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US ban of importation of dogs from Egypt

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
Effective tomorrow, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suspended importation of dogs to the US that: are from Egypt, or originated in Egypt and have been in another country for less than 6 months. This is being done because of multiple cases of rabies in imported dogs specifically from Egypt over… Continue Reading

Oral rabies virus exposure

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
Rabies is “almost always” transmitted by bites and “almost invariably” fatal once disease develops in a person or animal. We use a lot of these kinds of disclaimers with infectious diseases, which can be frustrating, but it’s necessary because exceptional (strange) things occasionally occur. A report in an upcoming edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases (Zhao… Continue Reading

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

Update: Canine influenza, Ontario (March 8)

Posted in Dogs, Vaccination
Canine influenza continues to cause problems in Ontario. The central Ontario (Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Orillia) clusters continue to be monitored, with new positives that were expected based on known contact with infected dogs. Whether these clusters have been contained (or are containable) remains to be seen. Testing and contact tracing continues. As mentioned previously, there was… Continue Reading

WHO rabies vaccination update

Posted in Dogs, Rabies, Vaccination
The World Health Organization has issued new rabies vaccination and post-exposure prophylaxis recommendations. Here are some of the highlights: Post-exposure prophylaxis People who have not been previously vaccinated against rabies should receive immunoglobulin (antibody) promptly, followed by a series of rabies vaccines. Immunoglobulin can be given after vaccination has started, if logistics require that; however, it… Continue Reading

Canine Influenza update and fact sheet

Posted in Dogs, Vaccination
The recent H3N2 canine influenza cluster in Ontario is hopefully still contained. Some infected dogs continue to shed the virus, but a good thing about flu is that there’s no long-term carrier state. Dogs will typically shed the virus for a couple of weeks, but then it should be gone. Accordingly, if the affected dogs… Continue Reading

Dog parks and canine leptospirosis

Posted in Dogs, Vaccination
A Fremont, California dog park was temporarily closed in response to concerns about canine leptospirosis after 4 reports of dogs contracting the disease, potentially associated with exposure at the park. It’s always hard to determine the source of exposure with lepto, but a park is certainly possible. We don’t understand a lot about how and where… Continue Reading

Canine flu vaccination: Canada

Posted in Dogs, Vaccination
Not surprisingly, “should my dog be vaccinated against flu?” has been a very common question over the past few days. Here’s my take on vaccination of Canadian dogs, with the assumption that the recent H3N2 flu cluster in southwestern Ontario has been contained (something that is likely but is still to be determined). Who should… Continue Reading

US rabies map: 2017

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Horses, Rabies, Vaccination
We track a few different diseases, both for research and for general education, including rabies. The maps below provide an overview of rabies in dogs, cats and horses in the US in 2017. It’s not a complete representation of cases, since we don’t have access to everyone’s surveillance data. It’s compiled through monitoring various reports… 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