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  • Author or Editor: Sarah A. Hamer x
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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate dogs as a sentinel species for emergence of Lyme disease in a region undergoing invasion by Ixodes scapularis.

Sample Population—353 serum samples and 78 ticks obtained from dogs brought to 18 veterinary clinics located in the lower peninsula of Michigan from July 15, 2005, through August 15, 2005.

Procedures—Serum samples were evaluated for specific antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi by use of 3 serologic assays. Ticks from dogs were subjected to PCR assays for detection of pathogens.

Results—Of 353 serum samples from dogs in 18 counties in 2005, only 2 (0.6%) contained western blot analysis–confirmed antibodies against B burgdorferi. Ten of 13 dogs with I scapularis were from clinics within or immediately adjacent to the known tick invasion zone. Six of 18 I scapularis and 12 of 60 noncompetent vector ticks were infected with B burgdorferi. No ticks were infected with Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and 3 were infected with Babesia spp.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Serosurvey in dogs was found to be ineffective in tracking early invasion dynamics of I scapularis in this area. Tick chemoprophylaxis likely reduces serosurvey sensitivity in dogs. Ticks infected with B burgdorferi were more common and widely dispersed than seropositive dogs. In areas of low tick density, use of dogs as a source of ticks is preferable to serosurvey for surveillance of emerging Lyme disease. Impact for Human Medicine—By retaining ticks from dogs for identification and pathogen testing, veterinarians can play an important role in early detection in areas with increasing risk of Lyme disease.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective

To develop and test a noninvasive technique for determining age in dogs and cats on the basis of changes in lens reflections and transparency.

Animals

85 dogs representing 5 breeds and 73 domestic shorthair cats.

Procedure

While examining dilated eyes in a darkened room, using a penlight, 2 experienced examiners who were blinded to actual age of animals individually measured the diameter of reflections from the anterior (La) and posterior (Lb) surfaces of the lens and scored lens transparency (Ltr) from 1 (clear) to 5 (severe opacity). Models were developed to predict age on the basis of these measurements.

Results

Aging models developed for dogs and cats were as follows: Agedogs = 2.197 − 0.070 × (La) + 1.361 × (Lb) + 1.193 × (Ltr) and Agecats = 1.988 + 1.024 × (La) + 2.220 × (Lb) + 1.019 × (Ltr), where age was expressed in years, and La and Lb were in millimeters. All variables, except La in dogs, contributed significantly to accuracy of the models. Correlation between predicted and actual ages, as measured by Pearson's product-moment correlation coefficient, was significant in both species (P < 0.0001). Significant differences were not found between examiners or between the first and second evaluations by the same examiner.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

A noninvasive technique based on evaluation of lens reflections and transparency can provide clinically useful predictions of age in mature dogs and cats. This technique could be an important tool for veterinarians or humane shelters in determining differential diagnoses and assessing longevity and adoptability of mature animals of unknown age. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:945–950)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe the clinical presentation and outcome in dogs diagnosed with Trypanosoma cruzi infection in nonendemic areas and to survey veterinary cardiologists in North America for Chagas disease awareness.

ANIMALS

12 client-owned dogs; 83 respondents from a veterinary cardiology listserv.

PROCEDURES

A retrospective, multicenter medical records review to identify dogs diagnosed with American trypanosomiasis between December 2010 and December 2020. An anonymous online survey was conducted August 9 to 22, 2022.

RESULTS

Diagnosis was made using indirect fluorescent antibody titer (n = 9), quantitative PCR assay (1), or postmortem histopathology (2). Time spent in Texas was < 1 year (n = 7) or 2 to 8 years (5). Time in nonendemic areas prior to diagnosis was < 1 year (n = 10) and > 3 years (2). Eleven had cardiac abnormalities. Of the 12 dogs, 5 had died unexpectedly (range, 1 to 108 days after diagnosis), 4 were still alive at last follow-up (range, 60 to 369 days after diagnosis), 2 were euthanized because of heart disease (1 and 98 days after diagnosis), and 1 was lost to follow-up. Survey results were obtained from 83 cardiologists in North America, of which the self-reported knowledge about Chagas disease was limited in 49% (41/83) and 69% (57/83) expressed interest in learning resources.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results highlight the potential for encountering dogs with T cruzi infection in nonendemic areas and need for raising awareness about Chagas disease in North America.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate outcomes of dogs with parathyroid carcinoma (PTC) treated by surgical excision and to describe the incidence of postoperative hypocalcemia, degree of hypocalcemia, duration of hospitalization, duration of calcium supplementation, and survival time

ANIMALS

100 client-owned dogs with PTC admitted to academic, referral veterinary institutions.

PROCEDURES

In a retrospective multi-institutional study, medical records of dogs undergoing surgical excision of PTC between 2010 to 2019 were reviewed. Signalment, relevant medical history, clinical signs, clinicopathologic testing, imaging, surgical findings, intraoperative complications, histologic examination, and survival time were recorded.

RESULTS

100 dogs with PTC were included, and 96 dogs had clinical or incidental hypercalcemia. Common clinical signs included polyuria (44%), polydipsia (43%), hind limb paresis (22%), lethargy (21%), and hyporexia (20%). Cervical ultrasonography detected a parathyroid nodule in 91 of 91 dogs, with a single nodule in 70.3% (64/91), 2 nodules in 25.3% (23/91), and ≥ 3 nodules in 4 (4/91)% of dogs. Hypercalcemia resolved in 89 of 96 dogs within 7 days after surgery. Thirty-four percent of dogs developed hypocalcemia, on the basis of individual analyzer ranges, within 1 week after surgery. One dog had metastatic PTC to the prescapular lymph node, and 3 dogs were euthanized for refractory postoperative hypocalcemia. Estimated 1-, 2-, and 3-year survival rates were 84%, 65%, and 51% respectively, with a median survival time of 2 years.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Excision of PTC results in resolution of hypercalcemia and excellent long-term tumor control. Surgical excision of PTC is recommended because of resolution of hypercalcemia and a good long-term prognosis. Future prospective studies and long-term follow-up are needed to further assess primary tumor recurrence, metastasis, and incidence of postoperative hypocalcemia.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To characterize clinical and epidemiologic features of SARS-CoV-2 in companion animals detected through both passive and active surveillance in the US.

ANIMALS

204 companion animals (109 cats, 95 dogs) across 33 states with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections between March 2020 and December 2021.

PROCEDURES

Public health officials, animal health officials, and academic researchers investigating zoonotic SARS-CoV-2 transmission events reported clinical, laboratory, and epidemiologic information through a standardized One Health surveillance process developed by the CDC and partners.

RESULTS

Among dogs and cats identified through passive surveillance, 94% (n = 87) had reported exposure to a person with COVID-19 before infection. Clinical signs of illness were present in 74% of pets identified through passive surveillance and 27% of pets identified through active surveillance. Duration of illness in pets averaged 15 days in cats and 12 days in dogs. The average time between human and pet onset of illness was 10 days. Viral nucleic acid was first detected at 3 days after exposure in both cats and dogs. Antibodies were detected starting 5 days after exposure, and titers were highest at 9 days in cats and 14 days in dogs.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results of the present study supported that cats and dogs primarily become infected with SARS-CoV-2 following exposure to a person with COVID-19, most often their owners. Case investigation and surveillance that include both people and animals are necessary to understand transmission dynamics and viral evolution of zoonotic diseases like SARS-CoV-2.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association