza strain, not the expected H3N8 canine flu strain. Molecularly, the strain is closely related to H3N2 strains that are circulating in dogs in… Continue Reading

Another dog importation issue

Posted in Dogs
A GoFundMe campaign is underway to pay the vet bills for a sick dog that was imported from Ecuador. The whole story can be found on the site but the quick version is as follows: Someone from the Ottawa area was in Quito and saw a street puppy she liked. On her last day in… Continue Reading

Another human Staph (pseud)intermedius infection

Posted in Dogs
Dr. Stephen Page, regular supplier of good material, sent me a couple papers from the Quarterly Journal of Medicine the other day. One’s an interesting report of ‘Staphylococcus intermedius’ infection in a person, in a case report entitled ‘A canine bug in a human heart’ (Koci et al, Q J Med 2015;108:337-338). It’s almost guaranteed… Continue Reading

Pet treats…what to look out for

Posted in Dogs
Pet treats are widely used, and for good reason. Treats can be useful training tools, and pets typically like treats (and owners like to make their pets happy). But even something as simple as feeding pets treats carries some risks (and not just to the pet).  Balancing the risks and benefits is the key. For… Continue Reading

Lungworms in Ontario dog

Posted in Dogs
Another emerging infectious disease issue for the Ontario dog population appears to be lungworms. As you’d probably guess, lungworms are parasites that live in (or near) the lungs. A variety of different types of lungworms exist, but most concerns around here relate to two. In Canada, both the fox lungworm (Crenosoma vulpis) and the French… Continue Reading

New pet therapy guidance

Posted in Dogs
A new Expert Guidance Document has been released by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology (SHEA) and published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. R Murthy, G Bearman, S Brown, K Bryant, R Chinn, A Hewlett, BG George, EJC Goldstein, G Holzmann-Pazgal, ME Rupp, T Wiemken, JS Weese, DJ Weber. Animals in Healthcare Facilities: Recommendations to… Continue Reading

Out of bounds, out of luck

Posted in Dogs
From CTVnews.ca "A Brazilian [soccer] player was taken to a hospital for an anti-rabies shot after being bitten by a police dog during a match. The incident happened in the second half of a first-division game between Democrata and Tupi on Sunday in the Minas Gerais state regional championship. Democrata striker Joao Paulo was bit… Continue Reading

Avian flu in a dog: Korea

Posted in Dogs
H5N8 avian influenza has been identified in a dog in Korea. The dog was from a duck farm in the South Gyeongsang province.  While other dogs in the past have been found to have antibodies against the virus, this the first report of finding the antigen in a dog. It’s an important distinction. Antibodies mean… Continue Reading

Echinococcus multilocularis…small tapeworm, big problem

Posted in Dogs
Echinococcus multilocularis is causing increasing concern in Ontario lately (amongst the few people who are aware of it, at least) as there’s evidence that it may have become established in the province. This parasite is a tapeworm harboured by canids (including both domestic dogs and wild ones like coyotes and foxes), and can cause serious… Continue Reading

Canadian companion animal Ebola guidance

Posted in Dogs
Concern (paranoia?) about Ebola in animals has died down lately, which is a good thing. In the meantime, guidelines have been developed to help handle potential animal Ebola-exposure issues, which is also a good thing. While I’ve been slow posting them, Canadian guidance for management of companion animals potentially exposed to Ebola virus and for… Continue Reading

Rabies warning for Kugluktuk residents

Posted in Dogs
Residents of the Nunavut community of Kugluktuk are being warned about rabies in the area after a puppy that originated there was diagnosed with the disease in Saskatchewan. It’s not the first time rabies has been transported from a northern community in a dog, and this case should serve as yet another reminder of the… Continue Reading

Human rabies incubation record

Posted in Dogs
Records are meant to be broken, and rabies incubation period is no exception. I’m often asked what the incubation period of rabies is in people. My general answer is "a long time, and we don’t really know how long it can be." A report in the Annals of Neurology (Boland et al 2014) highlights this… Continue Reading

Imported and local Leishmania, Finland

Posted in Dogs
I’ve written a fair bit about leishmaniasis in dogs lately, mainly in the context of potential risks from imported dogs. This parasitic infection is a concern because it can be serious and hard to treat, and also affects humans. Dogs are the main reservoir of Leishmania infantum, and it’s an important cause of disease in… Continue Reading

Rabid dog fostered from a shelter

Posted in Dogs
Yes, that’s an "oops," but it’s also not completely preventable. A stray dog and her 6 puppies were sent to a foster home recently by a South Boston, VA animal shelter. It’s a common and logical thing to do, to get the puppies into a lower risk environment until they are old enough to be… Continue Reading

Merlin had “Ebola” today

Posted in Dogs
No, not really. Just for the sake of training. The ongoing Ebola epidemic in West Africa, along with a few "escapes" of the virus into other regions, has brought scrutiny on the potential role of animals (beyond the wildlife reservoirs) in Ebola virus transmission. Concerns have led to development of contingency practices in some regions… Continue Reading

Animal Ebola guidance documents, hot off the press

Posted in Dogs
Today, guidance documents coordinated by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Veterinary Medical Association were released. CDC descriptions of the two documents are below. Click on the title to get the document. Interim Guidance for Public Health Officials on Pets of Ebola Virus Disease Contacts This document provides interim guidance… Continue Reading

Another dog importation mess

Posted in Dogs
In some ways, I get it. However, the rest of me just wants to bang my head against the wall. The short story: a blind dog was imported from Iran. Upon arrival, it was found to have (probably among other things) leishmaniasis, a concerning parasitic disease that we’re seeing occasionally in imported dogs. Leishmaniasis is… Continue Reading

Leptospirosis in dogs…risks and costs

Posted in Dogs
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that’s been described as a re-emerging problem in dogs in North America. (It’s been described as that for many years now so maybe we should drop the "re-emerging" and just say it’s a problem). The causative agent, Leptospira interogans, is a widespread bug that’s carried by a variety of wildlife… Continue Reading