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Rabies vaccine failure in a dog?

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
Rabies vaccination of dogs is legally required in many areas. In most of those, it must be given by a veterinarian, unlike some other vaccines that can be purchased from a veterinarian or supplier and administered by owners. Why does a veterinarian have to administer rabies vaccines? There are a few reasons. One is that… Continue Reading

Canine leptospirosis maps

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases, Vaccination
I’ve had a few discussions with people over the past week about geographic variation in disease risk. It’s a great subject because it’s an important and often overlooked issue. Whether it’s animals being imported, animals moving with their owners, animals accompanying owners on vacation or animals being moved between regions within the county, movement between… Continue Reading

Polar bears and Clostridium difficile

Posted in Other animals
And now for something completely different. We’ve studied Clostridium difficile in my lab for years and we probably have one of the world’s most diverse collections of this important bacterium. We have thousands of isolates from people, pets, livestock and many different wildlife species (as well as from meat, vegetables and water).  Most of the… Continue Reading

Rabies in the news

Posted in Dogs, Rabies
I’m taking a Brucella break to post a few interesting rabies stories. More rabies in Nunavut A rabies warning was issued to residents of Taloyoak, Nunavut in response to identification of rabies in “a number” of dogs and foxes (I’m not sure what that number is). This isn’t really new, as Arctic fox rabies is… Continue Reading

More Brucella canis: Ontario

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases
This is another one of those “I can’t say much specific because of privacy laws, but there’s so much social media paranoia that I have to say something.” Is there concern about Brucella canis in Ontario? Yes. We have been concerned about this bacterium for a while, particularly in imported dogs and commercial breeders (including… Continue Reading

Echinococcus multilocularis in a child: Quebec

Posted in Deworming, Dogs, Parasites
Echinococcus multilocularis (EM) is an important zoonotic tapeworm.  The situation with this parasite in Canada (and probably the US) is unclear and evolving. It’s increasingly clear that EM is present in a high percentage of wild canids (e.g. coyotes, foxes) in some regions. What this means for human health isn’t clear yet. This tiny tapeworm lives… Continue Reading

Rabies in developing countries

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
We often talk about rabies in the context of high GDP countries, focusing on wildlife rabies and exposure during travel. However, in many parts of the world, exposure to canine rabies is an ever-present risk, and there can be substantial barriers to getting proper post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) when needed. That’s part of the reason tens… Continue Reading

New infographics: Echinococcus multilocularis, feline upper respiratory tract infection

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Other diseases, Parasites
The title says it all… see below for the latest and greatest infographics from the Ontario Animal Health Network, including an update to the very popular E. multilocularis infographic and a new one on treatment of feline upper respiratory tract infection.   To download the infographics in pdf format, visit oahn.ca at these links: Treatment… Continue Reading

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

Streptococcal infection from a horse

Posted in Horses
A common limitation of studies or case reports of zoonotic pathogens or infections is that they are one sided – they often just discuss the human case(s), or they just report carriage of a pathogen in animals. Case reports of human infections often only go as far as saying something along the lines of “this… 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

Wash your hands and save a skunk

Posted in Other animals
Well, not really. Presumably most people don’t have direct contact with skunks; however, that doesn’t mean skunks can’t pick up viruses from us. A study published in Zoonoses and Public Health (Britton et al. 2018) investigated human H1N1 influenza in wild skunks in the greater Vancouver, BC (Canada) area, following up on an earlier study… 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