Worms & Germs Blog

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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

Parvo poop and the outdoor environment

Posted in Dogs

Here’s a question that I get commonly: “What do I do to an outdoor area that might have been contaminated by a dog with parvovirus?” There’s not a lot of research to back anything up, but understanding the virus and some basic principles helps us come up with some reasonable recommendations. Parvovirus is… Highly tolerant… Continue Reading

Obscure bug, obscure journal…but infection from feces in the eye not surprising

Posted in Dogs

The latest edition of the journal Orbit (a journal dealing with eyes, not planets) describes an uncommon infection linked to a pet dog. The article (Zuberbuhler et al 2012) outlines ‘acute unilateral dacryocystitis‘ in a 23-month-old girl (translation: .acute=sudden, unilateral=one side, dacryocystitis=inflammation of the nasolacrimal system, which is made up of a small sac and… Continue Reading

MRSP in the park

Posted in MRSA/MRSP

As multidrug-resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP) become more common in pets, there are increasing questions about how to manage animals that carry them. A particular issue is what to do with carriers – animals that don’t have any sign of disease but still carry the bacterium. A small but increasing percentage of healthy… Continue Reading

California Vet Association park safety tips

Posted in Dogs

The California Veterinary Medical Association has published recommendations for dog park safety. The document, entitled "Dog parks harbor risks as well as fun" emphasizes the benefits of park visitation but points out some risks and recommended precautions. Some of the risks associated with park visits include bites, scratches, and exposure to various infectious diseases. Some… Continue Reading

Expensive dog poop

Posted in Dogs

It may just be that the Brits write about it more, but it certainly seems that there is a lot more concern and indignation among Brits regarding people who fail to pick up after their pets. Some of their magistrates also seem to share that concern, much to the chagrin of a UK man. Adrian… Continue Reading

Russian poop patrols

Posted in Dogs

Apparently, Moscow parks are somewhat hazardous, at last in terms of where you step. Moscow dog owners have historically done a poor job of picking up after their dogs, and local officials are trying to intervene. Soon, all Moscow parks will have paper bags and plastic scoops for people to use to pick up after… Continue Reading

Giardia in dog parks

Posted in Dogs, Parasites

There is a recent paper in Preventive Veterinary Medicine about a study of Giardia in canine stool samples collected from urban green areas around Pisa, Italy (Papini et al). The authors went to parks and similar areas and collected stool samples off the ground. They then tested the samples for the presence of Giardia and (very… Continue Reading

Watch your step in Dutch parks

Posted in Dogs

I recently wrote about a Dutch study of zoonotic parasites in pet feces and pets’ haircoats. As part of that study, they asked pet owners about certain behaviours in their pets, and got some interesting answers. 60% of pets visit the bedroom (I’m surprised that’s not higher), with 45% of dogs and 62% of cats allowed… Continue Reading

Parvo in the park

Posted in Dogs, Vaccination

A park in Orange County, Florida has been closed because a dog with canine parvovirus was found in the park.  Canine parvovirus is a potentially serious infection in dogs (mainly puppies) that can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea. In some cases, it can be fatal.  Proper vaccination against parvovirus is critical for puppies. In Orange… Continue Reading