Scott Weese

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Brucella canis is getting a lot of attention these days, and taking up more of my time than I ever would have thought a few months ago. Identification of infected dogs linked to a commercial breeder in Iowa (also see our previous post from Tuesday) has attracted a lot of attention. It’s hard to say how noteworthy it is, because we know the bacterium is present in some commercial breeding (puppy mill) operations and…
Effective tomorrow, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suspended importation of dogs to the US that: are from Egypt, or originated in Egypt and have been in another country for less than 6 months. This is being done because of multiple cases of rabies in imported dogs specifically from Egypt over the past few years (including some with falsified vaccination certificates). Despite rules for high risk countries like Egypt,…
When I talk to veterinary and public health audiences about zoonotic diseases, I often talk about rat bite fever because it highlights some common issues that are important to keep in mind. Usually, I start by presenting a case of a child with a fever and rash. Then, I mention that someone finally asked about pets and they reported a rat bite. Then, I say “what does the kid probably have?” And I get… blank…
Rabies is “almost always” transmitted by bites and “almost invariably” fatal once disease develops in a person or animal. We use a lot of these kinds of disclaimers with infectious diseases, which can be frustrating, but it’s necessary because exceptional (strange) things occasionally occur. A report in an upcoming edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases (Zhao et al). describes an unusual case of rabies in a man from China. The man was from a…
Nothing has changed about Echinococcus multilocularis (the fox tapeworm) in the past couple of months, but my phone is ringing off the hook following another round of media reports about this parasite. Here’s a recap of the issues: Echinococcus multilocularis is a small tapeworm normally found in the intestinal tract of wild canids (e.g. coyotes, foxes) and sometimes dogs. For these animals, having this worm in the gut doesn’t cause a problem. The main concern…
A recent presentation at ECCMID (European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases) in Amsterdam described a series of linezolid-resistant enterococci in dogs and cats in the UK. I’m only able to get information from media reports, so details are limited (and potentially lost in translation); however, it’s an interesting story. It’s unsurprising in many ways, but highlights some important issues. Linezolid is an antibiotic that’s typically used in human medicine for…
I keep saying spring is approaching and I keep getting disappointed by the cold weather.  But it’s going to happen soon, so we’ve been gearing up for tick season. There are a few new initiatives underway for tracking ticks and tickborne diseases in Canadian dogs and cats. Check out the recent post at PetsAndTicks.com for more information.…
The snowfall we had on the weekend notwithstanding, spring is here. As the weather warms up in Ontario (and other regions), we have to once again think more about ticks. Once the temperature reaches ~4C, hungry ticks that didn’t feed in the fall will come out, looking for food. Accordingly, tick prevention for people and pets needs to be considered. The return of ticks also means the return of pet tick preventative advertising, and that’s…
Raw diets have been in the news a lot lately because of Salmonella contamination. It’s not surprising at all since bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter and Listeria are expected to be found in raw meat (that’s why we cook it). We know that dogs and cats fed raw meat are at increased risk of shedding bacteria like Salmonella, sometimes with serious consequences to the animals or their owners. Reducing the risk is a challenge…