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Brucella canis in imported dogs: Ontario

Posted in Dogs
I’ve been holding off on this post because the situation is still evolving, but there’s enough of a rumour mill developing (and I’m getting enough emails from concerned people) that I thought I should respond. A little background: Brucella canis is a bacterium that can cause a variety of issues in dogs (particularly reproductive issues),… Continue Reading

Revised ISCAID guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of urinary tract infections in dogs and cats

Posted in Cats, Dogs
Hot off the press… the newest edition of the International Society for Companion Animal Infectious Diseases (ISCAID) guidelines for the diagnosis and management of bacterial urinary tract infections in dogs and cats has been published in The Veterinary Journal. These are updated and expanded clinical guidelines that have been in the works for the past… Continue Reading

New imported distemper strain in dogs

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases, Vaccination
Here’s a report from Cornell University’s Animal Health Diagnostic Center, describing importation of a canine distemper strain that hasn’t been found before in North America: 02/05/2019: (N. America) In early October of 2018, a 12-week old “Sheltie” arrived from Korea. Approximately 12 days later, the dog began with a cough and lethargy with blood work indicating… Continue Reading

Canadian Pet Tick Study

Posted in Cats, Dogs
We’re getting ready to launch the Canadian Pet Tick Study, with funding from the OVC Pet Trust. We’ve had great response from veterinarians in Ontario, but need more clinics from other provinces, so please share this link with out-of-province veterinary colleagues who may be interested! Details are available here: https://www.petsandticks.com/news/calling-all-veterinary-clinics-join-the-canadian-pet-tick-survey… Continue Reading

Rabies in a dog, Ontario

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
It’s easy to get complacent about rabies, even when you live in an endemic region. While we have ample bat rabies, Arctic fox rabies and raccoon rabies in Ontario, spillover into domestic animals is relatively rare. Success can breed complacency, though. When control measures work, it’s easy to forget why they are so important. That’s… Continue Reading

Leftover zoonotic disease Q&A, Part 1

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Rabies
I did a talk recently for Third Age Learning in Guelph, and there was an abundance of questions. I didn’t get through them all at the time, so I figured I’d address some of them here: Do mice carry rabies? Mice aren’t rabies reservoirs like raccoons, skunks or bats, as they don’t have a rabies… Continue Reading

Rabies vaccine conspiracy

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
Before the emails start rolling in… yes, it’s from a satire site. See Dr. Sarah Boston (veterinary cancer surgeon extraordinaire)’s take on how veterinarians are misleading people into protecting people. EXPOSED – Vaccination of Pets Found to be Part of Larger Plot to Prevent Rabies in Humans… Continue Reading

Raw pet food recall and human illness, Minnesota, USA

Posted in Dogs, Salmonella
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has recalled some lots of raw pet food from Woody’s Pet Food Deli, after linking them to a human infection. The link isn’t definite, but was obviously enough to prompt a recall. The situation involves a person who developed salmonellosis and, as is typical, an investigation of possible sources ensued.… Continue Reading

Canine importation survey: Canada

Posted in Dogs
As part of efforts to try to understand the scope of importation of dogs into Canada and what measures might be taken to help reduce the infectious disease risks, we are conducting a survey of dog importers. We invite anyone involved in canine importation activities to participate: Dr. Scott Weese of the Ontario Veterinary College,… Continue Reading

Echinococcus multilocularis: Ontario, Canada

Posted in Deworming, Dogs, Parasites
Echinococcus multilocularis, a small tapeworm with a big name, is causing big concerns in Ontario, an area that was until recently considered free of this parasite. This tapeworm is normally found in the intestinal tract of wild canids (e.g. coyotes, foxes) and can also infect dogs. That itself isn’t a problem, since the intestinal form… Continue Reading

Rabies knowledge of vets and physicians

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Rabies
I spend a lot of time answering questions about rabies exposures, and sometimes trying to clear up misinformation. Rabies is a very important infectious disease but in many regions (like here) it’s fortunately rare in domestic animals and people. However, rarity can breed complacency or lack of (or loss of) knowledge. That creates problems when… Continue Reading

Dogs and tularemia

Posted in Dogs
Tularemia is a nasty bacterial disease. The bug that causes it, Francisella tularensis, is a category A bioterrorism agent (along with things like anthrax, botulism, plague, smallpox and Ebola virus). It’s classified as that because it’s highly transmissible and causes serious disease, so it’s something you definitely don’t want. The bacterium circulates in the wild,… Continue Reading

Holiday bites

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
No, we haven’t changed to a cooking blog, I’m talking about bites of the canine variety. I can’t think of any specific data that would show it, but I wonder whether bites are more common around the holidays, with disrupted schedules and more visitors (and a potential midnight intruder in a red suit). The rabies-related… Continue Reading

Update: Canine influenza, Ontario (December 3)

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases
I’m once again prepared to call Ontario (and Canada) canine influenza-free… for now, at least. The latest cluster, associated with another importation of the virus from China, seems to have been contained. The last new positive case was identified October 30, with the likely date of exposure being October 23. We are now beyond the… Continue Reading

Update: Canine influenza, Ontario (November 17)

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 in mid-October, associated with more importation of dogs from Asia. The last new positive dog was… 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

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