NEWS

 

Reporting Kym Gable October 22, 2013

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There’s a new federal health alert for dog owners.

Several brands of the jerky treats were voluntarily removed from store shelves back in January.

Now, the Food and Drug Administration is asking pet owners and veterinarians to contact them if their pet has become ill after eating jerky pet treats.

At least 3,600 dogs have been sickened since 2007 and 580 of those pets died.

The FDA has also sent a letter to veterinarians asking them to send in any materials or evidence that can help in the investigation.

For Robin Pierre, it’s hard to hold back tears when she talks about her pug, Bella.

“She was 2-years-old. She was full of life,” says Pierre of her beloved pet.

Pierre claims belle died from kidney failure and she blames Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders, a product made in China and distributed by Nestle Purina.

“Beyond angry,” said Pierre. “This is something that should never happen in the U.S.”

Hundreds of consumers like Pierre have filed complaints with the FDA about the treats and thousands more have signed online petitions.

“You can’t have so many healthy pups die and the common denominator be the chicken jerky imported from China,” said Pierre.

Since 2007, the FDA has issued three warnings about the products, but has not issued a recall.

So far, scientists have not been able to determine exactly what is causing the kidney problems in the pets. Pierre wants the company to take action of its own.

“I think they have misled the consumers into thinking they really care about these animals and they don’t,” Pierre said.

The company, meanwhile, insists that the treats are safe and that they have tests to prove it.

In a statement, the company said: “We have a dedicated team of quality control experts in China, particularly in the plants where Waggin’ Train products are produced.”

If your pet has become ill after eating these treats, you can contact the FDA by calling their Consumer Complaint number: 877-689-8073 (toll-free)

 

Pet Owners Say Dogs Died After Eating ‘Waggin’ Train Jerky Tenders’ Treats Made In China

Heartbroken Owners Issue Warning To Others As FDA Actively Investigates

April 27, 2012 7:50 PM

Waggin Train Jerky Tenders (credit: CBS 2)

Waggin Train Jerky Tenders (credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Heartbroken dog owners in our area and across the country, who claim their dogs have died after eating certain dog treats made in China, are sending a warning to others.

Robin Pierre said her 2-year-old Pug “Bella” died from kidney failure shortly after eating “Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders,” a product made in China and distributed in the U.S. by Nestle Purina.

Pierre said she has trouble holding back tears when she thinks about her Bella,  CBS 2′s Rachel Stockman reported.

“She was 2 years old. She was full of life,” Pierre said.

Pierre is among hundreds of customers who have complained to theFood and Drug Administration about the treats, while thousands have signed a petition online, Stockman reported.

One woman even posted on the company’s Facebook page, “my Maltese dog has only two weeks to live because of kidney failure caused from your dog treats!”

“You can’t have so many pups die, and the common denominator be the chicken jerky imported from China,” Pierre said.

Since 2007, the FDA has issued three warnings about the chicken jerky products, but has not issued a recall because, so far, scientists have not been able to determine a precise cause for the reported illnesses.

The FDA issued the following statement regarding the dog treats:

 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to caution consumers about a potential association between the development of illness in dogs and the consumption of chicken jerky products. The products-also called chicken tenders, strips, or treats-are imported from China. FDA continues to receive complaints of sick dogs that their owners or veterinarians associate with eating chicken jerky products. 

What is FDA Doing?
FDA, in addition to several veterinary diagnostic laboratories in the United States, is working to find out why these products are associated with illness in dogs. To date, scientists have not been able to determine a precise cause for the reported illnesses. FDA has conducted extensive chemical and microbial testing but has not identified any contaminant. FDA continues to actively investigate the problem. Many of the illnesses reported may be the result of causes other than eating chicken jerky.

Tips for Consumers
Do not substitute chicken jerky products for a balanced diet. The products are intended to be used occasionally and in small quantities. Owners of small dogs must be especially careful to limit the amount of these products.
If you choose to feed your dog chicken jerky products, watch the dog closely. Stop feeding the product if your dog shows any of the following signs, which may occur within hours to days after feeding the product:
- decreased appetite, although some dogs may continue to eat the treats instead of other foods
- decreased activity
- vomiting
- diarrhea, sometimes with blood
- increased water drinking or increased urination
Call your veterinarian if signs are severe or last for more than 24 hours. Blood tests may indicate kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatinine). Urine tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome (increased glucose). Although most dogs appear to recover, some reports to FDA have involved dogs that have died.
Consumers and veterinarians should report cases of animal illness associated with pet foods or treats to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator3 listed for their area.

The company, on the other hand, insisted that the treats are safe and that they have tests that prove it.

“We have a dedicated team of quality control experts in China-particularly, in the plants — when Waggin’ Train products are being produced,” according to Nestle Purina.

“I think they have misled the consumers into thinking they really care about these animals and they don’t,” Pierre said.

While the FDA continues to test the treats, dog owners like Pierre hope other owners take notice.

If you do feed your dog the treats, the FDA urges you to keep an eye on your pet. If you see signs like vomiting, drowsiness, or lack of appetite, make sure you call your veterinarian.

 

 

New virus confirmed in Ohio dog may be infecting, killing other dogs in state

Ohio officials have confirmed a case of circovirus in a dog in the Akron area, and are testing more samples taken from other dogs who have fallen ill and may have had the virus. Eight dogs have shown similar, severe symptoms over the past few weeks and four have died. (The Plain Dealer )

By Brie Zeltner, The Plain Dealer 
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on September 06, 2013 at 4:00 PM, updated September 07, 2013 at 7:47 AM

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A mysterious virus may be sickening and killing dogs in Ohio, and could be the first sign of a new illness not seen before in pets. Dogs in the Akron-Canton and Cincinnati areas have fallen ill with similar symptoms over the past three weeks, and half have died, state officials said.

Today, The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) received the first confirmation of a case of the virus, called circovirus, in one of these dogs, said spokeswoman Erica Hawkins. More testing of samples from the other seven dogs who have fallen ill in the state is ongoing, she said, and it’s too soon to know if they all had the same disease.

Of the eight dogs who have had the severe illness over the past few weeks, four have died. Symptoms included vasculitis (which is a destruction of the body’s blood vessels), severe vomiting, bloody diarrhea, fluid buildup around the lungs, as well as rapid heart rate and weakness. Four cases were first reported in the Cincinnati area, followed by four in Canal Fulton, near Canton. 

No new cases have come up since, though there have been many calls from concerned pet owners, Hawkins said. 

State pathologists have sent samples taken from the ill and dead dogs to a lab at the University of California-Davis to test them for circovirus. A one-year-old beagle with circovirus died in California in the spring, and the school’s lab has the equipment to test for the virus, which had not previously been diagnosed in dogs but is common in pigs. 

A study detailing the California case was released in April in the Centers for Disease Control’s online journal “Emerging Infectious Diseases.”

Dr. Melanie Butera, a veterinarian at Elm Ridge Animal Hospital in Canal Fulton, treated all four of the Akron-area dogs, who were extremely ill with very similar symptoms, she said. The two worst cases came in collapsed and weak, with high heart rates and fluid around their lungs. One of the dogs died. All were around 3 or 4 years old, and none of the owners knew each other or spent time together.

“The dogs were so profoundly sick, over such a short period of time,” she said, which is what set off alarm bells for her. One of the dogs, who survived the illness, was leaking fluid from his gums.

“It was the strangest thing I’ve ever seen, and I did emergency work for 20 years, so I’ve seen a lot of stuff.”

Butera has not seen any more cases since sending samples from the affected dogs to the state, but she’s heard from a colleague in the Akron area who may have treated another dog with similar symptoms and also sent samples to the state for testing.

Since posting information about the cases she’s seen on her Facebook page, Butera said “we’re getting all sorts of calls — everyone who ever had a dog who has ever vomited or had diarrhea.”

The statewide concern began around Aug. 16, when ODA urged owners to closely watch their pets after several dog deaths were reported in Norwood, which is in Hamilton County north of Cincinnati. Four dogs there were sickened with similar symptoms, and three died.

All of the dogs had spent time at the same boarding facility, but subsequent testing of the food, water and surfaces in the facility showed no signs of anything that could have triggered the illnesses, according to a statement made by the facility’s owner on the company’s Facebook page. The facility shut down temporarily and replaced its flooring and some equipment as a precaution.

Vets in the Cincinnati area who treated the four dogs sent samples to Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine for testing, said public relations director Melissa Weber. Tests for salmonella and other obvious causes of the illnesses came back negative, she said, and the ODA is awaiting further test results.

The department has not received any additional calls from the Cincinnati area since that time, Hawkins said.

Health officials and veterinarians said that dog owners who suspect an illness should get the pet to a veterinarian right away. If it’s after hours or your vet isn’t available, seek out an emergency vet.

“Pay the money, and get your dog in there, because the dog that survived [in Cincinnati] was the one who got into the vet quickly and was administered fluids immediately,” Weber said.

Weber and Butera, the Akron-area veterinarian, warn dog owners not to panic. There have only been a handful of cases so far, and no definitive cause has been determined. Even if circovirus is responsible for all the cases, it’s not the first time dogs have faced a new illness, nor will it be the last.

Canine influenza, or dog flu, popped up for the first time in greyhounds in 2004 after crossing over from horses. It now passes efficiently between dogs, according to the CDC, and can cause runny nose, cough, and fever, as well as more serious illness.

“Viruses mutate all the time, and we see that in human viruses, and sometimes mutations allow the virus to cross into a different species,” said Butera.

“There are many things can cause these symptoms,” she said, and “there are a lot of things that dogs are exposed to every day. It doesn’t seem like we’re  having some massive outbreak. We just don’t know yet what this is.”

Hawkins said ODA is asking Ohio veterinarians to be alert for symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea in dogs, and recommends that vets call the department to report cases and to get more information about sending samples for testing.

HELP PREVENT PET SUFFOCATION!

 

Chip bags and other food packaging pose serious suffocation risks to our pets. http://www.preventpetsuffocation.com/

9/10/2012 | Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor | 217-333-5802; diya@illinois.edu
CHAMPAIGN, lll. — Researchers report that myxoma – a pox virus that afflicts rabbits but not humans, dogs or any other vertebrates so far studied – infects several different types of canine cancer cells in cell culture while sparing healthy cells. The study adds to the evidence that viruses or modified viruses will emerge as relatively benign cancer treatments to complement or replace standard cancer therapies.

The new study, reported in the American Journal of Veterinary Research, is unique in that it focused on spontaneously occurring cancers in dogs. This allowed the researchers to avoid a common practice: testing viral therapies on mice or rats with induced human cancers. Such animals must be immunosuppressed to prevent their immune systems from rejecting the foreign tissue, complicating the results.

Treating cancers with viruses could offer several advantages over standard cancer therapies, said University of Illinois veterinarian and pathobiology professor Amy MacNeill, who led the new study. Many cancers have impaired anti-viral defenses, which allow viruses to target tumors while sparing healthy cells. And under the right conditions, infection with an oncolytic (cancer-killing) virus exterminates cancer cells and elicits an anti-cancer immune response without spurring a harmful inflammatory response, she said. Chemotherapy and radiation kill healthy cells along with cancer cells and radiation can cause abrupt cell death that spurs inflammation and pain, she said.

“Ideally, what would happen is the virus would get into a few cancer cells, cause cell death and then spread to the other tumor cells nearby,” she said.

Recent studies have shown that oncolytic viral therapies can be used successfully in conjunction with traditional approaches, MacNeill said.

“There was a study in cats where they removed the tumor surgically and then they put a viral therapy in the area where the tumor had been removed,” she said. The animals that received the viral therapy had significantly less regrowth of the cancer than those that weren’t exposed to the virus after surgery.

“Other studies (1, 2, 3, 4) have shown that once you’ve eliminated a cancer with an oncolytic virus, if you re-challenge that animal with the same cancer cells, they don’t develop tumors,” MacNeill said. Viral infection of the cancer cells appears to train the immune system to better recognize the cancer, she said.

In the new study, the researchers wanted to see if spontaneously occurring cancers in dogs were responsive to infection with a virus that is not a pathogen in humans or dogs. They found that cancerous and healthy canine cells respond as human cells do to myxoma infection: The virus invades cancer cells and leaves healthy cells alone. The team also showed that a version of the myxoma virus with a single gene deleted was four times better at killing cancer cells than the unmodified virus. The deleted gene codes for a protein that hinders cell death in infected cells.

More preliminary tests are needed and researchers have many more years of tests and trials ahead, but if all goes well they will eventually test the virus or a modified version of the virus in dogs with cancer, MacNeill said.

“We wanted to make sure that the dog cells were like the human cells because we want to use these viruses not only to cure dogs of cancer but also to use the dogs as better models for humans with cancer,” she said. “People are beginning to see the logic of this approach. These dogs have spontaneous tumors just like humans, they’re living in the same environment as humans, they’re exposed to the same carcinogens in the water if there are any and they sometimes even share our food.”

She calls this approach a “win-win” for dogs and humans.

“This way we can test the therapy in dogs while at the same time treating them,” she said. “Other researchers can take our results and use them to develop therapies for human patients.”

The study team also included researchers from the University of Florida.
Editor's note: To reach Amy MacNeill, call 217-244-3950; email almac@illinois.edu.
The paper, “Oncolysis of Canine Tumor Cells by Myxoma Virus Lacking the Serp2 Gene,” is available online or from the U. of I. News Bureau.      

 

P

 

 

NEW STUDY:  VACCINATION-INDUCED ALLERGIC REACTIONS  IN DACHSHUNDS!

By DCA Health Committee

The DCA Health Committee just received the letter (shown below in quotes) from Dr. George Moore at Purdue University.  We strongly encourage you to participate in this study, since Dachshunds tend to be more prone to allergic reactions to vaccinations than other breeds.

** IMPORTANT NOTE ON DCA HWTF SUBSIDY:  With advance approval, The DCA Health & Welfare Trust Fund will reimburse up to $25.00 per shipment of samples for this study.  (The pre-approval is required because we expect that the study's required number of samples will be met early.)  For approval, please contact Lisa Warren at elysiumdox@aol.com, or 610-285-6425.  Please put "Dachshund Allergy Study" in the subject line of e-mails.  Once approved, submit proof of costs (copies acceptable) to:   Ruth Robins, Financial Administrator, DCA Health & Welfare Trust Fund, 4314 Westport Terrace, Louisville, KY 40207-0714.

“I am very pleased to announce that AKC Canine Health Foundation, with your club’s support, has funded a 2-year study to investigate the causes for vaccination-induced allergic reactions in dogs.

Allergic reactions are the most common adverse event associated with vaccination in dogs.  Recent research has demonstrated that small dogs in general, and Dachshunds in particular, are at higher risk for these reactions.   Although the specific cause of allergic reactions in dogs remains unknown, vaccine components residual from the manufacturing process have been incriminated.  Our study will compare the serum antibody concentrations in Dachshunds demonstrating allergic reactions versus antibody concentrations in other Dachshunds that don’t have reactions, seeking to identify the vaccine components that stimulate allergic reactions. 

Our desire is to receive serum samples from at least 25 Dachshunds with allergic reactions after vaccination and 25 Dachshunds (their littermates, if possible) that did not experience reactions after vaccination.  We are asking owners to have their veterinarian draw blood (3-5 ml) from each dog within 1 month of vaccination/reaction, and we will coordinate with the veterinarian to mail us the serum from the blood.  We will analyze the samples for increases in antibodies against vaccine components that might have caused the allergic reaction.  Owners may choose to receive the results of the tests for their dog(s) or may remain anonymous. 

I would greatly appreciate your widest dissemination of this study to your club members. Information regarding the study and client consent forms is posted on our website at (http://www.vet.purdue.edu/k9vaxrxn/), and this information is also attached.  If you or your club members should have any questions, please contact me at 765-496-3393 or gemoore@purdue.edu. Thanks for your support!”

Sincerely, George E. Moore, DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl ACVIM (SA Int Med), ACVPM (Epi)

Associate Professor of Clinical Epidemiology

Purdue University, School of Veterinary Medicine

Dept. of Comparative Pathobiology

725 Harrison Street

West Lafayette, IN  47907-2027

 

Phone:  765-496-3393 (Fax:  765-494-9830)

 

 

 

 

 

Dog saved by mouth-to-nose breathing

ZEVENAAR, Netherlands, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- A dog in the Netherlands that accidentally hanged itself by its leash was saved by a passer-by who performed mouth-to-snout resuscitation.

The dog, an 18-month-old French Mastiff, jumped or fell from a balcony and dangled from its leash, Sky News reported. Neighbors in Zevenaar cut the dog down and found it had stopped breathing.

"First they tried heart massage, but that didn't work," said a police spokesman. "As I understand it, they then closed its mouth and breathed through its nose."

Some emergency medical technicians administered more first aid, Sky News said. After a visit to the vet, the animal was reportedly in good condition.

Beijing considers pet laws

BEIJING, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- China, concerned about rising cases of pet abuse and abandonment in its cities, plans to pass laws on keeping pets in its capital.

The Beijing Applied Law Research Institute will soon publish a study to help to draft the laws for the city, the Xinhua news agency reports.

The ways to ensure pets and people live in harmony deserve careful research, Wang Sen with the research institute told Xinhua. He said the growing problem involves issues relating to security, pet trade management, pet epidemic prevention and pet-related goods management.

The report says Chinese cities are experiencing a "pet craze." Beijing alone is home to more than 1 million dogs.

 

 


A study by the National Cancer Institute found that dogs in homes where lawns were treated four or more times a year with 2,4,-dichlorophenoxy-acetic acid (2,4-D), a commonly used weed killer, were twice as likely to develop malignant lymphoma (a form of cancer that attacks the immune system) as dogs in homes where herbicides were not used. (The risk to humans is being studied.) To reduce the risk to your dog, use lawn pesticides only when absolutely necessary -- never as a preventive measure. Follow product label directions to the letter. Keep pets (and people) off the grass until it’s dry or for the period specified by the manufacturer. After a few days the herbicide is absorbed by plants and broken down by sunlight. Until then, limit access to the treated area.

Consumer Reports has stated that Ibuprofen can kill dogs. They did not specify dosage. Suggest you check with your Vet before using this popular pain killer.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A study that links lawn chemicals to bladder cancer in Scottish terriers could help shed light on whether they cause cancer in some people, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.

Purdue University researchers surveyed 83 owners of Scottish terriers whose pets had recently been diagnosed with bladder cancer for their report, published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medicine Association.

"The risk ... was found to be between four and seven times more likely in exposed animals," said Larry Glickman, professor of epidemiology and environmental medicine in Purdue's School of Veterinary Medicine.

"While we hope to determine which of the many chemicals in lawn treatments are responsible, we also hope the similarity between human and dog genomes will allow us to find the genetic predisposition toward this form of cancer found in both Scotties and certain people."

Glickman and his colleagues earlier found that Scotties are about 20 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than other breeds.

"These dogs are more sensitive to some factors in their environment," Glickman said in a statement. "As pets tend to spend a fair amount of time in contact with plants treated with herbicides and insecticides, we decided to find out whether lawn chemicals were having any effect on cancer frequency."

The National Cancer Institute (news - web sites) says about 38,000 men and 15,000 women are diagnosed with bladder cancer each year. Humans and animals often share genes that can predispose them to cancer.

"If such a gene exists in dogs, it's likely that it exists in a similar location in the human genome," Glickman said. "Finding the dog gene could save years in the search for it in humans and could also help us determine which kids need to stay away from lawn chemicals."

Glickman's team plans to survey children, as well as dogs, in households that have treated lawns and compare the chemicals in their urine samples with those from households with untreated lawns.

"It's important to find out which lawn chemicals are being taken up by both children and animals," he said.

 

 

Obesity Is Biggest Health Woe for Dogs - Study

Fri Mar 7, 7:49 AM ET

 

LONDON (Reuters) - Obesity is the number one health problem for dogs in Britain, according to a study released on Thursday, just as the renowned Crufts dog show starts.

 

 

The second-biggest health danger was traffic and disc problems were third.

Almost three quarters of physiotherapists questioned cited obesity in the survey by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy -- which deals with animals as well as humans.

Like humans, dogs become obese because they are overfed and do not exercise enough, the study observed.

"As a nation we overfeed at meal times and tend to give 'titbits' through the day as treats for our furry friends," said animal physiotherapist Charlotte Baldwyn. "Good health and fitness for the domestic pet is vital to a happy and long life."

Reinforcing, perhaps, the old saying that owners tend to look like their dogs, official figures have showed the proportion of obese men and women in Britain hit a record high in 2001.

The centenary Crufts show of over 20,000 top pedigree dogs began in Birmingham on Thursday.

 

Vaccinations and auto immune responses:

Tom R. Phillips, Jean L. Jensen, Michael J. Rubino, Wen C. Yang and Ronaid D. Schultz. Effects of Vaccines on the Canine Immune System Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research, Vol. 53, 154-60
ABSTRACT The effects of several commercially available polyvalent canine vaccines on the immune system of the dog were examined. The results demonstrated that the polyvalent vaccines used in this study significantly suppressed the absolute lymphocyte count and that most of the polyvalent vaccines significantly suppressed lymphocyte response to mitogen, but had no effect on natural effector cell activity, neutrophil chemiluminescence, nor antibody response to canine distemper virus. The individual vaccine components from the polyval-ent vaccines when inoculated alone did not significantly suppress the lymphocyte response to mitogen. However, when canine distemper virus was combined with canine adenovirus type 1 or canine adenovirus type 2, significant suppression in lymphocyte responsiveness to mitogen occurred. The results indicate that interactions between canine distemper virus and canine adenovirus type I or canine adenovirus type 2 are responsible for the polyvalent vaccine induced suppression of lymphocyte responsiveness.

 


The dog could be the next animal to have its genome deciphered.

With the genetic sequences of humans and mice almost complete, the Human Genome Project is looking for new contenders.

Officials in the United States have put dogs near the top of the list, after some vigorous debate among scientists.

Canines join chimps, chickens and bees, as high-priority organisms for genome sequencing.

Reading the full genetic code of our animal relatives should shed light on human health and behaviour.

But with so many comparative organisms to choose from, the US National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) called for submissions from scientists around the world.

Good pedigree

Matthew Binns of the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket in the south of England helped put together a white paper calling for the dog genome to be sequenced. He is excited at the prospect.

"Pedigree dog breeds are essentially like isolated human populations," he said. "They're a closed breeding pool.

"They have real advantages for studying some of the complex diseases that are hard to study in humans."

The dog sequencing lobby is led by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of California, Berkeley, US.

They say understanding the canine genome will allow for improved understanding of human health and behaviour.

Dogs suffer from about 400 inherited diseases, most of which have homologous conditions in humans.

"The dog can contribute to human health," Dr Binns told BBC News Online. "We think in the future it will increasingly do so."

There are also potential benefits for dogs themselves, says Dr Jeff Sampson, canine genetics coordinator of the Kennel Club in the UK. There is "huge potential" for wiping out diseases in pedigree dogs, he says.

"Within a matter of a few generations of rigorous DNA testing and selection of appropriate breeding mates you could very quickly remove the faulty gene from the breed's gene pool."

Better burgers

Being on the priority list doesn't guarantee a slot on the world's biggest genome sequencing machines.

But it means dogs should get a look in if lab time and funds become available.

The task then will be to choose the breed. Likely candidates include the beagle, the doberman and the poodle - which has already been sequenced in part.

If dogs don't make it off the drawing board, they may be usurped by another four-legged mammal.

Cows were added to the list by the NHGRI at the same time as dogs. Decoding the cow could lead to safer food and better steaks, say proponents.

 

Digging into Dog Domestication

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

The origins of how humans and dogs developed their association, and when and where this occurred, is the subject of three reports (see the news story by Pennisi). Dogs and wolves (and some primates) are social animals that must comprehend and respond to their own species. Hare et al. (p. 1634) compared the performance of wolves and dogs in interpreting human signals (such as looking, pointing, and tapping) that relate to food location. Unlike wolves, dogs exhibit this skill that helped them interpret human communication. Some studies argue that the domestication of dogs from wolves occurred as a single event, and others favor multiple events and distinct Old and New World origins. The fossil record offers evidence that domestication occurred about 13,000 years ago in the Near East, whereas molecular clock data imply an earlier date. Leonard et al. (p. 1613) analyzed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from ancient aboriginal North and South American dog remains and argue for an single Asian origin for dogs. Dogs migrated to the Americas with their human companions via the Bering Strait about 12,000 to 14,000 years ago, but these indigenous breeds appear to have been replaced by larger European breeds during the colonial period.

Savolainen et al. (p. 1610; see the cover) collected mtDNA sequences from 38 Eurasian wolves and 654 domestic dogs sampled across Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Arctic America to assess the number and location of dog domestications. The higher genetic diversity in dogs from East Asia compared to Southwest Asia and Europe suggests that dogs originated in East Asia. This phylogenetic analysis, when interpreted in light of archaeological data, suggests that domestic dogs originated around 15,000 years ago, with several origins from wolves.

 

Illinois reports 1st West Nile case in a dog
Wed Sep 18, 7:21 AM ET

Tim Friend USA TODAY

Veterinarians in Illinois have confirmed the first U.S. case of West Nile virus ( news - web sites) in a dog.

 

   

The infected dog, which has died, was an 8-year-old mix of Irish setter and golden retriever that may already have had a disease that weakened its immune system. Officials do not expect an epidemic of the virus in household pets, but they caution that older dogs, puppies and dogs that already have weak immune systems could be at risk.

''As far as we know, this is the first case nationally that has resulted in the death of a dog,'' says John Andrews, director of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. ''There may be other dogs that have been exposed.''

The only other confirmed report of West Nile virus in a dog is from Botswana, Africa, in 1978.

Officials at the Illinois Department of Public Health ( news - web sites) laboratory in Chicago and the State Natural History Survey confirmed the diagnosis. The virus appears to have been transmitted by mosquitoes. They say it is unlikely the virus could be transmitted from other animals to dogs.

Andrews says he is less concerned about an epidemic in dogs than he is of one in squirrels. Illinois officials confirmed three cases in gray squirrels, which Andrews says ''are the tip of the iceberg.'' Squirrel populations nationwide could be affected, an indication of how widely the virus has spread.

Infected squirrels have been reported vocalizing with sounds that indicate they are in pain. Other symptoms include running in circles, biting their paws and falling off tree limbs. Squirrels infected with West Nile virus have been reported in New York, but officials say those cases are not well documented.

The infected dog showed neurological symptoms, including unusual head bobbing, lethargy and progressive weakening. Andrews recommends pet owners avoid walking at-risk dogs in areas with lots of mosquitoes and keep them indoors in the evening. He says to avoid putting insect repellent on dogs because they lick it off and ingest it. Researchers are developing vaccines for domestic animals.

 

We don't vaccinate humans every year, so why is it that we are advised to vaccinate our dogs and cats annually? It is well known that a certain number of humans will be damaged by vaccines, but vets claim that only a tiny minority of dogs and cats suffer adverse vaccine reactions. Is this true?

After the death of two young dogs, Catherine O'Driscoll discovered that the risks of vaccination are much higher than anyone cares to admit - the 'tiny minority' is a significant significant number! Today, many vets around the world are questioning the vaccine regime. Some assert that vaccines do more harm than good, and the risks far outweigh the benefits.

Turning the world on its head, Catherine O'Driscoll gives you - ordinary dog owners and lovers - the information that vets won't or can't tell you. Her aim is to share the truth so that dog lovers everywhere can make informed choices about the well-being of the pets they treasure. In fact the risks are much higher than are admitted. When is it right to vaccinate, when not to vaccinate? This book reveals the answers. There is solid scientific research to demonstrate that vaccines can be harmful. This book gives the researched facts about:

bulletvaccines that can cause encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain - encephalitis has many diverse symptoms, usually involving a highly sensitised state such as allergies, skin problems, behavioural problems, convulsions, eating disorders, and more. bulletvaccines that are mixed with deadly poisons. bulletvaccines that can cause the diseases they are designed to prevent. bulletvaccines that shed into the environment, spreading disease. bulletvaccines that disarm and unbalance the immune system. bulletvaccines which need and do not need annual usage .

Disease Story: Heartworm Hype

The chemicals used in most of these heartworm preventatives can cause serious side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, weakness and convulsions even in the healthiest animals. It is not uncommon for pet owners to rush into vet offices confused about what is wrong with their pet. Here is the irony, when the vets see these symptoms, they usually want to start your pet on a heartworm "preventative" medication thinking the symptoms may be heartworm, and they want to take precautions.

Thankfully, a portion of the veterinary industry has acknowledged these dangers. Known as "alternative vets" they are open to re-examining treatments for the safest and most effective "alternative." Some actually recommend not giving your pet the chemical heartworm preventatives. And many of those alternative veterinarians believe that long term use of heartworm prevention is a link in the chain of diseases such as skin allergies, arthritis, liver and kidney diseases and many types of cancers. For the complete consumer review of heartworm medicine..

Subj: Canine Health - Date Unknown

From: buskirk@erols.com (Van Buskirk)

Subject: MAJOR CANINE HEALTH ALERT READ THE INFO BELOW. IMPORTANT

Some of you may have experience or are just experiencing a flu like bug that is rapidly moving across the Pacific northwest area. The symptoms are vomiting, slightly elevated fever for 48-72 hours and a lack of appetite for about a week.  This virus is highly contagious and spreads through kennels like wildfire. While seemingly innocuous to young adults and older - this virus is now killing young baby puppies. While I do not wish to mention the kennel almost half of a litter was lost yesterday. One of the kennels dogs came up California with the flu - gave it to the other kennel dogs - they had absolutely no contact with mom and the puppies - the virus was transmitted on the bottoms of shoes, momma dog got it and 3 out of 8 puppies were lost this week.

Autopsy said that the virus caused massive e coli infection in the puppy body cavities. Our vet recommends that absolutely no contact be made to new puppies at this  time, use bleach or parvisol on shoes and anything that will cause an outside contact to the puppies. We are attempting to obtain stool samples to isolate this virus so that some defense can be mounted to it. Please be very very very careful for your puppies - this one is a very bad one and again - spreads like the flu.

I've heard about this canine illness before. Also heard about it last week--it supposedly has been spreading all over West Coast in particular. I didn't know that people could get it, too.

We should all be very careful coming back into our homes from dog shows.

Disenfect shoes, etc. Wash dogs paws and don't bring show equip into house (including crates--until they are disenfected). Maybe even isolate show dogs for l-2 days till incubation period over. I know this sounds like a lot to do--I do this most of the time anyway and it's a bitch. But this illness is a real bummer and it's probably better to be safe rather than sorry with this one.

Subject:

Print this Out and keep this is important..and also go to links..Ok

From:

PJPompei@aol.com

To:

Incorvaia@bigfoot.com

 

I got this one yesterday and though that it was  IMPORTANT to get this out to as many of you as posable. Early detection is a good thing.

Here are some answers to the latest outbreak of what's being called a flu like illness in Dogs. ANYONE who owns a dog or does rescue, I urge you to PLEASE read the following.

I found more info about the doggy 'flu' on my corgi list. I pray that no one on this list has had to deal with this on a first hand

basis.

This "flu" was rampant last April after the Bernese National & hit entire kennels from the East to the West coast.

The name of this infection is "Campylobacteriosis."

Definition: Campylobacteriosis: acute diarrhea in puppies runs course in seven to ten days ***can cause a severe enteritis in humans.

There is a webpage with information http://www.ao ne.com/~skylok1/health.html#DOG SHOW CRUD

For more on this disease http://www.mednets.com/cam pylobacteriosis.htm

It's a bacterial imbalance in the digestive tract. Will sometimes test low positive for Parvovirus. It is BACTERIAL. It is NOT a new form of Parvo.

Mode of infection: widely varied, but mostly from contact with urine, feces, something brought in on shoes, etc. Symptoms start 12-48hrs after initial contact (usually) & spread to other dogs rapidly .

Dogs are alert, hungry, energetic. Normal feces starts with mucus sheath & continues to get progressively softer until it is watery & contains blood. It then becomes explosive. Vomiting may accompany & may or may not also contain blood. Feces have a sweet/flowery aroma along with a "slaughterhouse on a summer day" smell (similar to Parvo diarrhea but with a floral hint). Feces are *usually* mustard colored. Dogs dehydrate at an astounding rate. Dogs are also at risk of intesusseption.

What is happening is that there is a bacterial growth in the digestive tract which throws it off balance. The body is trying to counteract this by removing the extra (or offending) bacteria. It seems to do this by trying to remove ALL body fluids as quickly as possible. Death is caused by massive dehydration. This can occur as quickly as 12hrs or continue for a few days.

The younger the dog, the worse it is. Some dogs may never get it, even though they may be kenneled with an afflicted dog. Some dogs also get over this without treatment.

The key is to treat this as fast as possible before the dogs go anorexic AND to treat ALL dogs on the premises (non-afflicted dogs should get ONE capsule). Treatment is 250 mg Cephalexin per 25lbs of body weight. Pups may get Ceph-drops. This MUST be given orally NOT I/V - it MUST go thru the digestive tract (I don't know WHY it works this way, but it does). If the dog vomits the pill up, just give it again until it stays down. Give another dose approx. 12hrs later. If the dog returns to normal DO NOT medicate again. It's important NOT to run a full 10 day course of this drug as it has (in the past) caused the bacterial balance to go the other way. If needed, give medication for 2 more days, or whenever symptoms reoccur.

If the dogs are massively dehydrated, DO NOT use an IV drip. Their circulatory system will be very depressed & *if* a vein can be found, it may not be able to support an IV. Lactated Ringers Solution SUB-Q is suggested & forcing electrolytes orally. IV rehydration HAS thrown animals into deep shock (see above). Slow rehydration. Slow slow slow. Just enough to keep them alive until the *bug* is nipped in the bud.

After the diarrhea has stopped, you can cram the dog as full of fluids as you want, just not when it is at its most fragile point.

Anorexic dogs have to be tempted to eat again. Rare, bloody, slightly garlicky & slightly salty beef has worked the best in the past forgetting the appetites working. Start small. You may have to give anorexic dogs Nutri-Cal to get them going again. But after they are cured they *will* begin to eat again.

Do NOT automatically assume Parvo when you see this. Parvo treatments have killed the majority of Crud dogs. If you suspect Parvo, try the Cephalexin 1st, if it doesn't work, THEN assume Parvo. Do NOT use Amoxy-cillin.

Keflex has worked in the past. Dogs should show improvement within hours of treatment.

If you have any questions, please e-mail Bonnie privately at <"K9gang@az.com">k9gang@az.com

with the subject CRUD.

You may reprint this.

 

CATS AND DOGS ARE JUST AS SUSCEPTIBLE TO SKIN CANCER AS HUMANS

MANHATTAN -- While many people are heeding the advice of experts and using preventive measures to guard against overexposure to the sun, it is important to remember that pet owners also need to protect the family cat and dog from the sun's intense rays.

According to Dr. Ruthanne Chun, assistant professor and oncology researcher at Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, cats and dogs can develop skin cancer lesions just like humans.

Estimates show that for every 100,000 dogs, 450 are diagnosed with some form of skin or subcutaneous-tissue (structures just below the skin) cancer, and 120 cats are diagnosed for every 100,000. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer among dogs and is the second most common cancer in cats, Chun said.

Chun added that the sun plays a big role in the development of skin cancer among cats and dogs.

"Just like fair-skinned people are more likely to have problems with skin cancer, white dogs and cats are more prone to skin cancers, especially on the areas of their body that are thinly haired, such as the belly on dogs, and the ear tips and around the eyes on cats," Chun said.

Not all tumors are caused by exposure to the sun. Chun said that viruses, hormones, genetics, vaccines and burns are also associated with skin cancer.

"In cats, fibrosarcoma can be caused by vaccination against rabies or the feline leukemia virus," Chun said.

So, how do cat or dog owners know if their pet has skin cancer?

"Skin cancer may be a concern with any lump that persists or grows, is red or irritated looking, bleeds, or if the animal licks or scratches continuously at the site," Chun said. "Even though there may be a lump that is red or bleeding, that does not mean that it is malignant. However, it is always best to have any lump evaluated by a veterinarian."

She added that there are several steps a pet owner can take to prevent skin cancer.

"White cats and cats with white on their face should not be allowed outdoors during sunny days. Likewise, dogs should not be allowed to 'sunbathe,' especially if they have thin-hair coats," Chun said.

Preventing skin cancers associated with vaccination in cats is approached a bit differently because vaccination against rabies is unavoidable, Chun said.

"The vaccine should be given in the right rear leg to ensure that if a tumor does arise it can be easily removed surgically," Chun said. "Studies have clearly shown that if all the vaccines are given over the neck or back or between the shoulder blades, a tumor is more likely to develop and it is more likely to be fatal to the animal because it is harder to remove."

Dogs are not susceptible to skin cancers from vaccinations, Chun added.

Treatment for skin cancer is dictated based on the type of tumor, but surgery is the most common treatment. Radiation therapy, cryotherapy (freezing the tumor), and chemotherapy are all used in the treatment process, Chun said.

She also said that the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at K-State is using new technology in the fight against cancer.

"As far as new equipment, we have a linear accelerator for radiation therapy for dogs and cats. We got it about a year ago," Chun said. "We are also very excited because we are getting a CT scan and an MRI unit for diagnosing problems more accurately. We hope these will be in place this fall."

Chun also underlined the fact that no matter what causes the skin cancer, the well-being of the animal always comes first.

"It is very important for owners to know that anytime we treat an animal for cancer, quality of life is as important to us as curing the cancer," Chun said. "So, even though we may use radiation or chemotherapy, we design our treatments so our patients will have a normal, happy and comfortable quality of life while going through therapy."

Pet owners are directed to KSU-Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital's oncology department for more information.

Prepared by Jason Nicol. Reporters and editors who wish more information, contact Ruthanne Chun at 785-532-4243.


HOT SUMMER TEMPERATURES COUPLED WITH HIGH HUMIDITY CAN OVERHEAT DOGS

MANHATTAN -- Because of the way dogs cool themselves, they are more susceptible to heat exhaustion than humans. Below are some steps for the identification and treatment of heat exhaustion.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion:

* Heavy panting
* Dog begins huffing and puffing or gasping for air
* Dog begins to weave when it walks because of dizziness
* Dog lays down or collapses and can't get up
* Dog becomes unconscious

Depending on the seriousness of the situation, these are the steps an owner should take if your dog is suffering from heat exhaustion:

1. Move the dog out of the sun and into the shade or into an air-conditioned building.
2. Give the dog water to drink.
3. Rinse the dog off either in the bath tub or with a garden hose.
4. Place the dog in front of a fan while it is still damp.
5. Place ice bags around the dog's head and neck.
6. Take the dog to the veterinarian only after the dog has been cooled down.
 

Prepared by Jason Nicol. For more information contact Dr. William Fortney at 785-532-4135.

 

 

Source: Kenneth Harkin, 785-532-4251, e-mail harkin@vet.ksu.edu
News release prepared by: Jason Nicol, 785-532-6415
Note to editors: zoonoses is plural of zoonosis

Thursday, November 15, 2001

ALTHOUGH RARE, PETS CAN TRANSMIT DISEASES TO OWNERS

MANHATTAN -- Zoonosis is defined as any disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans. Rabies is a prime example of such a disease. However, there are a multitude of other ailments that owners can pick up from their pets.

Dr. Kenneth Harkin, assistant professor in the clinical sciences department in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University, studies zoonoses and said both cats and dogs can harbor diseases that could infect pet owners.

"The animal does not necessarily have to be sick to transmit the disease," Harkin said. "Dogs may serve as vectors for tick-borne disease, while cats can serve as vectors for both flea and tick-borne diseases.

"It is also important to note that as populations expand and encroach on areas previously occupied by wild animals, we may be opening ourselves up to re-emerging or new zoonoses."

He said there are several ways for a pet to contract diseases associated with zoonoses.

"Some of them (diseases) are transmitted from the mother to the puppies or kittens either in utero or shortly after birth," Harkin said. "Others are obtained by hunting, such as eating rabbits, mice, rats, or other wildlife, and being exposed to ticks and fleas."

There are several ways an owner can become exposed to disease, Harkin said.

"Transmission can be in the form of bites and scratches from the animal. Aerosol, tick transmission, fecal to oral, and contact with infective exudates, like draining skin lesions, are all major examples," Harkin added. "It is especially important to teach children good hygiene."

He also said persons with damaged immune systems should be cautious with their pets.

"Patients with HIV or on chemotherapy or immunosuppressive drugs are at a high risk of pet-associated diseases. Toxoplasmosis, bartonellosis (cat scratch disease), campylobacteriosis, salmonellosis and dermatophytosis (ringworm) are probably the biggest worries," he said. "In humans, toxoplasmosis can present itself as a neurological disease, lung disease, malaise, lymphadenopathy, and chorioretinitis (inflammation of the eye). Cat scratch disease can be present as an inoculation papule that may spread and develop into a painful swollen regional lymph node.

Harkin said an individual with bartonellosis might show signs of a flu-like illness with fever, malaise and fatigue.

"They may develop generalized lymph node enlargement, which may be abscessed, seizures, inflammation of the eye, pneumonia, bacillary angiomatosis, and peliosis hepatica, which is more common in AIDS patients."

Because animals with zoonoses may show no signs of being sick, Harkin said it is difficult to identify specific symptoms in them. However, the first line of defense for pet owners is to ensure their animal is protected from disease.

"I like to think veterinary care has reduced the risk of many pet-associated diseases, but it is also likely a result of changing demographics of pet ownership," he said. "Good flea and tick control and making cats indoor only and preventing dogs from roaming will definitely help.

"Pet owners should be aware of the risks, versus being concerned. It's fairly uncommon for an owner to contract a disease from their pet. However, they should seek annual health care to make sure their pet is healthy and free of intestinal parasites."

 

Source: Thomas Schermerhorn, 785-532-5690, e-mail: tscherme@vet.ksu.edu
News release prepared by: Jessica Clark, 785-532-6415
Editor's Note: Schermerhorn is pronounced (sure-mur-horn) and norepinephrine is pronounced (nor-epi-nef-ren)

Thursday, February 28, 2002

FINDING OUT WHAT'S RIGHT MAY BENEFIT DOGS AND CATS WITH DIABETES

MANHATTAN -- When something is broken, you may first have to find out how it functions properly to fix it.

A Kansas State University researcher is using that idea to see what is wrong or different in animals with diabetes versus those that are normal.

Thomas Schermerhorn, assistant professor of clinical sciences, is involved in research that may be applied to diabetes in dogs and cats, as well as humans.

"We know what goes wrong in diabetes, but we don't know why it goes wrong. Our approach looks at what is normal and compares that to an abnormal cell to find out where the problem is," Schermerhorn said.

Schermerhorn's research focuses on the functions of the beta cell, the cell in the pancreas that secretes insulin. There are thousands of beta cells, each one with tiny granules containing small amounts of insulin. The granules go to the cell membrane and stay there until receiving the proper stimulus, Schermerhorn said.

"Each granule has a tiny amount of insulin, each one secreting insulin resulting in a normal response after eating a meal. This lowers blood sugar and keeps it under control," Schermerhorn said.

The beta cells Schermerhorn studies are altered so they are capable of reproducing outside the body yet can still secrete insulin. These cells act exactly like beta cells that live inside normal animals and humans, Schermerhorn said.

Schermerhorn began by looking at inhibitors of insulin and found that once the beta cell was stimulated to secrete insulin, it could then be modified by inhibitors. The inhibitors tend to decrease cell response to glucose, the principal nutrient in a diet that stimulates secretion.

Norepinephrine, an inhibitor sometimes called noradrenaline, can inhibit secretion profoundly and has direct effects on the proteins in the final stage of granule release, Schermerhorn said.

"Norepinephrine somehow alters or impairs three crucial proteins from coming together. This either disables the granule from being secreted, or prevents the granule from coming to the membrane and forming a protein complex," Schermerhorn said.

Diabetes is the second most common endocrine problem of older cats and one of the top three endocrine problems of older dogs.

Weight loss, excessive water consumption and excessive urination are common symptoms in dogs or cats indicating they may need to be tested for diabetes, Schermerhorn said.

"Usually, the dog or cat maintains an excellent appetite although they do not gain weight, but instead they may lose weight," Schermerhorn said.

"We're hoping to use a physiological approach to learn about beta cell function and provide a basis for the study of abnormal beta cell function that might contribute to the development of diabetes," Schermerhorn said.

Schermerhorn's research is in collaboration with Geoffrey Sharp, department of molecular medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, and Philine Wangemann, department of anatomy and physiology at K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine.

The research project is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.

Search speeds up for diseased canine genes

Scientific, technological advances aid MSU professor in quest to find faulty canine genes

EAST LANSING, MICH. - The canine genome is comprised of tens of thousands of genes, and a Michigan State University associate professor is using a new, rapid technique to find the "bad" ones.

Patrick J. Venta, Ph.D., is using a genetic marker called the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) to speed the search process, and he has disovered a method to identify them

Like other genetic markers, SNPs are tested for co-inheritance with disease genes on individual dog chromosomes. The difference is SNPs can be examined relatively easily without costly scientific equipment Due to the work in human genetics, its also possible to automate that process.

But few SNPs are known in the canine genome, and an inexpensive way to find these markers previously was lacking.

Now, a simple method of SNP identification has been developed. Ifs called pool-and-sequence (PAS) and allows researchers to find SNPs in nearly every canine gene. The structure of the canine gene is needed to do this, but if unknown, it can be inferred from the structure of the same gene found in the Human Genome Project (HGP). Using the PAS method and gene structures gleaned from the HGP, it will be possible to produce a sufficient number of SNPs to cover all canine chromosomes and help searches for canine disease genes, reports the American Kennel Club's (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, the group responsible for funding the research.

Also, by comparing dog and human genomes, it will be possible to find markers that are closer to canine disease genes. This will result in more accurate DNAbased carrier tests for eliminating undesirable genes, thus providing breeders with more information about the genetic makeup of their dogs, the AKC says.

 

 

 

NEW YORK, Jan 30, 2002 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Concerned that the highly-trained dogs involved in the World Trade Center and Pentagon search and recovery efforts may have sustained long term damage to their health, the AKC Canine Health Foundation has awarded two grants totaling $400,000 to study the medical consequences of exposure to the environmental toxins unleashed by the September 11 disaster. The seven year old Foundation is an affiliate of the American Kennel Club (AKC).

These studies will be the first comprehensive and follow-up studies conducted on search and rescue dogs.

The grants have been awarded to New York City's Animal Medical Center and the University of Pennsylvania for two and three-year studies of approximately 300 search and rescue dogs deployed by the New York Police Department (NYPD), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and private owners at Ground Zero and the Pentagon.

A team of 15 veterinarians, scientists, toxicologists, behaviorists, radiologists and critical care veterinarians will participate in the two studies. Principal investigators are Philip Fox, DVM, MSc, Animal Medical Center and Cynthia M. Otto, DVM, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, respectively. Both worked with search and rescue dogs at Ground Zero.

AKC Canine Health Foundation President Howard Falberg said funds for the grants came from the AKC Canine Health Foundation Search and Rescue Dog Health Fund, launched in October.

To get the Fund started, The American Kennel Club made an initial contribution for the University of Pennsylvania study and Nestle Purina Pet Care (formerly Ralston Purina Company) contributed to both grants. Other organizations contributing included Veterinary Pet Insurance and the Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge Foundation.

"Immediately following the tragedy, we held discussions with veterinarians, search and rescue teams and other experts. The unanimous conclusion was that the health of these dogs was at risk. We were determined to do something to help," said Falberg.

"We commend the AKC and Nestle Purina who stepped up to the plate immediately when it became known that these dogs might be in danger. We are grateful to them and all the organizations and individuals who are contributing to the fund," Falberg noted.

Alfred Cheaure, The American Kennel Club President and CEO, said, "The heroic efforts of the search and rescue dogs during and after the events of September 11 demonstrate the true strength of the human-canine bond. The AKC is committed to supporting the work of these dedicated dogs and handlers, and as part of this commitment, the AKC Board has approved funds to support these long term AKC Canine Health Foundation grants."

The Animal Medical Center study will focus on the New York Police Department (NYPD) Canine and Bomb Detection unit dogs while The University of Pennsylvania study screens Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and privately-owned dogs deployed in search and rescue operations at both the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Medical and behavioral information will be collected on all 300 search and rescue dogs, using a survey developed by the University of Pennsylvania team.

Animal Medical Center's Dr. Philip Fox, who provided emergency veterinary care for police dogs from the very beginning on September 11 at Ground Zero, said little data is currently available on health and medical implications of urban disasters, particularly those involving building collapse, incineration and bioterror agents.

"Because health implications resulting from these disasters are relatively unknown, we have no idea about the long term health risks these dogs may encounter. Most concerning is the potential for long term injury related to toxic fumes, air-filled soot and ground-littered debris encountered while working at the WTC site. Unlike their handlers, the dogs were unable to wear masks and worked close to the ground where the effects could be magnified."

According to Dr. Cynthia M. Otto, the dogs will be monitored for three years to detect evidence of infection, toxic injury, lung disease and cancer. Chest radiographs will be given; medical and behavioral information collected and compared to a control group. The psychological effects on the FEMA dog handlers will also be monitored.

Besides helping the dogs involved in the September 11 tragedies, Otto said this data ultimately should help improve safety, health, working conditions and monitoring of the search and rescue dogs and their human companions. Also, it is expected to prove useful to local, state and Federal agency emergency preparedness programs.

Contributions to the AKC Canine Health Foundation Search and Rescue Dog Health Fund can be made by contacting the Foundation at 1-888-682-9696, www.akcchf.org or mailing them to AKC/CHF, 251 W. Garfield Road, Suite 160, Aurora, OH 44202-8856.

The AKC Canine Health Foundation, founded in 1995, is the largest non- profit funder of exclusively canine health research in the world. Its mission is to develop significant resources for basic and applied canine health programs, with an emphasis on genetics.

The AKC, founded in 1884, is one of the oldest sports-governing organizations. It maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world, is responsible for overseeing the governance of the sport of purebred dogs, and keeps records of competitive results. For further information about AKC and the sport of purebred dogs, visit AKC Online at www.akc.org or contact the Communications Department at 212-696-8343.

 

GLAUCOMA IN PETS REQUIRES IMMEDIATE VETERINARY ATTENTION

MANHATTAN -- Glaucoma in animals, especially dogs, requires immediate emergency treatment to prevent blindness.

Kansas State University veterinarian Dr. Harriet Davidson, associate professor of clinical sciences, said glaucoma is caused by an increase in intraocular pressure in the eye that results from abnormal fluid not being removed. It can cause acute blindness in as little as 24 hours or may take weeks to months depending on the pressure sustained.

Primary glaucoma can be hereditary: it develops by itself and tends to affect both eyes. Secondary glaucoma is caused by an abnormality in the drainage of the fluid in the eye. Cocker spaniels and basset hounds are especially predisposed to glaucoma.

While glaucoma is not easily detected, pet owners should look for increased redness of the outer eye lining and be concerned if the cornea, usually clear in color, turns white or hazy. Although dogs seems to be extremely tolerant of glaucoma, they may tip their heads to help release pressure from the aggravated side, keep their eyelids closed or pull away when owners try to touch them. Davidson said pet owners should also look for lack of appetite and signs of depression.

If pet owners think they notice signs of glaucoma, Davidson urges them to take their animals to the veterinarian immediately.

"Ask the vet to measure the intraocular pressure," Davidson said. "They have to be very specific because without the test it can be easily misdiagnosed."

Costs to treat glaucoma vary from $300 to $1,000 depending on the type and severity of glaucoma and the size of the animal. Options for treating glaucoma include surgery, therapy, medications or a combination of the available treatments.

"If dogs develop glaucoma and owners don't detect it, dogs can lose vision right away," Davidson said. "It's better to err in thinking the animal might have glaucoma than not testing for it at all."

-30-

For more information contact Harriet Davidson at 785-532-5690 or by e-mail at davidson@vet.ksu.edu

 

LEPTOSPIROSIS RAISING HEALTH CONCERN AMONG COMPANION ANIMAL OWNERS

MANHATTAN -- Re-emerging or re-recognized? Only your veterinarian knows for sure.

While foot and mouth and mad cow diseases have dominated news headlines in recent months, another disease is raising health concern among owners of companion animals across the country, according to a Kansas State University veterinarian.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can infect almost any species of animal -- dogs, horses, cows, pigs, etc. According to Dr. Kenneth Harkin, an assistant professor of clinical sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine, the disease is rarely seen in cats. Leptospirosis can cause an array of clinical signs. The severity of the disease can vary widely; however, leptospirosis has the potential to be severe and even fatal.

The disease is caused by Leptospirosis spp., a spirochete bacteria related to the bacteria that causes Lyme disease and syphilis. There are more than 300 pathogenic varieties (serovars), worldwide. Historically, in the United States, two varieties -- canicola and icterohaemorrhagiae -- were primarily responsible for the disease in dogs. The incidence of infection from these two has declined over the past 30 years, most likely due in large measure to vaccination. The increase in cases most recently has been due primarily to the varieties pomona and grippotyphosa. Until recently no vaccine for these varieties was available.

Leptospira varieties have what are termed maintenance hosts and incidental hosts. Maintenance hosts are those animal species which serve as a reservoir for the Leptospira organism, and in which transmission is very efficient. Incidental hosts include those species of animals that do not act as reservoirs, but that can be infected by the organism. The organism replicates in the kidneys of maintenance hosts and is shed in the urine. In warm damp environments the organism can survive for months in water or soil. Transmission can occur to the new host, either maintenance or incidental, by coming in contact with contaminated water, soil or the carcass of an infected animal.

In dogs, Harkin said there are various symptoms; however, the vast majority of dogs have a sudden onset of vomiting, which may be proceeded by muscle or joint pain or stiffness. Pet owners may mistake this early stage as arthritis and treat the dog with aspirin or another nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

A less frequent symptom seen in dogs is excessive thirst and urination. Harkin said pet owners are at risk because the dog drinks and urinates so much that they may do so in the house, exposing the owner to the disease.

"There are a few other odd-ball things that can be seen with leptospirosis such as respiratory compromise and pancreaitis," Harkin said. "But the most common symptoms are vomiting and those associated with kidney failure."

If caught early, Harkin said treatment is usually effective and the survival rate is good. However, time is of the essence.

"If you let it go for three or five days, treat it with the wrong antibiotic or with inappropriate fluid therapy, it can create irreversible renal failure," Harkin said.

Humans are also at risk for contracting leptospirosis. Symptoms can be relatively mild and include flu-like symptoms, ocular pain, redness of the eyes, nasal discharge, fever, or muscle and joint pain; however, it can progress to more severe kidney and liver failure. Harkin likens contracting the disease to being "hit by a truck."

"I've actually talked to people who have said they can remember not just the day they got sick but probably the hour and the minute," Harkin said. "It hits you that hard and fast."

According to Harkin, there is a "bit of contention" as to whether the disease is re-emerging or that veterinarians are recognizing it more.

"I think it might be a combination of both," Harkin said. "Veterinarians are a little bit more educated about leptospirosis and making more of an effort to diagnose it."

Prepared by Keener A. Tippin II. For more information contact Harkin at 785-532-4251.

 

 

Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (a form of canine streptococcus bacteria that causes the "flesh-eating" disease in humans) has struck! Kansas again. This same disease killed a number of racing greyhounds in Kansas in 1992. Veterinarians warn that the dogs need prompt medical attention -- their condition can deteriorate rapidly with death occurring in just eight hours.

Symptoms include high fever, rigidity and muscle spasms, weakness, coughing, diarrhea and bleeding. Antibiotics given early in the disease process presents the best chance for recovery. There is no preventive vaccine.

 

 

 

 

Story Filed: Friday, October 26, 2001 3:37 PM EDT

 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- They usually deal with fleas and heart worm, but suddenly, veterinarians in the Washington area have found themselves on the front line in the battle against anthrax.

Under normal conditions, veterinarians conduct syndrome surveillance. Several of the diseases identified as potential bioterrorist weapons are zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted to people from animals. In addition to anthrax, they include the plague, tularemia, hemorrhagic fevers, and brucellosis.

``If they start seeing a large number of animals coming in with some sort of symptom, you're going to wonder,'' said Lynn L. Frank, chief of Public Health and Human Services for suburban Montgomery County, Md.

Officials say vets normally see a certain number of dogs and cats each day with little fluctuation, and any significant spike could warrant further investigation.

Syndrome surveillance reported daily by hospitals has now been expanded to include veterinary clinics and urgent care centers, said Frank.

``If there were a mass exposure you would get animals affected at the same frequency as humans,'' said Dr. Michael B. Auslander, Kentucky Public Health Veterinarian who also serves as the bioterrorism expert for the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians.

Emergency response agencies are being encouraged to identify veterinarians in their communities who could use their expertise to help assess patients exhibiting symptoms of such diseases. Most veterinarians stock the antibiotics, intravenous fluids, and basic medical supplies in their clinics and offices.

``They could be called into action should we need more trained personnel,'' said Auslander. There are 66,000 licensed veterinarians in the United States.

In Prince George's County, Md., animal control officers were instructed three weeks ago to report ``unexplained increases in animal deaths.''

So far, Fairfax County, Va., has not issued any directives to veterinarians.

In the District of Columbia, enhanced reporting put in place to deal with the threat of West Nile Virus earlier this year is being expanded to include other diseases.

``We've got information and booklets prepared to go to the vets on the actual bioterrorism agents,'' said Peggy Keller, chief of animal disease control for the D.C. Department of Health. Final arrangements establishing regional bioterrorism surveillance rules will be developed sometime next week, said Keller.

``Animals might be seen at the same time that humans are being seen at hospitals,'' said Dr. Cindy S. Lovern, an assistant director for the American Veterinary Medical Association in Schaumburg, Ill. An analysis of the data, including the locations where the remains of stray dogs and cats are found, could help pinpoint the site of exposure.

On the Net:

American Veterinary Medical Assn.: http://www.avma.org

Montgomery Co. Dept. of Health and Human Services: http://www.co.mo.md.us/services/hhs/

District of Columbia Dept. of Health: http://dchealth.dc.gov/

 

Copyright © 2001 Associated Press Information Services, all rights reserved.

 

Genetic Engineering for PRA  A good thing?  The blind sure are thrilled but some breeders feel that this impinges on purebreds.

Science has invented a new breed of guide dog with better resistance to certain debilitating diseases that prevent the dog from serving its human partner, and in some cases, prevent the blind person from being able to use a guide dog.

Quoting from an article in Popular Mechanics 4/2000;  "Selective breeding of Labrador and Golden retrievers has produced an improved strain of dog guides for the blind.

"Called the Lab-golden, the new breed is more patient with their masters than the traditionally used animals, which include Labs, Goldens, German shepherds and, for those allergic to fur, Boxers.

"More important, the lab-golden is immune to progressive retinal atrophy. This genetic eye disease has the ironic effect of slowly blinding guide dogs, which is both costly and emotionally devastating for their masters, who come to know their animals as more than just pets. The Lab-golden is the result of research by Eldin Leighton, Director of Canine Genetics for Seeing Eye Inc. This Morristown, N.J., organization that trains guide dogs has been working for more than 20 years to improve companions for the blind.

 

Update On Class Action Suit Against Rimadyl

Forwarded, courtesy of Jean Townsend (Always for George - Always for the Rimadyl Dogs)  B. A. R. K. S. Be Aware of Rimadyl's Known Side-effects

Pfizer's Annual Report consists of 66 pages. The following excerpt is from page number 60.

Quote: “In October 1999 the company was sued in an action seeking unspecified damages, costs and attorney's fees on behalf of a purported class of people whose dogs had suffered injury or death after ingesting Rimadyl, an antiarthritic medication for older dogs.  The suit, which was filed in state court in South Carolina, is in the early pre-trial stages.  The company believes it is without merit.”

UPDATE 

 LAWSUIT AGAINST MAKERS OF RIMADYL
Case No. 99-CP-25-353 
             
HAMPTON COUNTY  
STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA  IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS

The following is for your information:

With regards to Pfizer's Motion for a Change of Venue from Hampton County, S.C. to Richland County, S.C. this is to advise that Plaintiffs won the venue motion!  The Judge ruled that the case will proceed in Hampton County.   However, Pfizer may still file an appeal.

Go here for a copy of action. (will open in a new window)

Story Filed: Thursday, September 13, 2001 6:06 PM EST

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif., Sep 13, 2001 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Procter & Gamble Corp., accused in three separate lawsuits of promoting a diet harmful to the health of dogs, is now trying to fog the issue by jumping on the anti-obesity bandwagon, an official of Nutro Products, one of the companies that has sued P&G, charged today (Sept. 13).

The Iams Company, a subsidiary of P&G, "would like us to believe that the feeding instructions on their bags were reduced not so they could nationally advertise their misleading and inaccurate lower daily feeding costs but because of their overriding concern to prevent obesity in dogs," said Jerry Sicherman, president of Nutro Products, Inc., a maker of premium dog and cat foods that is based in City of Industry, Calif.

Asserting that this defense is patently ridiculous, Sicherman pointed out that Iams, like all major dog food manufacturers, has products specifically designed to deal with obese and inactive dogs. For Iams, Sicherman noted, that product is Iams Less Active.

"If they (Iams) are not attempting to deceive the consumer with these lower feeding instructions, how does Iams explain that the feeding instructions on Iams Chunks, their leading adult maintenance diet, delivers less energy than Iams Less Active?" Sicherman asked.

(Iams Less Active and Iams Chunks are registered trademarks of Iams.)

"If they are not attempting to deceive the consumer," Sicherman said, "how does Iams explain that Iams Chunks delivers 33 percent less energy than was recommended by their own vice president of research and development, Dr. Diane Hirakawa, in the book she co-authored, `Canine and Feline Nutrition,' second edition?"

Pointing out that "Iams Chunks was not designed for inactive dogs," Sicherman asked, "how can Iams justify instructing consumers to use lesser amounts of this adult maintenance food, when there is a body of research that suggests that this practice could lead to an impaired immune system?"

Sicherman also responded to criticisms from Iams that Nutro's dog food, in kennel tests conducted by Iams, showed that the test dogs failed to maintain their body weight.

"Not only is Nutro confident of the validity of its feeding instructions, but our experience is drastically different from the results of Iams' tests," Sicherman said. "We also know that Iams opened our bags and repackaged them before sending them to the test kennel, giving Iams the opportunity to tamper with the (Nutro) product."

Iams also questions the validity of kennel tests as a means for establishing the energy requirements of dogs. Sicherman noted that "kennel tests are the accepted industry standard supported by the academic community, and Iams has not produced any credible data to convince us otherwise."

"Iams," Sicherman said, "is attempting to complicate what is a straightforward issue. Iams would like us to believe that they are engaged in a collegial discussion about pet obesity and the propriety of using kennel dogs to determine energy requirements.

"The real issue," Sicherman said, "is about false and misleading advertising, and about the largest consumer products company in the world (P&G) creating a marketing strategy based on deceiving the public.

"No matter how you slice it, Iams' feeding instructions are false and misleading," Sicherman said, pointing out that "independent tests proved that dogs could not maintain their weight when following the feeding instructions on the Iams Chunks bags.

"And no wonder," Sicherman further noted, "Iams delivers less than 60 percent of the energy recommended by the National Research Council and less than 70 percent of the energy delivered by Nutro's products.

"Not only has Iams refused to admit the shortcomings of its product," Sicherman said, "they continue to deceive the public by using these nutritionally-deficient feeding instructions to calculate erroneously low feeding costs on the Iams web site."

"At the present time," Sicherman notes, "Iams is not only being sued by Nutro for false and misleading claims, but they are also being sued independently on the same charges by Kal Kan, and in a consumer class-action suit that has been brought against Iams in California."

 

A very good news site:  http://www.thedogplace.com/hotnews/caninehealth.htm

 

Everyone is concerned with vaccination protocols these days. For the latest please click here:

http://www.critterfixer.com/vaccination%20concerns.html

 

 

 

Dogs laugh when they play 
By Jennifer Harper
THE WASHINGTON TIMES

 

     Amid the dog days of summer, an animal researcher has revealed that dogs laugh, chuckle, guffaw, giggle and perhaps even titter upon engaging in those activities dear to the dog heart.


     Dog owners won't hear a real ha-ha when their dogs are, say, turning over the garbage can. It is the "laugh pant" that matters a kind of breathy exhalation that may reek of kibbles but speaks volumes nonetheless.
     "To the untrained human ear, it sounds like a pant, a 'huh, huh,'" Patricia Simonet, a psychology professor at Sierra Nevada College, told the Animal Behavior Society last week.
     To offer proof of dog merriment, she was armed with recordings of amused dogs. After analyzing the frequency of all this laugh panting, Miss Simonet said, she found a huge range of nuance and coloration.
     It was no mere slobbering-out-the-car-window kind of thing.
      Dog laughter apparently goes beyond the human ear, like chimp chatter, dolphin chitter, bat squealing and rat chirping, which have been studied by scientists bent on understanding the world's fauna.
     The obliging rats, in fact, have been tickled by researchers at Bowling Green University and recorded at the National Institutes of Health, where they were found to "chirp" with delight in anticipation of "receiving morphine or having sex," among other things.
     But back to the dogs.
     Miss Simonet also reported that 15 puppies had tossed chew toys and romped for joy simply upon hearing the recorded canine laugh. For good measure, the researcher even tried a few live laugh pants of her own, to find that her subjects became amenable indeed, a fact that may revolutionize dog obedience classes.
     Dr. Michael Fox, a veterinarian and behavior specialist, agrees.
     Dogs have a "bright-eyed, open-mouthed play face," he says, along with a play bark, a play curtsy and a play stare. And yes, they do have a play pant.
     "I advise adults and children to mimic this signal when they want their dogs to play, and by so doing, learn how to use their body language to communicate like a dog," he notes.
     Of course, the dogs have a lot to be happy about.
     A new poll released from Euro RSCG Worldwide, a marketing company, found that dogs and cats alike have become "surrogate children" among their human counterparts, who spend about $33 billion feeding them each year.
     Global sales of pet food, in fact, are growing at twice the rate of "people food," the report stated.
     The American Animal Hospital Association, in the meantime, has found that 84 percent of all pet owners dogs, cats, et al. consider their furry charges to be "their children." Seventy-five percent feel guilty leaving their pets alone, and 74 percent said they would "go into debt" to care for their pets.
     More than three-quarters also said they wanted luxury items for their pets, rather than plain old practical stuff, a fact confirmed by Pet Supplies Plus, which found that half of all of pet owners spent more on their animals than on their in-laws at Christmas time.
     Needless to say, the $500 million American "pet fashion industry" includes Burberry doggie rain coats and cashmere sweaters, among other things, and there are at least 35 "pet vacation resorts" across the country, according to the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
     "As owners increasingly consider themselves pet 'parents,' we've found that key purchasing drives are similar to those in the children's market: love, guilt, pleasure and a sense of responsibility," said Ann O'Reilly, who directed the Euro survey.
     And more, perhaps. Last but certainly not least, a survey released Friday by Beliefnet and ABC News found that a fair amount of folks think pets "go to heaven."
     Over 43 percent of more than 1,000 respondents think their dog or cat will be welcomed into the hereafter; 40 percent felt it was a people-only affair.
     "The rest," the poll stated, "are withholding judgment, possibly until Judgment Day."

 

 

 

Burns to Animals Can Be Life Threatening

Most dog burns occur in the summer - but cars, not the sun, are to blame, says veterinary dermatologist Dr. Robert Kennis. During hot days, dogs will often seek shade under a car. If the animal comes in contact with a hot muffler of catalytic converter even for a split second, a serious burn can occur. Other common causes of burns to pets include: - Hair dryers used to dry animals after bathing - Kitchen spills - Space heaters - Out-door grills - Chewed electrical cords The best advice, he adds, is for pet owners to leave the treatment to a trained veterinarian. In some cases home treatments can do more harm than good, and infected burns could become life threatening. Dr. Kennis can be reached at (979) 845-2351 or rkennis@cvm.tamu.edu or through the Office of University Relations, (979) 845-4644.

Pets Face Aging Problems, Same as People

The conditions you see associated with older people are almost identical to those you see in pets, says Dr. Deb Zoran, a veterinarian in the Small Animal Clinic at Texas A&M. These problems include arthritis, cataracts, loss of hearing, diabetes, heart murmurs, kidney trouble, cancer and maybe even Alzheimer`s disease. For older pets (six or seven years in dogs and cats) she suggests talking to your veterinarian about blood work to screen potential problems, blood pressure, performing chest X-rays and possibly an EKG to check the heart. She also suggests exercise, good oral hygiene and in some cases, a special diet may be necessary. Dr. Zoran can be reached at (979) 845- 2351 or { HYPERLINK "mailto:d-zoran@tamu.edu" }d-zoran@tamu.edu or through the Office of University Relations, (979) 845-4644.

Diabetes, Dogs: A Treatable Disease

Diabetes - "the silent killer" - can often strike man`s best friend. But this disease doesn`t necessarily mean a death sentence, and dogs that do contract it can often live normal lives. Just like the human form of the disease, diabetes in animals is caused by the body`s inability to control blood sugar, and treatment is often identical as well. Insulin shots remain the quickest and safest treatment, says Dr. Alice Wolf, a small-animal specialist at Texas A&M, though there are some alternatives. In most cases, two injections given by the owner each day are required. Signs to look for include excessive thirst, frequent urination and weight loss even with normal appetite. She adds that certain small breeds like poodles, terriers and dachshunds are more likely to get the disease. Dr. Wolf can be reached at (979) 845-2351 or { HYPERLINK "mailto:a-wolf4289@tamu.edu" }a- wolf4289@tamu.edu or through the Office of University Relations, (979) 845-4644.

Polly May Really Want That Cracker, More

Proper nutrition for birds is often overlooked or misunderstood by many bird owners, who tend to believe that birds will only eat birdseed. Pet birds - especially parrots - often can eat the same food you might prepare for yourself, and in fact, prefer such food, and it can be healthy for them, says Dr. Alice Blue-McLendon, a veterinarian who specializes in birds at Texas A&M.

Feeding tips include: - Table food that is not too high in sugar or fat is usually okay - Birds like different kinds of fruits and vegetables, but also others - A few things to avoid feeding: avocados, chocolate and onions - Birds that are kept outdoors should be given a little more food and fed at least twice a day Dr. Blue-McLendon can be reached at (979) 845-6881 or { HYPERLINK "mailto:ablue@tamu.edu" }ablue@tamu.edu or through the Office of University Relations, (979) 845-4644.

Cancer Affects Not Only Human, But Man`s Best Friend

If a dog lives long enough, it may be at a significant risk for canine lymphoma - or cancer, says Robert Dunstan, a veterinarian at Texas A&M. Along with colleagues at the Animal Health Trust in Britain, he is analyzing tumor samples from dogs diagnosed with lymphoma to identify chromosome abnormalities that will help define the molecular basis of lymphoma in dogs. The researchers hope their results will help identify dogs at risk for lymphoma, predict its behavior if it develops and design treatments optimized for the type of lymphoma. "For years," he observed, "animals have played an important role in finding cures for human diseases. Now discoveries from human genome research may help us fight cancer in dogs."

 

 

Regular vaccination for pets may endanger their health, study claims

 

Pet owners who have their animals regularly vaccinated may be killing them

with kindness, according to a British survey.

Research by Canine Health Concern shows higher than normal levels of

distemper, allergic reactions, epilepsy and even brain damage in dogs which

have annual injections.

The survey involving 4,000 dog owners found that of those dogs which became

ill, two-thirds did so within three months of having a vaccination.

Ms Catherine O'Driscoll, the group's founding member, began her research

after losing her three healthy dogs after their regular booster injections.

These contain a number of vaccines to combat different diseases, some of

which are no longer a major threat to pets in the UK, she said. An earlier

survey by Ms O'Driscoll, involving more than 2,000 dogs, convinced her that

vaccines could cause long-term damage.

She tells tonight's World in Action on ITV: "We have phone calls every day

from people crying and sobbing or asking how they can get help for their dog

which has epilepsy or cancer. Sometimes it takes me an hour to open the post

from people concerned about their dogs, cats or horses who are ill and

suspect the vaccines."

However, Mr Ted Chandler, president of the British Veterinary Association,

tells the programme he believes the risk is minimal. "The level of reactions

we get to vaccines is incredibly small," he says. "We are talking about

something in the region of 00.01 per cent, one in many thousands."

People should not be scared or worried about side-effects of vaccines on the

pets, he adds.

On the same programme, a leading British veterinary scientist says that

feeding pets processed foods can also lead to health problems.

Many vets recommend a diet of tinned and dried processed foods, a business

worth (pounds) 1.5 billion sterling in the UK each year.

Ms Sue Penman, founding president of the British Veterinary Dental

Association, says it can cause huge problems.

She tells the programme: "What we're tending to find now in the developed

world where people and their pets are eating a processed food diet is that

there's a disgusting increase in cancer, heart disease, diabetes and

arthritis - all those things that we describe as degenerative diseases."

World in Action also reveals the ingredients which, it is claimed, have been

used in some pet foods made in Britain. Ground-up teeth, straw, feathers,

animal heads complete with ear tags, feet and bones have found their way

into British pet foods, according to their evidence.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Susan Edmonds
Hutchinson Center
(206) 667-2896

Jeri Wall
Cornell University
(607) 253-3746


Researchers Report Construction of Genetic Map for Dogs


    SEATTLE, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer
Research Center and the James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health at
Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca, New York, are reporting
the development of a framework reference map of the canine genome.  The
article appears in today's issue of Genomics, published by the Academic Press.
    The ultimate goal of canine genome research is to find all the genes in
the chromosomes of domestic dogs and make this information available to others
to develop tools to better diagnose disease well before the appearance of
symptoms.  It is believed that dog genetics offers the hope of discovering the
genetic basis of both mammalian development and disease in a variety of
species including humans.
    "The notion of a canine genetic map had been proposed by the genetics
community years ago; over the last three years we developed the markers to
serve as the cornerstone of the map, and were able to develop efficient
approaches for ordering the markers on the individual chromosomes," said
Elaine Ostrander, Ph.D., lead investigator and molecular biologist, who is an
associate member in the clinical division at the Hutchinson Center.
    "We were able to provide a number of highly informative pedigrees of dogs
that, for several years, had been bred specifically for genetic studies such
as these," said collaborator Gustavo D. Aguirre, VMD, Ph.D., director of the
Center for Canine Genetics and Reproduction at the Baker Institute.
    The canine map generated by this collaboration covers most of the canine
genome and represents a major step toward the completion of a more
comprehensive canine genetic map.  It was constructed from 150 highly
informative markers, known as microsatellite markers, developed and typed by
the Ostrander group and on informative pedigrees developed by the Cornell
team.  The Linkage panel used included information from 17 three-generation
pedigrees with genetically distinct backgrounds, a total of 212 individuals.
    According to Ostrander, the development of a canine genetic map is of
particular importance, not only in solving questions of inheritance in dogs,
but in humans as well.  Purebred dogs, though all of one species, in practice
represent a multitude of closed breeding populations.  Many of the genetic
diseases that proliferate in inbred dogs also occur in the human population,
but are difficult to trace genetically because the high degree of genetic
diversity and low number of offspring in human families make informative
pedigrees a rarity.  These diseases include cancer, epilepsy, retinal
degeneration, bleeding disorders, skeletal malformations, and a host of
others.  Dogs represent a unique genetic resource with each of several hundred
breeds exhibiting distinct physical and behavioral traits, and with remarkable
consistency among its members.  Mapping disease genes in dogs lead to an
increased recognition of the role inheritance plays in human disease.
    In a second paper published in the journal, the two groups describe the
construction of a dog-rodent hybrid cell panel to aid in determining the order
and spacing of genes and traits of interest on the chromosomes of the canine
genome.  Both papers, which are featured on the cover of the this month's
journal, are the result of an unusual and highly productive collaboration
between the two major canine genetics groups in Seattle and Ithaca, each of
which brought a unique set of resources and talents to the venture.
    The Hutchinson Center is one of 28 comprehensive cancer research centers,
as designated by the National Cancer Institute.  Using basic and applied
research, the Center's mission is to eliminate cancer, and other potentially
fatal diseases, as a cause of human suffering and death.  Advances at the
Hutchinson Center in the areas of cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment
are coupled with the progress made toward understanding the mechanisms of
neoplastic development as well as basic aspects of cellular and molecular
biology common to all organisms.
    In 1951 the James A. Balker Institute for Animal Health established the
first laboratory in the world dedicated solely to addressing the health needs
of dogs through bask and applied research.  The Institute is renowned for its
contributions to the control of canine infectious diseases through the
development of vaccines against canine distemper, infectious hepatitis,
parvovirus, and other diseases.  The Institute is part of the College of
Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, established in 1894; the mission of
the College is to advance animal and human health through education, research,
and public service.
    The project was conducted by Ostrander and her associates at the Fred
Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, as a continuation of work that she had
initiated at the University of California several years ago.  Ostrander's team
included Cathryn Mellersh, Ph.D. a postdoctoral fellow, Amelia Langston, M.D.,
a clinical associate, and research associate Neil Wiegand.  Aguirre's team at
Cornell included Gregory Acland, BVSc, a veterinary ophthalmologist and senior
research associate in genetics; and Kunal Ray, MS, Ph.D., senior research
associate in molecular genetics.
    This research was supported by The Canine Health Foundation of the
American Kennel Club, the Wellcome Trust The Muscular Dystrophy Association,
the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Morris Animal Foundation, the American
Cancer Society, and the National Institutes of Health.

SOURCE  Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
CONTACT: Susan Edmonds of the Hutchinson Center, 206-667-2896; or
Jeri Wall of Cornell University, 607-253-3746
 
 

 

Canine Brucellosis Remains Unchecked and Uncontrolled

At the recent Animal Care Facilities Act Advisory Committee meeting, both Dr. Chuck Massengill, Animal Health Epidemiologist with the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) and Dr. John Hunt, State Veterinarian with MDA, dodged the issue of eradicating canine brucellosis in Missouri's hundreds of commercial animal breeders. Although the advisory committee is supposed to provide guidance for MDA's Division of Animal Health, both representatives cited a lack of funds and authority to control this potentially egregious problem.

According to Dr. Massengill, of the hundreds of commercial breeders in the state that are eligible for the voluntary certification program, only thirteen are certified as brucellosis free kennels with two others currently in the certification process. Dr. Hunt claimed that the MDA did not have the regulatory authority to require commercial breeders to eradicate canine brucellosis or even any other disease, such as the parvo virus from its facilities.

"Here in the state that leads the nation in commercial pet production, facility operators are not required by the Missouri Department of Agriculture or the Department of Health to eliminate this highly contagious organism," said In Defense of Animals' Director of Investigations, Marshall Smith. "Not only are they turning their backs on a potential public health hazard, they are also allowing animals to become chronically infected. Virtually nothing is being done to protect the health and well being of dogs housed in these facilities. Meanwhile, thousands of puppies are being shipped to pet shops in the U.S. and abroad to ill-informed consumers."

Canine brucellosis is a chronic bacterial infection that is transmitted from dog to dog during breeding and whelping. Male dogs infected with canine brucellosis may become sterile, while female dogs may experience spontaneous abortions and diminished reproductive capability. The disease can also be transmitted to humans, usually through abrasions, causing flu-like symptoms.

According to information on the Center for Disease Control's web page "Brucella spp. have a high probability for use in biologic terrorism." The web site also indicated that the disease is highly infectious in the laboratory, and cultures warrant bio-safety level-3 precautions.

IDA, 30 May 2000

 

From the CDC  http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/q&a.htm

 

Q. Can West Nile virus cause illness in dogs or cats?
A. There is a published report of West Nile virus isolated from a dog in southern Africa (Botswana) in 1982. There are no published reports regarding cats, but West Nile virus was isolated from a dead cat in the New York area epidemic. A serosurvey of dogs and cats in the epidemic area showed a low infection rate.

Q. Can infected dogs or cats be carriers (i.e., reservoirs) for, and transmit West Nile virus to humans?
A. West Nile virus is transmitted by infectious mosquitoes. There is no documented evidence of person-to-person, animal-to-animal, or animal-to-person transmission of West Nile virus. Veterinarians should take normal infection control precautions when caring for an animal suspected to have this or any viral infection.

Q. How do dogs or cats become infected with West Nile virus?
A. The same way humans become infected, by the bite of infectious mosquitoes. The virus is located in the mosquito's salivary glands. During blood feeding, the virus is injected into the animal. The virus then multiplies and may cause illness. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds, which may circulate the virus in their blood for a few days. It is possible that dogs and cats could become infected by eating dead infected animals such as birds, but this is unproven.

Q. Can a dog or cat infected with West Nile virus infect other dogs or cats?
A. No. There is no documented evidence that West Nile virus is transmitted from animal-to-animal.

Q. How long can a dog or cat be infected with West Nile virus ?
A. The answer is not known at this time.

Q. Should a dog or cat infected with West Nile virus be destroyed? What is the treatment for an animal infected with West Nile virus?
A. No. There is no reason to destroy an animal just because it has been infected with West Nile virus. Full recovery from the infection is likely. Treatment would be supportive and consistent with standard veterinary practices for animals infected with a viral agent.

                 

  Morning Call,  Aug. 26, 2000                         

        

         Rare parasitic disease linked to 21 dogs’ deaths

        

         • A strain of Ieishmaniasis, not indigenous to the U.S., has baffled health officials.

        

           MLLLBROOK, N.Y. tAP) — A parasitic disease rarely found in this country

         has killed 21 foxhounds and has sickened at least 20 others, prompting the

         national fox-hunting organization to cancel events. The disease can also

         affect humans.

           One after another, the hounds at Millbrook Hunt in Dutchess County

         became lethargic. Losing weight and patches of hair, the dogs developed

         enlarged joints, crusty skin lesions and rope-like knots underneath their skin.

           The culprit was identified this spring by researchers at North Carolina State

         University as a strain of leishmaniasis, typically found in warm, coastal areas

         like Brazil, the Mediterranean, India and the Sudan.

           Normally transmitted by sand flies, the disease is considered curable in

         humans, but it has killed people in other countries, It has rarely been diag-

         nosed in the United States.

           Among foxhounds, the disease has been found in kennels in 20 states and

         Canada, but only the Millbrook hounds have died.

           “This should not be in the U.S.,” Edward B. Breitschwerdt, professor of

         medicine and infectious diseases at North Carolina State, told The New

         York Times. “We’re truly dealing with a foreign animal disease that remains

         very unclear to all of us still.”

           The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is testing people who have

         come into contact with the foxhounds in Millbrook and collecting samples

         from 10,000 dogs around the country. The Times said the disease probably

         came to this country when an American soldier returned from overseas with

         an infected dog. The disease was diagnosed in several soldiers during the

         Persian Gulf War, the newspaper said.

        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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