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Canine Influenza, Ontario: Nov 17, 2018

Posted in Dogs
I’ve been behind on posts so here’s a quick update…..things seem to be going well in the latest Canadian H3N2 canine influenza outbreak. Here’s the rundown: After eradicating the last outbreak in the spring, cases were identified again mid October, associated with more importation of dogs from Asia. The last new positive dog was identified… Continue Reading

Update: Canine influenza, Ontario (October 30)

Posted in Dogs
Things have been quiet over the past few days. That’s good news (but always makes me a bit antsy, because I want to be sure it’s because there are no new cases vs we’re just not finding them). Documented infections have been confined to one region, with the exception of a dog that travelled out… Continue Reading

Raw pet food and human salmonellosis

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Salmonella
We’ve known for some time that there are human health risks from feeding pets raw meat-based diets. Most of the evidence of this has been anecdotal, as published reports have been sparse. A few better documented reports have started to appear, including the fatal E. coli O157 infection I wrote about recently. A few days… Continue Reading

Update: Canine influenza, Ontario (October 25)

Posted in Dogs
As expected, a few more cases have been identified in the most recent cluster of canine influenza virus (CIV) identified in Ontario. So far, there are about 20 confirmed or suspected cases. To date, we’re still only finding cases that have a link to another infected dog or facility. That’s good news. If we start… Continue Reading

CDC didn’t actually say “don’t dress up your chickens for Halloween”…but don’t do it anyway

Posted in Other animals, Salmonella
Lots of media reports have been saying that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned people not to dress up their chickens for Halloween. Yes, chickens. I wouldn’t have thought that policing chicken fashion would be high on the CDC’s to-do list, but the concern is obviously related to the perpetual outbreaks… Continue Reading

Staying tick-free during feeding season

Posted in Dogs
Click here for an article from TheConversation.com by Dr. Katie Clow (of petsandticks.com fame… well maybe not “fame” quite yet, but the site’s getting more and more attention) about “How to avoid Lyme disease while ticks are hungry in the fall.”… Continue Reading

Raw pet food and human illness

Posted in Cats, Dogs
Human health risks from raw pet food (either from exposure to pathogens in the food or in the feces of pets eating the food) are known to exist but they’re not well characterized. We know that dogs fed raw meat-based diets clearly have increased risk of shedding various pathogens, particularly Salmonella and multidrug resistant E.… Continue Reading

Update: Canine influenza, US and Canada (2018 October)

Posted in Dogs
While we’re still working on sorting out and containing our latest Canadian outbreak of H3N2 canine influenza, we can look to the south to see the problems this virus is still causing. Flu is still active in a variety of locations in the US. The numbers reported are presumably a marked under-estimate, since it’s based… Continue Reading

Update: Canine influenza, Ontario (October 20)

Posted in Dogs
More cases of H3N2 canine influenza have been identified in the province since the virus was re-introduction to central Ontario in the last week. That’s not surprising, since the start of any outbreak investigation is dedicated to figuring out the extent of the problem. Cases identified in the first few days or week reflect things… Continue Reading

Return of canine influenza: Ontario, Canada

Posted in Dogs
Canine influenza virus (CIV) has been re-introduced to Ontario, again in the Muskoka region.  Variant typing for the latest case should be available shortly, but in all likelihood this is once again H3N2 CIV. More details will follow; however, dog owners and veterinarians in this region should be aware of the return of this highly… Continue Reading

Pet therapy dogs and MRSA

Posted in Dogs, MRSA/MRSP
My email and phone have been lighting up over the past few days about news reports describing a study presented at a recent scientific meeting in San Francisco. I wasn’t there and the results aren’t published, so I don’t have a lot to go on, but here are some highlights from the news article on… Continue Reading

Campylobacter outbreak from pet store puppies (and an antibiotic rant)

Posted in Dogs
This week’s edition of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report has a summary of the 2016-2018 campylobacterosis outbreak linked to pet store puppies. Nothing is particularly surprising, but that doesn’t mean it’s not disappointing (or depressing). Click here for the complete article. Here’s a (relatively) brief summary: It all started when sequencing of Campylobacter jejuni… Continue Reading

A new Staph on the block

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases
It’s probably not actually a “new” bacterium but rather recognition of a species that we’ve been mixing up with something else, but regardless, a paper in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (yes, that’s an actual journal) describes a new Staphylococcus species, Staphylococcus cornubiensis (Murray et al. 2018). Here’s what we know: The… Continue Reading

Pets as a cause of death in natural disasters

Posted in Cats, Dogs
No, it’s not pets freaking out and killing people. It’s people staying in harm’s way during natural disasters because they can’t take their pets with them. I saw some data about this from Hurricane Katrina years ago, and while I can’t remember the exact number, an astounding number of deaths were associated with people who… Continue Reading

Bad headlines

Posted in Dogs, Other animals, Rabies
I realize headline writers are trying to attract attention, and sometimes they don’t know much about the content. As a result, some headlines are quite over the top, and that can freak people out. Here are some examples from the past couple of days: 4 year old girl catches life-threatening infection by trying on shoes… Continue Reading

Human rabies death, Delaware, US

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Other animals, Rabies, Vaccination
Human deaths from rabies are common in some developing countries (where tens of thousands die from canine rabies every year) but rare in developed countries. It’s an almost invariably fatal disease, but at the same time it’s almost completely preventable because of the quality of vaccines and post-exposure prophylaxis available. Getting those treatments to the… Continue Reading

Ticks know no borders

Posted in Cats, Dogs
While ticks don’t care about political boundaries, researchers often do (or practical aspects dictate that we must).  That doesn’t mean we can’t work together, though. A recent post at our related site petsandticks.com talks about the differences between US and Canadian tick submissions, and how US residents can submit ticks to the Show Us Your… Continue Reading

More Capnocytophaga Q and A

Posted in Dogs
Capnocytophaga questions keep coming in. I guess that’s good in some ways, because I usually get a lot of blank stares when I mention that bacterium. A recent article about the risks of Capnocytophaga and exposure to dog saliva includes some good information about the topic, but the statements below highlight some issues: It’s important to… Continue Reading

Eastern Equine Encephalitis: Ontario

Posted in Horses
It’s that time of year. Mosquitoes have been annoying me for months (I get bitten multiple times a day where I live, even with repellent), but now they’re becoming a bigger issue. While mosquitoes bite all season, some of the diseases they transmit are only a significant risk at certain times of year. One high… Continue Reading

Doxycycline use and resistant Lyme disease

Posted in Dogs
“Use it and lose it” is often said when it comes to antibiotic resistance concerns. Every time we use an antibiotic (in a person or animal), there’s some potential for resistance to emerge. The more we use antibiotics, and the worse we use them, the greater the risk, generally speaking. Questions about the (rampant) use… Continue Reading

Capnocytophaga in the news… again

Posted in Dogs, Uncategorized
Every couple of months there’s a news report about a person with infection caused by the dog-associated bacterium Capnocytophaga canimorsus. Most of these reports don’t get too much attention, but every once in a while they get picked up pretty widely, resulting in another round of questions about this strange bacterium. It’s a bit of… Continue Reading