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  • Author or Editor: Susan E. Little x
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Objective—To determine the prevalence of Babesia gibsoni infection in dogs that were confiscated from dogfighting operations.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—157 pit bull–type dogs that were confiscated as part of dogfighting prosecution cases in Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington and 218 randomly selected animal shelter dogs with no known history of dogfighting.

Procedures—Blood samples collected from confiscated dogs were tested for infection with B gibsoni by use of a nested PCR assay. Samples that yielded positive results underwent DNA sequencing to confirm infection with B gibsoni. Control blood samples collected from 218 randomly selected dogs in animal shelters (ie, dogs that had no known involvement in dogfighting events) were also analyzed.

Results—Results of nested PCR assays indicated that 53 of 157 (33.8%) confiscated dogs were infected with B gibsoni; 1 (0.6%) dog was infected with the canine small Babesia ‘Spanish isolate’ (also known as Theileria annae). To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of infection with this small Babesia ‘Spanish isolate’ in a North American dog. Dogs with scars (indicative of fighting) on the face, head, and forelimbs were 5.5 times as likely to be infected with B gibsoni as were dogs without scars. Of the control dogs, 1 (0.5%) pit bull–type dog was infected with B gibsoni.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that B gibsoni is a common parasite of dogs confiscated from dogfighting operations and suggested that dogs with a history of fighting should be evaluated for infection with B gibsoni.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine associations between oral health status and seropositivity for FIV or FeLV in cats.

Design—Cross-sectional survey.

Animals—5,179 cats.

Procedures—Veterinarians at veterinary clinics and animal shelters completed online training on oral conditions in cats and then scored oral health status of cats with no known history of vaccination against FIV. Age, sex, and results of an ELISA for retroviruses were recorded. Results were analyzed by means of standard logistic regression with binary outcome.

Results—Of 5,179 cats, 237 (4.6%) and 186 (3.6%) were seropositive for FIV and FeLV, respectively, and of these, 12 (0.2%) were seropositive for FIV and FeLV. Of all 5,179 cats, 1,073 (20.7%) had gingivitis, 576 (11.1%) had periodontitis, 203 (3.9%) had stomatitis, and 252 (4.9%) had other oral conditions (overall oral disease prevalence, 2,104/5,179 [40.6%]). Across all age categories, inflammatory oral disease was associated with a significantly higher risk of a positive test result for FIV, compared with the seropositivity risk associated with other oral diseases or no oral disease. Stomatitis was most highly associated with risk of FIV seropositivity. Cats with any oral inflammatory disease were more likely than orally healthy cats to have a positive test result for FeLV. Increasing age was associated with a higher prevalence of oral disease in retrovirus-seronegative cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Inflammatory oral disease was associated with an increased risk of seropositivity for retroviruses in naturally infected cats. Therefore, retroviral status of cats with oral inflammatory disease should be determined and appropriate management initiated.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Case Description—A 21-month-old spayed female Border Collie was examined because of progressive right forelimb lameness, signs of pain, and subcutaneous edema. The dog lived in a fenced yard in Tampa, Fla, that contained a small area of marshy terrain.

Clinical Findings—The subcutis and intermuscular fascia contained multiple cystic cavities filled with larval cestodes (plerocercoids or spargana) and cloudy red fluid. Parasites were identified morphologically and by DNA sequence analysis as pseudophyllidean cestodes, most likely Sparganum proliferum. The dog developed a progressively worsening fever, dyspnea, mature neutrophilia, and hypoproteinemia. Septic pleuritis and peritonitis complicated the later stages of the disease.

Treatment and Outcome—Treatment with praziquantel, fenbendazole, and nitazoxanide failed to control the proliferation and dissemination of larval cestodes. The dog was euthanatized after 133 days of treatment. At necropsy, numerous parasitic tissue cysts were present in the subcutis and intermuscular fascia; these cysts were most abundant in the soft tissues of the forelimbs and cervical musculature. The pleural and peritoneal cavities contained multiple larval cestodes and were characterized by neutrophilic inflammation and secondary bacterial infection.

Clinical Relevance—Findings indicated that clinical signs associated with proliferative sparganosis in dogs may be rapidly progressive and that the condition may be refractory to antiparasitic treatment. Veterinarians should be aware of this zoonotic, water-borne agent.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association