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Leptospirosis from Puerto Rico Hurricane Dogs

Posted in Dogs
When Puerto Rico was devastated by the recent hurricane, I got a few calls from groups thinking about bringing in dogs and wanting to know what infectious diseases I’d be concerned about. Leptospirosis was the top of my list. Unfortunately, that’s turned out to be true as several puppies brought in by a Vermont rescue… Continue Reading

Dog Bites, Irony and Injured Kids

Posted in Dogs
If it wasn’t for the injured child, this would be a funny story. There was a hearing in Hillsborough County, Florida about a proposed ordinance requiring dog trainers to get licensed. Not surprisingly, that didn’t go over well with all trainers. One of the main opponents was waiting in line to get into the hearing,… Continue Reading

Influenza from a cat (and no we’re not all going to die)

Posted in Cats
A paper in December’s Emerging Infectious Diseases (Marinova-Petkova et al. 2016) follows up on last year’s outbreak of avian influenza (H7N2) in cats in a New York shelter and one associated human infection (the findings were also summarized in a post from earlier this year). This paper describes investigation of the virus from the infected… Continue Reading

Airport dog bite

Posted in Dogs, Rabies
While waiting in line to check-in for a flight in Orlando, a JetBlue passenger was bitten by a dog. This raises lots of issues and questions, and for the bitten individual, she’s dealing with a pretty nasty bite and also the potential need for rabies post-exposure prophylaxis. She was bitten while checking in, so it… Continue Reading

Antimicrobial use surveillance: Canada

Posted in Animals
The 2017 Canadian Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (CARSS) report was just released, and as always it contains a lot of data (up to and including 2016). Some are interesting, some are concerning, some are encouraging. I’m not going to try to distill a 90 page report into a quick blog post, so I’ll cover a… Continue Reading

WHO Guidelines on Use of Medically Important Antimicrobials in Food-Producing Animals

Posted in Other animals, Other diseases
The World Health Organization has released new guidelines on the use of “medically important antimicrobials” (MIAs) in food animals. Here’s a list of their recommendations, along with the strength of each recommendation and quality of evidence behind it. We recommend an overall reduction in use of all classes of medically important antimicrobials in food-producing animals (Strong… Continue Reading

Antibiotics and dairy calves

Posted in Other animals, Other diseases
From CANresist.blog: Reducing Antibiotic Use in Dairy Calves This topic’s huge, and there’s always a risk of trying to oversimplify the problem or solutions. However, some solutions for some issues might be fairly straightforward. Whether it’s on a farm, in a hospital or in a doctors office, there are situations where I think it’s widely… Continue Reading

CANresist

Posted in Birds, Cats, Dogs, Horses, Other animals
Introducing CANresist, a new initiative aimed at fostering antibiotic stewardship in Canada across the human and animal health fields and beyond, in order to maintain the effectiveness of these life-saving drugs. Follow us at CANresist.com or CANresist.blog, or on Facebook. Also check out our Twitter feed @CANADAresist, including our #mylastantibiotic tag to talk about the last time… Continue Reading

‘Tis the season for leptospirosis in dogs

Posted in Dogs, Vaccination
Leptospirosis is a potentially nasty bacterial infection that can cause severe kidney disease (among other things) and is acquired from the environment, in cool damp areas that are contaminated with urine from infected reservoir hosts (e.g. rats, raccoons, other wildlife). It can also potentially be transmitted to people through contact with urine from an infected… Continue Reading

Petland Campylobacter outbreak update

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases
The CDC has posted an update on the outbreak of Campylobacter infections in the US linked to puppies from Petland, a pet store chain. Here are the highlights: The case count is now up to 67, in 15 states (see map and graph of case occurrence below). The true number of infected people is unknown, since it’s reasonable… Continue Reading

Infections from backyard poultry

Posted in Birds, Salmonella
Hardly a week goes by that I don’t get a question (or a dozen) about backyard poultry. As more cities consider or enact laws allowing urban poultry, the debates about and around this issue increase. It’s also becoming a big business, with ample options for people to buy chicken coops (or high end chicken condos),… Continue Reading

Piranha bite response

Posted in Other animals, Other diseases
Yes, piranha bite response is a pretty niche topic. Nevertheless, it’s interesting (at least to me). A recent paper in Pediatric Emergency Care (Berkowitz and Goldsmith. An unexpected fish bite. 2017) covers this topic. It starts off this way: A 22-month-old boy presented to the pediatric emergency department with a missing right fourth distal phalanx… Continue Reading

Croc stories, times two

Posted in Other animals, Other diseases
When I think about bad things that can happen from interacting with a crocodile, infectious diseases don’t jump to the top of my list (ingestion and amputation being the two first things that come to mind). That leads me to the first crocodile story (thanks Stephen), a rather light-hearted description that everyone but the bitten… Continue Reading

Bordetella infection in a transplant recipient

Posted in Dogs
It’s easy to write a series of posts about oddball infections. I often wonder whether it’s worth highlighting some of these rare disease reports since it’s possible for them to be taken out of context and unnecessarily freak people out. Yet, they often have a couple of useful messages. A paper in an upcoming edition of… Continue Reading

Petland puppy Campylobacter update

Posted in Dogs
Here’s some follow up information from the recent (and probably ongoing) outbreak of Campylobacter infections linked to puppies purchased at Petland stores in the US: 55 infected people have been identified now. That’s probably just a fraction of the people who were truly infected, because of the number of steps that need to happen to… Continue Reading

Dangerous dog designations

Posted in Dogs
Dangerous dogs need to be addressed. Actually, it’s dangerous dog-owner pairs that are the issue, since there’s almost always a major human component to this kind of behaviour.  Unfortunately, we can’t mandate common sense. Cities have taken a variety of approaches to the issue of dog bites and dangerous dogs, ranging from nothing to breed… Continue Reading

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