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Please avoid DIY head removal for rabies testing

Posted in Dogs, Rabies
A dog attacks someone and is shot by police. Unfortunate, but sadly it happens. The sheriff’s investigator notifies the county health department, which says the dog needs to be tested for rabies. Good. That sometimes gets missed. The investigator then tells the owner that he has to remove the dog’s head or he’ll face a charge… Continue Reading

Leptospirosis from Puerto Rico hurricane dogs

Posted in Dogs
When Puerto Rico was devastated this fall by Hurricane Maria, I got a few calls from groups thinking about rescuing dogs from the island, and wanting to know what infectious diseases I’d be concerned about. Leptospirosis, a potentially serious bacterial infection that can be transmitted from dogs to people (although that’s fortunately uncommon), was at… 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 be 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

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

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

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

Close encounters of the ‘tick’ kind…Your pet, pathogens & Lyme disease

Posted in Dogs, Horses, Other diseases, Parasites
Guest Blog by Dr. Michelle Evason DVM DipACVIM, and current PhD student researching Lyme disease in dogs Recently, an interesting article on pet ownership and human tick risk was published (Jones et al, Zoonoses and Public Health 2017). The study looked at risk factors for “tick encounters” in people living in Lyme disease endemic states in the… Continue Reading

Clostridium difficile, hospital visitation and dog risk

Posted in Dogs
A reader has been trying to post a question about an older post on C. difficile in visitation dogs. Here’s the question and my answer: Do the dogs have a risk of getting sick from the C. difficile bacteria?  I understand from the post that they can ingest and shed it in their feces, but the post never… Continue Reading

Echinococcus multilocularis: Alberta, Canada

Posted in Dogs, Parasites
Several news articles have been written lately about the recently-described cases of Echinococcus multilocularis infection in four people in Alberta. The cases of alveolar echinococcosis have occurred over the past 4 years, and raise significant concerns. Echinococcus multilocularis is a small tapeworm but it causes big problems. Why? It’s a potentially nasty parasitic disease that can act a lot… Continue Reading

Dog bite near-death: A cascade of missed opportunities

Posted in Dogs
A few sentences into a Washington Post article entitled “A dog bite sent him to the ER. A cascade of missteps nearly killed him”, I was thinking, “This sounds like a pretty typical Capnocytophaga canimorsus infection. I wonder if this guy lost his spleen earlier in life.” It turns out that was true. Unfortunately, neither… Continue Reading

Lyme disease: The difference between knowing and actually doing…

Posted in Dogs, Horses
Guest blog by Dr. Michelle Evason, DVM DipACVIM (as well as current PhD student and coordinator of our Lifetime Lyme Study) In 2014, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) initiated a 3-year marketing campaign (news, advertisements, social media, collaboration with Parks Canada to post signage, etc.) to try to raise the general public’s awareness and… Continue Reading

A perfect storm for canine flu

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases
There were several more reports over the weekend in follow up to the canine influenza outbreak at dog shows in Florida early last week.  Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, associated cases were then found in North Carolina, and have now been reported in 11 states, no doubt  from dogs that were at the shows in Florida… Continue Reading

New methicillin-resistant Staph veterinary dermatology guidelines

Posted in Cats, Dogs
A new Clinical Consensus Guideline, coordinated through the World Association for Veterinary Dermatology, has been released: Recommendations for approaches to methicillin-resistant staphylococcal infections of small animals: diagnosis, therapeutic considerations and preventative measures. Clinical Consensus Guidelines of the World Association for Veterinary Dermatology This large and comprehensive document is open access and can also be downloaded via… Continue Reading

H3N2 Canine Flu in Florida

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Vaccination
The recent H3N2 canine flu outbreak centred around dog shows in Florida has led to the usual round of questions and concerns. How many dogs have been affected? Hard to say. Cases aren’t carefully tracked and it is reasonable to assume that the majority of dogs that developed influenza (especially mild disease) were never diagnosed.… Continue Reading

New Ontario Lyme Disease Risk Map

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses
To continue the map-posting binge that I’ve been on lately, Public Health Ontario has just posted their updated Lyme Disease Risk Areas map for 2017.  For comparison, you can still also access the 2016 map too, and you can see that the risk areas have indeed expanded somewhat, particularly in Eastern Ontario. The estimated risk… Continue Reading

Tick Tracker Update

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses
Our online Pet Tick Tracker continues to receive lots of submissions, so here are some interesting maps showing some of the preliminary information compiled so far.  The maps show where the ticks are being reported, but remember that they’re not necessarily reflective of the true overall picture, since it depends on who is reporting and who isn’t reporting.… Continue Reading