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Abstract

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.

Design—Cross-sectional serosurvey.

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).

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

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.

ANIMALS

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.

PROCEDURES

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.

RESULTS

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.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association