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Echinococcus multilocularis back in the news

Posted in Deworming, Dogs, Parasites
Nothing has changed about Echinococcus multilocularis (the fox tapeworm) in the past couple of months, but my phone is ringing off the hook following another round of media reports about this parasite. Here’s a recap of the issues: Echinococcus multilocularis is a small tapeworm normally found in the intestinal tract of wild canids (e.g. coyotes, foxes)… Continue Reading

PetsAndTicks… New for 2019

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Parasites
I keep saying spring is approaching and I keep getting disappointed by the cold weather.  But it’s going to happen soon, so we’ve been gearing up for tick season. There are a few new initiatives underway for tracking ticks and tickborne diseases in Canadian dogs and cats. Check out the recent post at PetsAndTicks.com for more… Continue Reading

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

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

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

Drunk raccoons?

Posted in Rabies
Rabies and distemper are the two things that come to mind first when a raccoon is acting strangely. Rabies is a big concern because it can also be transmitted to people. Distemper is also a viral infection, caused by canine distemper virus, and is transmissible to dogs and some wildlife species, but is not zoonotic.… 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

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

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

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

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