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While it was pretty well documented on the Worms & Germs Blog as it was underway, the full story regarding Ontario’s 2018 canine influenza outbreak(s) has now been published in the latest edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases. You can use the link above to access the full report, but here are some highlights. There were 104 confirmed cases. In most outbreaks, we talk about how that’s likely the minority of true cases. However, here,…
A recent CDC expert commentary was recently published on “Animal Lovers and Zoonotic Diseases: 5 Things to Know“.  Regular readers of Worms & Germs will find many of the points very familiar, but the article provides a nice summary of some of the recurring themes that arise when dealing with animals and people and the infectious diseases we share.  The article is great reading for healthcare providers (who are in fact the target…
There have been a few news reports about an apparent increased incidence of the fungal disease, blastomycosis, in dogs in Minnesota. Blastomycosis is an interesting disease with important “One Health” aspects. It’s caused by the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis, that naturally lives in the soil in certain parts of the world. The risk is highly variable by region, being an important concern in some areas and a non-entity in others… and sometimes those are not…
Here’s an interesting article from the CDC about canine importation, the ways people try to avoid the rules and what’s being done to counteract these issues. Illogical, dangerous and/or illegal dog importation continues to be a problem in many countries, and many people unknowingly support it by assisting with importation or buying trafficked dogs. This article, Perspective from the field: illegal puppy imports uncovered from JFK airport highlights some important issues.…
As part of our research into antibiotic use and resistance, we’re looking at what drives antibiotic prescription, use and compliance. It’s a complex subject and needs to be approached from a variety of angles. One angle is looking at what pet owners perceive or want. To address this, we’ve launched a survey designed to gather information about pet owners’ perceptions and preferences when treating their pets for an infection. The study is funded by the…
Following up on the lighthearted rant about fake emotional support animals, it’s important to remember that animals can do great things in many situations. Dental offices weren’t really on my radar until Dr. Anne Gussgard from the UiT Arctic University of Norway contacted me about the work her team was doing with dog-assisted therapy in dental offices. It makes complete sense, as dental offices can be anxiety-invoking for many, and the calming effect of a…
I’ve written (ranted?) regularly about fake service dogs and disruptive emotional support animals. I’ve had the odd “you must hate animals” reply, but selfish people who slap a service dog vest on their pet so they can take it anywhere, just because they want to take it anywhere, cause problems for people who really need an animal with them. Anyway, I never thought I’d be referring to Toronto Star entertainment columnist Vinay Menon in a…
A recent study looked at human illness associated with raw pet food and has led to headlines such as “It is safe to feed raw pet foods.” Did the study say that?  No, it did not. If you asked 100 people if they had a foodborne disease in the past year, I assume few would say “yes,” despite the widespread estimate that about 30% of people get a foodborne illness every year. If…
Media reports have described a number of Norwegian dogs with  unknown intestinal disease, characterized by vomiting and diarrhea. Cases were first reported in Oslo, with subsequent reports in other towns – whether this indicates spread of disease or spread of awareness isn’t clear.  Oslo could be the epicentre of the disease, but it could also simply be the first place it was identified, based on the presence of more dogs and more veterinarians. Some…