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Objective—To assess the risk of bladder cancer in dogs from exposure to drinking water disinfection by-products and determine whether dogs could serve as sentinels for human bladder cancer associated with such exposures.

Design—Case-control study.

Animals—100 dogs with cancer of the urinary bladder and 100 control dogs.

Procedures—Case and control dogs were frequency-matched by age (within 2 years) and sex. Owners of dogs enrolled provided verbal informed consent and were interviewed by telephone. The telephone questionnaire included a complete residence history for each dog. Each dog's total exposure history to trihalomethanes was reconstructed from its residence history and corresponding drinking water utility company data.

Results—No association was detected between increasing years of exposure to chlorinated drinking water and risk of bladder cancer. Dogs with bladder cancer were exposed to higher total trihalomethanes concentrations than control dogs; however, the difference was not significant.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although humans and their dogs live in the same household, the activity patterns of dogs may lead to lower exposures to household tap water. Thus, although exposure to disinfection by-products in tap water may be a risk factor for human bladder cancer, this may not be true for canine bladder cancer at the concentrations at which dogs are exposed.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine prevalence of enteric zoonotic organisms in cats in north-central Colorado.

Design—Prospective study.

Sample Population—Serum and fecal samples from 87 cats with diarrhea, 106 cats without diarrhea, and 12 cats for which fecal consistency was unknown.

Procedures—Samples were obtained from clientowned cats and cats at a humane society shelter. Serum was assayed for feline leukemia virus antigen and antibodies against feline immunodeficiency virus, IgM antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii, and IgG antibodies against T gondii and Cryptosporidium parvum. Microscopic examination of unstained feces was performed after centrifugation in a zinc sulfate solution, thin fecal smears were stained with acid fast stain and examined for C parvum, and bacteriologic culture of feces was used to detect aerobic and anaerobic bacteria.

Results—Enteric zoonotic organisms were detected in feces from 27 of 206 (13.1%) cats and included C parvum (5.4%), Giardia spp (2.4%), Toxocara cati (3.9%), Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium (1.0%), and Campylobacter jejuni (1.0%); each organism was detected in samples from cats with and without diarrhea. Although differences between groups were not significant, a higher proportion of shelter cats (18.2%) had enteric zoonotic organisms than client-owned cats (10.1%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Enteric zoonotic organisms were detected in feces of 13.1% of cats, suggesting that cats, particularly those in homes of immunocompromised humans, should be evaluated for enteric zoonotic organisms. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:687–692)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the prevalence of lobomycosis, a mycotic infection of dolphins and humans caused by a yeastlike organism (Lacazia loboi), among dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon in Florida.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—146 Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.

Procedure—Comprehensive health assessments of bottlenose dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon of Florida (n = 75) and in estuarine waters near Charleston, SC (71), were conducted during 2003 and 2004. Bottlenose dolphins were captured, examined, and released. Skin lesions were photographed and then biopsied. Tissue sections were stained with H&E and Gomori methenamine silver stains for identification of L loboi.

Results—9 of 30 (30%) dolphins captured in the southern portion of the Indian River Lagoon had lobomycosis, whereas none of the 45 dolphins captured in the northern portion of the lagoon or of the 71 dolphins captured near Charleston, SC, did. Affected dolphins had low serum alkaline phosphatase activities and high acute-phase protein concentrations.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that lobomycosis may be occurring in epidemic proportions among dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon. Localization of the disease to the southern portion of the lagoon, an area characterized by freshwater intrusion and lower salinity, suggests that exposure to environmental stressors may be contributing to the high prevalence of the disease, but specific factors are unknown. Because only dolphins and humans are naturally susceptible to infection, dolphins may represent a sentinel species for an emerging infectious disease.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To conduct health assessments and compare outcomes in 2 populations of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.

Design—Repeated cross-sectional study.

Animals—171 Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.

Procedures—During June and August of 2003 through 2005, 89 dolphins from the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida, and 82 dolphins from estuarine waters near Charleston, SC, were evaluated. A panel of 5 marine mammal veterinarians classified dolphins as clinically normal, possibly diseased, or definitely diseased on the basis of results of physical and ultrasonographic examinations, hematologic and serum biochemical analyses, and cytologic and microbiologic evaluations of gastric contents and swab specimens.

Results—Prevalence of dolphins classified as definitely diseased did not differ significantly between the IRL (32%) and Charleston (20%) sites. Proportions of dolphins classified as possibly diseased also did not differ. Lobomycosis was diagnosed in 9 dolphins from the IRL but in none of the dolphins from Charleston. Proportions of dolphins with orogenital papillomas did not differ significantly between the IRL (12%) and Charleston (7%) sites. From 2003 through 2005, the proportion classified as definitely diseased tripled among dolphins from the Charleston site but did not increase significantly among dolphins from the IRL. Dolphins from the Charleston site were more likely to have leukocytosis, lymphocytosis, and low serum concentrations of total protein and total J-globulins than were dolphins from the IRL.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—High prevalences of diseased dolphins were identified at both sites; however, the host or environmental factors that contributed to the various abnormalities detected are unknown.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association