Objective—To estimate West Nile virus (WNV) infection
rates, assess environmental variables that correlated
with seropositivity in dogs and cats, and assess whether
pets should be considered as possible sentinels for
WNV and therefore of potential human exposure.
Animals—442 dogs and 138 cats.
Procedure—Serum samples were screened for
seropositivity against WNV by use of the plaque
reduction neutralization test.
Results—116 (26%) dogs and 13 (9%) cats yielded positive
results. The odds of seropositivity against WNV for
outdoor-only family dogs were almost 19 times as great
as those for indoor-only family dogs and almost twice as
great for stray dogs as for family dogs. Family dogs not
receiving heartworm medication were 2.5 times as likely
to yield positive results for antibodies against WNV as
family dogs receiving heartworm medication.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Seropositivity
was greater for outdoor family dogs than for indoor
family dogs. Further investigation of the potential use
of stray dogs as sentinel indicators for WNV infection
and the potential risk of human exposure is warranted.
(J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:1349–1353).
To establish a pathoepidemiological model to evaluate the role of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first 10 companion animals that died while infected with SARS-CoV-2 in the US.
10 cats and dogs that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and died or were euthanized in the US between March 2020 and January 2021.
A standardized algorithm was developed to direct case investigations, determine the necessity of certain diagnostic procedures, and evaluate the role, if any, that SARS-CoV-2 infection played in the animals’ course of disease and death. Using clinical and diagnostic information collected by state animal health officials, state public health veterinarians, and other state and local partners, this algorithm was applied to each animal case.
SARS-CoV-2 was an incidental finding in 8 animals, was suspected to have contributed to the severity of clinical signs leading to euthanasia in 1 dog, and was the primary reason for death for 1 cat.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
This report provides the global community with a standardized process for directing case investigations, determining the necessity of certain diagnostic procedures, and determining the clinical significance of SARS-CoV-2 infections in animals with fatal outcomes and provides evidence that SARS-CoV-2 can, in rare circumstances, cause or contribute to death in pets.