The AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) sets guidelines and definitions for animal feed, including pet foods.
Alfalfa Meal - the aerial portion of the alfalfa plant, reasonably free from other crop plants, weeds and mold, which has been sun-cured and finely ground.
Animal Digest - material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and un-decomposed animal tissue. The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed.
Animal Fat - is obtained from the tissues of mammals and/or poultry in the commercial processes of rendering or extracting. It consists predominantly of glyceride esters of fatty acids and contains no additions of free fatty acids. If an antioxidant is used, the common name or names must be indicated, followed by the words "used as a preservative".
Barley - consists of at least 80 percent sound barley and must not contain more than 3 percent heat-damaged kernels, 6 percent foreign material, 20 percent other grains or 10 percent wild oats.
Barley Flour - soft, finely ground and bolted barley meal obtained from the milling of barley. It consists essentially of the starch and gluten of the endosperm.
Beef (meat) - is the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle, and is limited to that part of the striate muscle which is skeletal or that which is found in the tongue, in the diaphragm, in the heart, or in the esophagus; with or without the accompanying and overlying fat and the portions of the skin, sinew, nerve and blood vessels which normally accompany the flesh.
Beet Pulp ("beet pulp, dried molasses" and "beet pulp, dried, plain") - the dried residue from sugar beets.
Brewer's Rice - the dried extracted residue of rice resulting from the manufacture of wort (liquid portion of malted grain) or beer and may contain pulverized dried spent hops in an amount not to exceed 3 percent.
Brown Rice - unpolished rice after the kernels have been removed. Not a complete AAFCO definition.
Carrots - presumably carrots. No AAFCO definition.
Chicken - the clean combination of flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken or a combination thereof, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails.
Chicken By-Product Meal - consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidable in good processing practice.
Chicken Liver Meal - chicken livers which have been ground or otherwise reduced in particle size.
Chicken Meal - chicken which has been ground or otherwise reduced in particle size.
Corn - unspecified corn product. Not a complete AAFCO definition.
Corn Bran - the outer coating of the corn kernel, with little or none of the starchy part of the germ.
Corn Germ Meal (Dry Milled) - ground corn germ which consists of corn germ with other parts of the corn kernel from which part of the oil has been removed and is the product obtained in the dry milling process of manufacture of corn meal, corn grits, hominy feed and other corn products.
Corn Gluten - that part of the commercial shelled corn that remains after the extraction of the larger portion of the starch, gluten, and term by the processes employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup.
Corn Gluten Meal - the dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm.
Corn Syrup - concentrated juice derived from corn.
Cracked Pearl Barley - cracked pearl barley resulting from the manufacture of pearl barley from clean barley.
Dehydrated Eggs - dried whole poultry eggs freed of moisture by thermal means.
Digest of Beef - material from beef which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and un-decomposed tissue. The tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth and hooves, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice.
Digest of Beef By-Products - material from beef which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and un-decomposed tissue from non-rendered clean parts, other than meat, from cattle which includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low-temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth and hoofs.
Digest of Poultry By-Products - material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and un-decomposed tissue from non-rendered clean parts of carcasses of slaughtered poultry such as heads, feet, viscera, free from fecal content and foreign matter except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice.
Dried Animal Digest - dried material resulting from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and un-decomposed animal tissue. The animal tissue used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed. If it bears a name descriptive of its kind or flavor(s), it must correspond thereto.
Dried Kelp - dried seaweed of the families Laminaricae and Fu-caeae. If the product is prepared by artificial drying, it may be called "dehydrated kelp".
Dried Milk Protein - obtained by drying the coagulated protein residue resulting from the controlled co-precipitation of casein, lactalbumin and minor mild proteins from defatted milk.
Dried Reduced Lactose Whey - no AAFCO definition available.
Dried Whey - the product obtained by removing water from the whey. It contains not less than 11 percent protein nor less than 61 percent lactose.
Feeding Oatmeal - obtained in the manufacture of rolled oat groats or rolled oats and consists of broken oat groats, oat groat chips, and floury portions of the oat groats, with only such quantity of finely ground oat hulls as is unavoidable in the usual process of commercial milling. It must not contain more than 4 percent crude fiber.
Fish Meal - the clean, dried, ground tissue of un-decomposed whole fish or fish cuttings, either or both, with or without the extraction of part of the oil. (Be aware that according to US Coast Guard regulations, all fish meal must be preserved with Ethoxyquin)
Ground Corn (ground ear corn) - the entire ear of corn ground, without husks, with no greater portion of cob than occurs in the ear corn in its natural state.
Ground Dehulled Oats - presumably ground cleaned oats with hulls removed (ground oat groats). Not an AAFCO definition.
Ground Wheat - presumably a coarser grind of wheat flour. Not an AAFCO definition.
Ground Whole Brown Rice (Ground Brown Rice) - the entire product obtained by grinding the rice kernels after the hulls have been removed.
Ground Whole Wheat - ground whole kernel, presumably equivalent to AAFCO's Wheat Mill Run, Wheat Middlings, Wheat Shorts or Wheat Red Dog, whose principal differences are in the percentage of crude fiber.
Ground Yellow Corn - same as ground corn, except that the corn used is yellow in color.
Kibbled Corn - obtained by cooking cracked corn under steam pressure and extruding from an expeller or other mechanical pressure device.
Lamb Bone Meal - (steamed) dried and ground product sterilized by cooking un-decomposed bones with steam under pressure. Grease, gelatin and meat fiber may or may not be removed.
Lamb Digest - material resulting from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and un-decomposed lamb. The tissue used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth and hooves, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed.
Lamb Fat - obtained from the tissues of lamb in the commercial processes of rendering or extracting. It consists predominantly of glyceride esters of fatty acids and contains no additions of free fatty acids. If an antioxidant is used, the common name or names must be indicated, followed by the words "used as a preservative".
Lamb Meal - the rendered product from lamb tissues, exclusive of blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices.
Linseed Meal - the product obtained by grinding the cake or chips which remain after removal of most of the oil from flaxseed by a mechanical extraction process. It must contain no more than 10 percent fiber. The words "mechanical extracted" are not required when listing as an ingredient in the manufactured food.
Liver - the hepatic gland (of whatever species is listed).
Meat and Bone Meal - the rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents, except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices.
Meat By-Products - the non rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low-temperature fatty tissue and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth and hooves.
Meat Meal - the rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices.
Peas - peas.
Potatoes - potatoes.
Poultry By-Product Meal - consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices.
Poultry Digest - material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and un-decomposed poultry tissue.
Poultry Fat (feed grade) - primarily obtained from the tissue of poultry in the commercial process of rendering or extracting. It shall contain only the fatty matter natural to the product produced under good manufacturing practices and shall contain no added free fatty acids or other materials obtained from fat. It must contain not less than 90 percent total fatty acids and not more than 3 percent of un-saponifiables and impurities. It shall have a minimum titer of 33 degrees Celsius. If an antioxidant is used, the common name or names must be indicated, followed by the word "preservative(s)".
Powdered Cellulose - purified, mechanically disintegrated cellulose prepared by processing alpha cellulose obtained as a pulp from fibrous plant materials.
Rice Bran - the pericarp or bran layer and germ of the rice, with only such quantity of hull fragments, chipped, broken, or brewer's rice, and calcium carbonate as is unavoidable in the regular milling of edible rice.
Rice Flour - rice.
Soy Flour - soy.
Soybean Hulls - consist primarily of the outer covering of the soybean.
Soybean Meal (De-hulled, solvent Extracted) - obtained by grinding the flakes remaining after removal of most of the oil from dehulled soybeans by a solvent extraction process.
Soybean Meal (Mechanical Extracted) - obtained by grinding the cake or chips which remain after removal of most of the oil from the soybeans by a mechanical extraction process.
Soybean Mill Run - composed of soybean hulls and such bean meats that adhere to the hulls and such bean meats that adhere to the hulls which results from normal milling operations in the production of de-hulled soybean meal.
Tallow - animal fats with titer above 40 degrees Celsius.
Turkey - unspecified turkey. Not a complete AAFCO description.
Turkey Meal - the ground clean combination of flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey or a combination thereof, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails.
Wheat Bran - the coarse outer covering of the wheat kernel as separated from cleaned and scoured wheat in the usual process of commercial milling.
Wheat Flour - wheat flour together with fine particles of wheat bran, wheat germ and the offal from the "tail of the mill". This product must be obtained in the usual process of commercial milling and must not contain more than 1.5 percent crude fiber.
Wheat Germ Meal - consists chiefly of wheat germ together with some bran and middlings or short. It must contain not less than 25 percent crude protein and 7 percent crude fat.
Wheat Mill Run - coarse wheat bran, fine particles of wheat bran, wheat shorts, wheat germ, wheat flour and the offal from the "tail of the mill". This product must be obtained in the usual process of commercial milling and must contain not more than 9.5 percent crude fiber.
Whey - the product obtained as a fluid by separating the coagulum from milk, cream or skimmed milk and from which a portion of the milk fat may have been removed.
About Parvo: Parvo virus causes severe intestinal tract disease in dogs. Parvo first appeared in 1978 and quickly spread all over the world, now being famous as one of the most contagious and deadly diseases in the dog population.
How Common is Parvo? Parvo virus is an epidemic worldwide, especially in metropolitan areas and regions where vaccination programs are sporadic.
What are the Initial Signs of Parvo? The classic symptoms of Parvo are severe vomiting and diarrhea (often with blood in it along with extreme weakness and dehydration. Parvo literally destroys the lining of the GI tract, allowing bacteria to infect the bloodstream (a serious condition called septicemia). On those occasions when puppies (and sometimes adult dogs) die from Parvo its usually due to the combined effects of dehydration, upset in the pH balance of the bloodstream, and septicemia. The symptoms of Parvo are remarkably similar to, and as serious as, those of people with radiation sickness (such as from nuclear fallout) with the difference being that recovery is usually complete (meaning with no lasting side effects) in those puppies who recover from Parvo.
Although veterinary medicine has made tremendous progress in the treatment of Parvo in recent years and many puppies are being saved, Parvo should still be considered an extremely serious and often fatal disease.
How is Parvo Diagnosed? Parvo is diagnosed on the basis of patient history clinical signs and laboratory tests. The two common laboratory tests used to diagnose Parvo are (1) the fecal Parvo CITE test and (2) the Complete Blood Cell count (often called the CBC). Through the fecal Parvo CITE test we are looking directly for the presence of the virus in the patient’s stool. Through the Complete Blood Cell count (CBC) we are looking at characteristic changes in the numbers of white blood cells which indicate a viral disease.
How is Parvo Virus Transmitted? Dogs acquire infection with Parvo virus by ingesting (meaning to swallow) the infectious virus particles. The Parvo virus is one of the hardiest viruses known to science and this virus can live outside the body in a dormant yet infectious state hr one to two years. Puppies do not have to be in direct contact with other dogs to catch Parvo since the virus can be spread by people’s clothing, shoes, and other inanimate surfaces, and can even travel on the dust in the air. A dog (or puppy) who is shedding the Parvo virus can defecate (go to the bathroom) on a surface and then a susceptible puppy can come by and sniff or lick this surface over a year later and can still catch Parvo.
How is Parvo Treated? As with the common cold virus in humans, we have no medication which works directly against the Parvo virus itself Our therapy, therefore, is directed at providing as much supportive care as possible until the virus has ‘˜run its course’. Parvo is usually treated by administering fluids, antibiotic injections, and medications designed to curb vomiting and diarrhea. In many cases, successful therapy requires around-the-clock intensive care hospitilaziton.
What is the Prognosis for a Case of Parvo? The prognosis varies from case to case with the prognosis always being at best guarded. Factors which generally affect the progress are: (1) breed of dog (Dobermans, Rott and toy breed dogs have a harder time recovering) (2) age of the dog (young puppies have a harder time recovering than do older puppies and adults) (3) vaccination status (those dogs who have had at least some exposure to vaccine - no matter now inadequate - usually fare better) (4) promptness of intensive care (those who receive fluids and medications immediately will fare better than those who don’t).
How is Parvo Prevented? The best way to prevent Parvo is through adequate vaccination. Adequate vaccination begins before birth which means the mother dog should be current on her vaccinations at the time she gives birth because the puppy acquires its first immunity toward Parvo from the antibodies it receives from its mother (called Passive Transfer of immunity). Then it’s important that the puppy receive an initial vaccination against Parvo early in life, followed by the full series of puppy boosters.
As an example, I vaccinate puppies with a Parvo vaccine at 6 weeks followed by a booster at 9. 12, 15, and 18 weeks. Then the puppy (dog) should receive a booster once yearly thereafter. The age when the puppy series is begun and the number of boosters given will vary with your particular circumstances based on what type of vaccine is being used, the local Parvo situation in your area and other factors so be sure to check with your regular veterinarian to see when this series is begun and what boosters are involved.
The main thing to remember in this regard is that the puppy series for Parvo is begun very early (usually around 6 weeks).
What if the Puppy does not Receive or Stay on the Vaccination Program? It has been my experience with Parvo that if a good vaccination schedule is not adopted or adhered to then the puppy is at greatly increased risk of acquiring Parvo.
What are Other Ways to Prevent the Spread of Parvo? Common disinfectants (such as Listerine, Lysol, alcohol, etc) will not kill Parvo. The only things which will kill Parvo outright are fire (burning contaminated blankets, newspapers, etc), dilute Clorox solution (1 part Clorox to 32 parts water) and quaternary/disinfectant solutions listed specifically for Parvo virus.
Can My Cat Catch Parvo? No, cats cannot catch Parvo from a dog or any other source. However, cats are susceptible to another similar disease called Feline Panleukopenia (also called Feline Distemper) which is closely related to Parvo. We have a vaccination for Feline Panleukopenia (often called the Feline Distemper shot).
How can I Learn More about Parvo Virus? Consult your local veterinarian and they’ll be glad to tell you more!
Most dog bite wounds are caused by the family pet, or a neighbor’s dog, not the stray dog. Most bite wounds are facial and are a potential source of infection. There are 10 commandments to use to prevent a dog bite from occurring. These 10 commandments for dog bite prevention are:
DO - Children should be properly educated on the treatment of dogs. They should be taught to never disturb a dog while it is sleeping or eating. They should never mistreat, tease, or try to take away food or toys from the dog. They should also never pet or play with a dog or animal that they do not know.
DO - Your child should be at least 6 years old before you consider buying a dog. This is especially true with the larger breeds of dogs. When considering the purchase of a dog, investigate the breeder and background of the dog thoroughly. Always go to a reputable breeder.
DO - Provide proper adult supervision whenever small children are around dogs including the family pet. The adult presence will aid in inhibiting any threatening or aggressive behavior from the dog directed at the child.
DO - Learn and obey the dog laws in your area. Most areas have a leash law to prevent injuries to your dog as well as humans. Keep your dog on a leash and do not permit a young person to lead a large dog. A loose dog has a tendency to be more aggressive when in the general vicinity of their homes and with their owners.
DO - Dog ownership is a privilege and a responsibility. As a dog owner, you are given the privilege of having a loyal companion, and a best friend to share your life with. You also have a responsibility to your dog and your neighbors. Your responsibility to your neighbors is to not keep aggressive dogs in a residential area, and to ensure that fences are adequate to prevent easy access by small children.
DO - Make sure that your dog is kept current on all vaccinations. This is especially true about a rabies vaccination - It’s the Law
DON’T - If attacked do not try to out run, kick at, or scream at the dog. This will only intensify the dogs attacking excitement especially when a large group of dogs are involved. The best preventative is to stand still and turn side ways. This will give the dog a smaller target to aim for. If this fails, try giving the dog your jacket or some other object to bite. An attacking dog is not particular about what it is biting.
DO - Try to avoid territorial invasions. An attacking dog is usually protecting it’s territory.
DO - If you are bitten by a dog, try to remember a description, the location, and a possible owner. This will assist authorities in identifying the dog to determine the vaccination records or allowing for testing to determine the health of the dog. Wash the wound thoroughly with lots of soapy water. Always report the bite to proper authorities, especially if the owner is unknown to you, and seek medical attention.
DO - Reduce the risk of dangerous encounters by providing an educational program for potential victims. Promote in schools and groups public awareness of dog bite prevention and treatment of wounds. These programs will reduce the incidence of encounters which could result in maiming, death, and unnecessary doctor bills.
Find out what your own local laws are regarding animals and pets. Know your rights and know the procedures that any animal control officer that appears at your door must follow. Very carefully read any and all licenses that you must have for your animals BEFORE you sign them. If you do not agree with them, get legal counsel on them before signing.
Be sure to keep your rabies certificates and your licenses in a safe place readily available to you.
How To Respond To Anti Dog Enforcement Monday, 28 April 2008
ADOA's A Guide To Your Rights: Excerpts From How to Respond to Anti-Dog Enforcement
American Dog Owners Association, Inc. adoamail@yahoo.
How to Respond to Anti-Dog Enforcement
The following text outlines methods of inquiry and enforcement which may be used by local officials in attempts to enforce anti-dog ordinances in your community, and suggested techniques of response. These techniques are entirely legal and based upon the rights of citizens as stated by the U.S. Constitution.
If you are confronted with an official demanding to investigate your property, the following responses are recommended.
If the person presents a badge, you should ask for:
His full name and phone number His supervisor's full name and phone number The agency he represents His badge number Why he is there to see you Is there any complaint involved Who made these complaints (he probably won't answer) Whether he has a warrant for a search Request a copy of that warrant (he probably won't have one)
You should answer no questions, but ask that he send or deliver all questions in writing. You should write down the answers to all these questions as the conversation proceeds. A simple notebook will do the job.
If you feel that a search of your home will lead to a threatened confiscation of a dog or a criminal complaint, you should refuse entry to your home unless the sheriff or police are present with a search warrant. If he says that he can get one easily, then tell him to do so. Remain cool and polite. Call your attorney as soon as possible.
Remember: You do not have to let anyone into your house or on your property without a proper search warrant.
ADOA has pursued and prevailed in lawsuits precluding inspectors or law enforcement agents from such intrusions without a search warrant.
You should not be threatened with seizure without a court hearing or a court order. Obtain the names of all persons involved, including police officers. This may prevent seizure. Seizure of property without the due process of law is unconstitutional, and due process of law should include a court hearing in every action relating to such seizure. If the animal control officials or police seize a dog, they may not destroy the animal or harm it in any way until a judge has ruled that you are in violation and this can only occur after a full hearing.
Call your attorney at the time of threatened seizure and ask for help. Do not answer any questions from the police without legal advice. Do not offer any explanations regardless of what they may be (police and enforcement officials have a bad habit of misinterpreting such explanations!) Remember, everything can and probably will be used against you. Do not volunteer any dogs or other property.
Cooperation will not usually avoid prosecution. Also remember that seizure of one of your dogs without court action, under protest, amounts to prosecution without trial. Anything you say or do in regard to the attempted seizure or inquiries may be used against you in a criminal or quasi-criminal action. Everything you say or do will probably be used against you. Write down everything that is said or done as it happens. These notes can be valuable evidence to defend yourself at a later time. Try to avoid anger and avoid violence at all cost. Try to obtain as much information as you can: the informers, enforcing officials, officers, etc...Require enforcing officials and officers to put everything into writing. They may not do it, but you can ask.
A Dog Owner's Rights Tuesday, 29 April 2008
ANTI-DOG ENFORCEMENT - What Every Dog Owner Needs To Know
Dog owners and ethcial breeders are increasingly being targeted. Disgruntled neighbors may retaliate against dog owners and many other reasons drive complaints, and anti-dog enforcement action, which many times may be conducted illegally.
The following text outlines methods of inquiry and enforcement which may be used by local officials in attempts to enforce anti-dog ordinances in your community and suggested techniques of response. These techniques are entirely legal and based upon the rights of citizens as stated by the U. S. Constitution.
TELEPHONE INQUIRIES OR THREATS:
You may receive telephone inquiries concerning the number of dogs you own and whether any dogs or puppies are for sale. Other questions may also be asked.
Your response should be to inquire "Are you interested in a puppy?" If the answer is "yes", ask that person for his name, address and phone number. Suggest that you or a responsible breeder will contact that person at a more convenient time for you.
If the answer is friendly and genuinely inquisitive, invite the person to look at your puppies.
If the question asked is, "What is the price of each puppy?", simply say that puppies of this type are being sold for between "X" and "Y" dollars. Never say that you are selling them.
If the question is asked "Are these your puppies?", you should ask "Why do you want to know?"
If your conversation indicates that the person is representing the county clerk's office or allegedly representing an official body, ask the caller for:
FULL NAME, TITLE, PHONE NUMBER
AGENCY'S FULL NAME AND FULL ADDRESS
THEIR SUPERVISOR’S FULL NAME, PHONE NUMBER
NATURE OF THE INQUIRY (what it is about)
WHY THE INQUIRY IS BEING MADE
HOW YOUR NAME AND PHONE NUMBER WERE OBTAINED
ASK THAT ALL FUTURE QUESTIONS FROM THAT AGENCY BE SUBMITTED IN WRITING
Jumping UP (you, your children, your guests) Jumping ON (the furniture, or tables ‘what’s for dinner?‘) Jumping OVER (fences)
The behavior never disappears as fast as we would like. We have to remember how many weeks, months, or even years that your dog has been jumping. Please devote some patient, calm training time to this problem before you expect to see improvement. Reward every small step of success.
Jumping UP In the teaching phase, a big part of communicating to the dog that we don’t want them to jump up to greet people is actually preventing the jump from happening. To do this, we must have a training handle - a leash. But you say, ‘my dog isn’t ON leash when she jumps.‘ This is where the people training comes in.
We know there are certain temptations that are just too great for our dogs, and in those situations they always jump up, no matter how often or how loud we have screamed ‘NO‘ or ‘DOWN!‘ In those circumstances we must think one step ahead and remember to put the dog on leash immediately.
For instance: Speedy always greets you at the front door with any eye level leap as you step in at 5:30. If there is another family member usually home, have them attach a leash to her regular buckle collar (no special training collar needed) before you are due to arrive. If there is no one to help you, keep a leash with you or in a handy place (like the mail box) so you can reach with just your hands in the door and put it on before you completely enter.
As you step in, you are going to put your foot on the leash so that if the dog tries to jump up she can barely bounce her front feet off the ground before she feels a tug on her collar. You are going to say in a calm, quiet voice ‘OFF‘ every time her front feet leave the floor.
Loud, excited voices actually stimulate some dogs, and you are going to say ‘OFF‘ as your correction command because we may have sent mixed messages to our dogs by saying ‘NO!‘ for too many different things, or ‘DOWN‘ as in lie down and for jumping correction.
Teach your dog an alternative behavior for jumping up to greet people, by having the dog SIT when approaching friends or family members. The dog will quickly realize that she is restricted from jumping, and that trying to jump up is only resulting in collar tugs. When the dog is not receiving any feedback, no pleasant eye contact, and no touching, they will usually rock back into a sit. Try to time the ‘sit‘ command just as they are tucking their bottoms. Then praise them, pet them, give them a treat, act like it’s the best thing they’ve ever done.
You should set up practice situations several times a week to work on ‘OFF‘ and ‘SIT.‘ Have the neighborhood kids help you by having them come to the door every 10 minutes on a Saturday afternoon to give Speedy a treat for not jumping up. Or you could walk around the block and have planned for neighbors to approach you frequently so that you can use these encounters for training. Be sure to quickly place your foot on the leash, and command ‘sit‘ as people walk up, or ‘˜OFF‘ if Speedy tries to jump.
After two to three weeks of patient, diligent work, you can move from the teaching phase to the correction phase. If the dog starts to jump you should command ‘OFF.‘ If the dog doesn’t immediately put his front feet back on the floor, you may gently but swiftly push down on the dog’s shoulders to knock his front feet down. Then tug upon the collar as your command ‘sit.‘ Immediately praise with ‘good sit.‘
There are other methods for correcting the jumping dog; most of them are negative. One book details grabbing the dog’s front paws and squeezing, another says to knee the dog in the chest and knock him over backwards. I know of a dog that was once friendly that became fearfully aggressive after multiple foot squeezing episodes for just trying to welcome people in the only way she knew. I also know of a large puppy that was kneed over backwards on a deck and shattered a joint in his hind leg. Please don’t assume that everything you read in dog training books is correct or humane.
Jumping ON Jumping on things like furniture (if you don’t want the dog to share your resting areas), or putting their front feet on tables or counter tops to steal food, is also corrected in the teaching phase with the leash.
If the dog is dragging a leash while in the house with you, and she jumps up on that forbidden white velvet chair, you can pop the leash gently and command ‘OFF.‘ Then reward with praise and an immediate treat. The leash is important, because you are not pouncing at, or grabbing for the dog. The leash allows you to stand back and motivate the dog to get off the chair on their own. The pop on the leash should not be forceful enough to drag them off the furniture, but urge them to get off. You voice should be calm and pleasant; yelling at the dog may make Speedy cower and actually clamp to the furniture in fear.
All family members must be consistent in their expectations for the dog. If one person likes the dog to jump up to lay beside them, and another corrects the dog for the same behavior, then shortly you have a confused canine probably in need of long-term therapy.
The dog that jumps on tables, etc., to steal food should be put in training situations on a daily basis for a week or two. Place a strong smelling, tasty treat on the table. Speedy should be brought to the area on leash. Point to the food and say ‘off.‘ Stand back and hold the leash or put your foot on it to correct for attempts at jumping. Once the dog is wise, drop the leash, and hide close by. If the dog attempts to jump, command ‘off,‘ step closer to the dog and say ‘sit‘ and praise. Re ward with a treat from your pocket.
You can also booby trap things on the table, like a sandwich with lots of Tabasco sauce, or a treat tied with thread to a shaker can (empty soda can with pennies inside and the hole taped shut.) The rattle of the can startles some dogs, and also lets you know that in the other room Speedy is engaged in some sneaky snacking.
Jumping OVER* I only know of one consistent way to correct a fence jumper - let the fence do the correcting. FIDO SHOCK is a hot wire kit sold through garden and pet supply stores. You can attach this wire to any fence with insulators, or on shorter stakes just inside the fence. It emits a mildly uncomfortable shock to all of those that touch it, so turn it off when the kids are outside, or you’re doing
Dogs that jump fences have a very short life expectancy. They are often attacked by stray dogs, or killed by cars. FIDO SHOCK is very reasonably priced, uses pennies of electricity every month, and corrects your dog when you can’t stand there to make sure they don’t jump the fence. It can also be used to protect flower beds and vegetable gardens.
* pitchick says: Pit bulldogs should not be trusted to stay inside a fence, with or without an electric wire or shock collar. Covered pens or tethering are the only responsible ways to keep these dogs as they are highly tolerable of such minor pain and as said, escape is irresponsible and is likely to lead to damage of one's own or other's property and/or shortened life span.
Veterinarians report that as many as four out of every ten dogs may be overweight. At the root of the problem is overfeeding, coupled with lack of exercise.
How can I tell if my dog is overweight? If you can easily feel your dog’s rib cage and can spot a waistline when viewing your dog from above, then it is not overweight. But, if there is fat over the ribs or no visible waistline, you should think about slimming your dog down. Consult a veterinarian if there is any doubt because some dogs that appear overweight may have underlying medical conditions. Check with your veterinarian before starling on any weight reduction program.
Are particular breeds predisposed to being overweight? While some breeds such as Labrador Retrievers, Beagles, Cairn Terriers, Shetland Sheepdogs, Bassett Hounds, Cocker Spaniels, Collies, and Dachshunds may be predisposed to being overweight and others such as Afghan hounds, Whippets, Greyhounds, and Basenjis tend to be lean, excessive weight gain can be a problem for any breed.
Does being overweight cause health problems for dogs? It can. Overweight dogs may exhibit a variety of health problems, some of which can even be potentially life threatening. These include an increased susceptibility to heat stroke and delayed recovery from surgery. We also see joint injuries and muscular difficulties, particularly as the animal gets older.
Overweight dogs also tend to have more liver and skin problems, more complications if they develop diabetes. and, possibly, an increased susceptibility to pancreatitis. All of these can shorten a dog’s life and cost the owner a lot of extra money in unnecessary medical bills.
A dog at its optimal weight is healthier, happier, more active, and a better companion. It’s best to maintain your dog at its ideal weight from the start by not overfeeding him.
Do veterinarians prescribe reducing diets for dogs? Yes, many try to educate pet owners on the harmful effects of dog’s being overweight. We usually suggest exercise, change in feeding habits, and provide information on reduced-calorie dog foods. Most pet owners don’t have a problem with these recommendations when they realize that their dogs are satisfied and losing weight.
What kinds of reduced-calorie products are available? Reduced-calorie products are formulated with less fat and more fiber. Since it is the fat that adds the flavor dogs love, some reduced-calorie products are less palatable than regular dog food. A weight loss program will fail if the dog refuses to eat the food. Therefore, you should choose a food that is palatable and the dog enjoys.
Can I just cut back on current rations? That will work if you have enough willpower. Most veterinarians recommend that overweight dogs be fed about 75% of their required caloric needs to cause slow, steady weight loss. It’s often easier for owners to manage this by feeding a reduced-calorie food so the volume in the dog’s dish remains the same.
Is fiber as beneficial for dogs as it’s claimed to be for humans? While fiber is useful in reducing the caloric content of the food, no definitive studies have shown that fiber has the additional health benefits for dogs that it does for human beings, even though some pet food manufacturers are suggesting just that.
Should a young dog go from the concentrated nutrients of puppy food to a reduced-calorie dog food as a maintenance product, rather than eating full-caloried canned or dry dog foods? As long as the adult dog is active and not gaining weight, a full-caloried canned or dry dog food may be more appropriate, when the dog reaches ‘middle age‘ and activity level is reduced, it may be time to think about reduced-calorie dog food to keep it from gaining weight.
How will an abrupt shift in diet affect my dog? Sometimes it can cause diarrhea. It is best to mix small amounts of the new food with your dog’s existing food. Over a week’s time, gradually add more new food and decrease amounts of the old food. This transition is less likely to upset your pet’s digestive system.
Do you have any tips for feeding to help make mealtimes easier? Try dividing your pet’s total daily ration into three meals per day. Feeding the dieting or slimmed-down dog separately from other pets reduces ‘sharing‘. Feeding pets before family meals helps reduce tableside begging. Of course, all family members should refrain from giving the dog anything other than its specific diet.
Do you recommend specific exercises for dogs? Dogs are readily adaptable and, depending on their age and breed, can participate in a wide range of activities. Many people associate exercise with running, but there are a lot of other things a dog can do to stay fit. Some dogs like to chase sticks or balls. Older dogs can often get enough exercise on a leash just walking with you. Smaller dogs often get all the exercise they need running around the house, yard, or apartment. Two dogs are better than one in this regard*, since they can play together.
Start any exercise regimen slowly and then work up to more vigorous activities. Be sure not to exercise your pet right after it has finished eating or drinking. Wait at least one hour.
What about dog snacks? Snacks are fine if given as part of the dog’s total caloric intake. Snacks should only be given in moderation, especially to overweight dogs, since they may contain up to 250 calories each. Be sure to reduce the amount of dog food you normally feed the dog at its next regular meal and resist feeding sweets and fatty foods.
Can a mature dog with tendencies to become overweight be maintained indefinitely on a reduced-calorie dog food? Yes, if the reduced-calorie food is complete and balanced for an adult dog’s maintenance needs. Read the label to be sure.
* pitchick says: this is not usually practical with pit bulldogs, unless it is a male and female, or neutered dogs, which in either case have been raised together.
YOU INCREASE YOUR ODDS WHEN YOU BUY FROM A REPUTABLE BREEDER.
1. Don’t buy on impulse. Be sure you understand the breed, it’s personality, and the demands it will make. Read books, magazines, attend a dog show, seek advice from veterinarians, dog clubs, trainers and breeders. Try to find someone with the type of breed you are thinking about and ask them questions.
2. Contact breeders through magazine ads, vets, and dog clubs. Look for someone who looks to improve the line of dogs they own. That person should interview you as carefully as you are them. Look for honest answers, caring advice, open invitations to visit, and a helpful attitude. Also look for someone who isn’t afraid to have a veterinarian of your choice look over the pup you are thinking of buying.
3. Can you meet the sire and dam? Other puppies from the same parents, or closely related? Are these relatives intelligent, energetic, friendly, gorgeous, or whatever matters to you. Is the mother at least two years old or older? Has it been more than one heat in between the litters? Are the pups raised from birth with plenty of handling for socialization? Are they raised with children or other animals? Are they still with their mother (if under 6 weeks)? Are there other references they can give you?
4. Does the breeder show dogs, or compete with their dogs in some way (obedience, weight pull, etc)? Do they participate in dog clubs or perhaps judge dog shows. The more they do the more knowledgeable they will be.
5. A good pedigree does not guarantee a good puppy, but a good variety of show ribbons, obedience titles or working titles of the parents and relatives improve the odds of a well rounded puppy.
6. Has the breeder prepared a contract? Are the puppies guaranteed? What if you can’t keep the dog? Good hobby breeders stand by their dogs with health and temperament guarantees. If something goes wrong these people will want their dog back. Look at the contract carefully.
7. Trust your intuition. Does the breeder offer excuses instead of straight answer? Do you dislike the sire or dam? If there is anything you don’t like about the breeder, the puppies, the parents, or anything else walk away. All of the breeders I’ve talked to agreed with this. Never buy a puppy on impulse. Do not buy a puppy because you feel sorry for it, there are plenty of puppies, be sure before you buy.
What is the Thyroid Gland? The thyroid gland is a small gland located under the skin at the center of the neck. It is regulated by a smaller gland at the base of the brain, called the pituitary gland. This gland signals the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormone and regulates its blood concentration. The thyroid gland is an intricate part of your dog’s endocrine system. It can have an affect on many different phases of your dog’s health, from your dog’s coat all the way to the cell function.
Hypothyroidism Hypothyroidism is the result of too little circulating thyroid hormone. This is normally caused by the thyroid gland ceasing to function properly. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is "Idiopathic Hypothyroidism‘ which means there is not a biological reason why the thyroid isn't working properly. Another cause of hypothyroidism is thyroiditis or inflammation of the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis is believed to be generic. Hypothyroidism can be a debilitating disease if not treated. How ever, with proper treatment your dog can live a long and happy life.
Symptoms The clinical signs of hypothyroidism can be a loss of hair often on the tail, hind quarters or flank that is not a result of scratching. Other indications include dry scaly skin, dull brittle hair, leaching of the hair coat and possibly the development of oily skin. Advanced cases of hypothyroidism may cause your dog to become lethargic and overweight, even on a limited diet. The animal may not want to exercise, may seek out warm places and may have cold clammy skin. Breeding dogs may have a lack of libido, prolonged anestrous of shortened estrus.
Diagnosis A blood test will be done to help confirm the diagnosis of hypothyroidism. When the blood test results are returned and the diagnosis of hypothyroidism is confirmed, your veterinarian will prescribe medication. The product of choice is levothyroxine sodium tablets. This medication must be administered once or twice a day, according to your veterinarian’s instructions. You should see an improvement in your dogs overall health in approximately two to four weeks. Changes in dog’s coat will take anywhere from one to six months, depending on the rate of new hair growth of your dog.
Follow-up In approximately four to six weeks, your veterinarian will require another blood sample. If the results warrant a change, the dosage may be adjusted to maintain proper thyroid blood levels. When the adjustment is made you will need to refill the prescription and administer the medication to your dog according to your veterinarian’s instructions. The thyroid medication and routine check-ups will be necessary to maintain a healthy and happy dog.
Benefits: Panacur acts as an immune system stimulant (by stimulating the bone marrow); it is antifungal and a gut astringent. It is a very effective treatment for ulcers of the esophagus, stomach and gut. It can also act as a facilitator for antibiotics and white blood cells to penetrate scar tissue and chronically infected tissue.
What: Treating the dog with a dose of Panacur (fenbendazole 10%, 100mg/g) at a rate of 1g per 10 lbs. a day for 3 days. Then repeat the 3 day protocol in two weeks. The powder can be mixed with wet food, yogurt or by adding water and dosing directly or mixing this solution with dry food.
When: Given at least twice a year. Can be given each month for 3 days for persistent problems.
Indications: For the control of roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and some types of tapeworms. Panacur is particularly effective against Giardia, chronic low-grade Candida yeast and many fungal infections.
Side Effects: Some dogs may have vomiting and nausea. If the dog is infested with a lot of worms, it may have diarrhea, but this is rare.
Spay, Neuter, and Cancer: Revisiting and Old Trinity
Perhaps no aspect of pet ownership in the U.S. elicits as passionately supportive emotions as the subject of spay and neuter. In fact, this orientation is so well established that saying anything that questions the procedure is akin to blasphemy. However, just as women were routinely relieved of their reproductive organs with a "La de da, you'll never miss 'em" attitude until studies exploring the nonreproductive effects of reproductive hormones made human physicians rethink this position, so veterinarians and other animal-care professionals are making tentative moves to rethink wholesale sterilization of companion animals, too.
To understand what difference this may make in our attitudes about the procedure, let's consider the subject of cancer. Most dog owners have heard that spay and neuter prevent testicular and mammary (breast) cancer: however is that the whole story relative to cancer or is there more to it?
Obviously, if we remove a dog's testicles, there's no way he'll develop testicular cancer. On the other hand, most dogs who develop testicular cancer respond well to castration, so the advantages of preventive surgery are perhaps not as great as one might expect. Although intact (unsterilized) females have a higher incidence of mammary cancer, the dog's weight plays an important role in the process: intact females who are lean at one year of age have a lower incidence of the disease compared to their chunky cohorts.
In an interesting article in the August Veterinary Practice News entitled "Can we neuter cancer in dogs?" veterinary oncologist Kevin Hahn opens by saying that, after reviewing studies reported over the last 30 years, he's not sure what to recommend to his clients. Like most veterinarians, Dr Hahn mentions the higher incidence of testicular and mammary cancer in intact animals, but also notes that spayed females have a 4 times greater risk of cardiac hemangiosarcomas, and neutered males also show a significant increased risk for this cancer compared to intact ones.
Another cancer Dr Hahn discusses that deserves mention is prostate cancer because a lot of people erroneously believe that castration prevents this. In reality, it does not. In fact, castrated dogs have up to a 4 times greater risk of developing prostate cancer than intact animals. At the same time, spayed or neutered dogs have a 1.5 to 3 times greater chance of developing bladder cancer. Because of this, rectal examinations and abdominal palpation should always be part of a routine veterinary physical examination.
The link between sterilization and osteosarcoma (i.e. bone cancer) is also troubling: Spayed and neutered animals are twice as likely to develop this cancer. Those spayed or castrated before their first birthdays had a roughly 1 in 4 lifetime risk for osteosarcoma and were significantly more likely to develop a tumor than intact dogs.
The article then goes on to discuss the role of hormones and genetic controls in cancer. All agree that there is a connection, but no one knows exactly what it is. However, in his article Dr Hahn discusses a study done by Dr David Felman (and published in the June Nature) that I find intriguing because of how it may relate to the role the animal's behavior and his/her relationship with the owner plays in cancer. In a very tiny nutshell, the study looked at two gene mutations that lead the stress hormones cortisol and cortisone to trigger the growth of later stage cancer cells.
Because cortisol is also one of the hormones that's elevated when stress results in animal behavioral problems which, in turn, may result from human-animal relationship ones, it would seem that avoiding such elevations of this hormone by treating bond and behavioral problems could conceivably lower the probability of cancer in some animals, or improve the survival chances of those already afflicted with the disease. Although such a hypothesis might seem to require too great a leap of credibility for those who associate cortisol and cortisone with those drugs that counter inflammation and itching, another effect of these hormones is that they undermine the immune response. So while they may benefit animals who encounter occasional stresses of brief duration, these same substances may seriously undermine the health of those who daily live in stressful environments. In that case, not only will these animals have a higher probability of developing stress-related behavioral and medical problems (such as aggression or separation anxiety displays, irritable bowel syndrome or chronic or recurring urinary tract conditions), these animals' taxed immune response may experience more difficulty recognizing and dispatching mutant cells before they multiply and form cancers.
Currently the exploration of the nonreproductive effects of sex hormones is in its infancy and, unlike the rise of feminism which challenged the philosophy underlying hysterectomy and ovariohysterectomy in women, many of those who normally claim to speak for the animals are usually quiet about how sterilization may affect companion animals. Like Dr Hahn, I, too, have reviewed the literature and am not sure what to tell clients. However, I do know that unless we can free the subject from the emotional cocoon that has protected spay and neuter from objective scrutiny all these years, our pets won't be able to benefit from the knowledge that is slowly, but surely, being generated on this subject.
A new, highly contagious and sometimes deadly canine flu is spreading in kennels and at dog tracks around the country, veterinarians said yesterday.
The virus, which scientists say mutated from an influenza strain that affects horses, has killed racing greyhounds in seven states and has been found in shelters and pet shops in many places, including the New York suburbs, though the extent of its spread is unknown.
Dr. Cynda Crawford, an immunologist at the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine who is studying the virus, said that it spread most easily where dogs were housed together but that it could also be passed on the street, in dog runs or even by a human transferring it from one dog to another. Kennel workers have carried the virus home with them, she said.
How many dogs die from the virus is unclear, but scientists said the fatality rate is more than 1 percent and could be as high as 10 percent among puppies and older dogs.
Dr. Crawford first began investigating greyhound deaths in January 2004 at a racetrack in Jacksonville, Fla., where 8 of the 24 greyhounds who contracted the virus died.
"This is a newly emerging pathogen," she said, "and we have very little information to make predictions about it. But I think the fatality rate is between 1 and 10 percent."
She added that because dogs had no natural immunity to the virus, virtually every animal exposed would be infected. About 80 percent of dogs that are infected with the virus will develop symptoms, Dr. Crawford said. She added that the symptoms were often mistaken for "kennel cough," a common canine illness that is caused by the bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria.
Both diseases can cause coughing and gagging for up to three weeks, but dogs with canine flu may spike fevers as high as 106 degrees and have runny noses. A few will develop pneumonia, and some of those cases will be fatal. Antibiotics and fluid cut the pneumonia fatality rate, Dr. Crawford said.
The virus is an H3N8 flu closely related to an equine flu strain. It is not related to typical human flus or to the H5N1 avian flu that has killed about 100 people in Asia.
Experts said there were no known cases of the canine flu infecting humans. "The risk of that is low, but we are keeping an eye on it," said Dr. Ruben Donis, chief of molecular genetics for the influenza branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is tracking the illness.
But with the approach of the human flu season and fears about bird flu in Asia, there is much confusion among some dog owners who have heard about the disease.
Dr. Crawford said she was fielding calls from kennels and veterinarians across the country worried that they were having outbreaks.
"The hysteria out there is unbelievable, and the misinformation is incredible," said Dr. Ann E. Hohenhaus, chief of medicine at the Animal Medical Center in New York.
Dr. Hohenhaus said she had heard of an alert from a Virginia dog club reporting rumors that 10,000 show dogs had died.
"We don't believe that's true," she said, adding that no dogs in her Manhattan hospital even had coughs.
Dr. Donis of the disease control centers said that there was currently no vaccine for the canine flu. But he said one would be relatively easy to develop. The canine flu is less lethal than parvovirus, which typically kills puppies but can be prevented by routine vaccination.
Laboratory tests, Dr. Donis said, have shown that the new flu is susceptible to the two most common antiviral drugs, amantidine and Tamiflu, but those drugs are not licensed for use in dogs.
The flu has killed greyhounds at tracks in Florida, Massachusetts, Arizona, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Texas and Iowa. Tracks and kennels have been forced to shut down for weeks for disinfection.
In Chestnut Ridge, north of New York City, about 88 dogs became sick by early September, and 15 percent of those required hospitalization, said Debra Bennetts, a spokeswoman for Best Friends Pet Care, a chain of boarding kennels. The kennel was vacated for decontamination by Sept. 17.
About 17 of the infected dogs were treated at the Oradell Animal Hospital in Paramus, N.J., where one died and two more were still hospitalized, a staff veterinarian said.
The Best Friends chain owns 41 other kennels in 18 states, and no others have had an outbreak, Dr. Larry J. Nieman, the company's veterinarian, said.
In late July, at Gracelane Kennels in Ossining, N.Y., about 35 dogs showed symptoms, said the owner, Bob Gatti, and he closed the kennel for three weeks to disinfect.
About 25 of the dogs were treated by an Ossining veterinarian, Glenn M. Zeitz, who said two of them had died.
"The dogs came in very sick, with high fevers and very high white blood cell counts," Dr. Zeitz said, making him suspicious that they had something worse than kennel cough.
A spokesman for the New York City Health Department said that there were "a few confirmed cases" in New York but that the city was not yet tracking the disease.
Veterinarians voluntarily sent samples to the Animal Health Diagnostic Center at the Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine, which was the only laboratory doing blood tests.
Leptospirosis Reportedly on the Rise Across the Country
August 2005 (Newstream) -- A deadly disease is threatening more and more of man's best friends. Leptospirosis - a disease that causes kidney and liver damage in dogs and can lead to death - is reportedly on the rise across the nation.
Although leptospirosis isn't as well known as Lyme disease or rabies, it can be just as dangerous to dogs. Dogs can get the disease from drinking contaminated water in which other animals, like rats or raccoons, have urinated.
The key to treatment is recognizing the symptoms. Dogs with leptospirosis can experience vomiting, lethargy, anorexia, muscle pain, joint pain and jaundice.
Leptospirosis is highly preventable. Veterinary experts recommend talking to your veterinarian to find out about vaccinating your dog against the disease.
Anyone wishing to have a copy of the 1992 French challenge study data from a research team led by Michel Aubert in which dogs were demonstrated to be immune to a rabies challenge 5 years after vaccination, or Vascellari's study which documented cancerous tumors in dogs at presumed injection sites of rabies vaccine, please e-mail me at ledgespring@(lincoln.midcoast.com) (remove parantheses)
TICK PARALYSIS IN DOMESTIC ANIMALS (IN AUSTRALIA) Caused by Ixodes holocyclus (the Paralysis Tick)
1. What causes tick paralysis? 2. How do I recognize the signs of tick paralysis? 3. How can I recognize a paralysis tick? 4. When and where is my pet likely to pick up a tick? 5. What do I do if I find a tick on my pet? 6. Do animals develop immunity to the tick paralysis toxin? 7. How can I protect my pet against tick paralysis? 8. How effective is treatment of tick paralysis? 9. What do I need to do after my pet has been treated for tick paralysis?
1. What causes tick paralysis?
The adult female Ixodes holocyclus tick can attach to a dog or cat (the host) and burrow its mouthparts into the animal’s skin. The tick sucks the host’s blood and injects its neurotoxin (poison) into the host. On attachment this tick is quite small but it grows in size each day as it sucks blood. The toxin has several effects, most obviously acting on the animal’s muscles and respiratory (breathing) system. The host usually shows no signs of illness for about the first four days, in some cases for up to one or two weeks. However once the cat or dog starts to show signs of illness it can deteriorate quite rapidly and could die within 48 hours. It is important that veterinary treatment should be sought within 24 hours of the first signs of illness.
2. How do I recognize the signs of tick paralysis?
There are THREE main signs to look for: (1) Weakness of the legs - slowness in walking, a wobbly gait, or a tendency to lose balance or fall over. (2) Vomiting or dry retching. (3) Difficulty in breathing, or a change in the breathing pattern. (Important: Sometimes only ONE of these three signs is present, sometimes two, sometimes all three.)
If you see one or more of these signs, SEARCH your animals body for a tick. Search the whole body, but especially the head and neck areas, including around the ears. If you find a tick then your pet almost certainly has tick paralysis. You may find a little hole in the skin, like a crater or a small scab. This could be the place where a tick has been, in which case the problem is still likely to be tick paralysis. Or you may not find anything. However, if it is the right time of the year for ticks, and you are in a tick area, then it still could quite easily be tick paralysis. Ticks can be very difficult to find on an animal. If in doubt contact a veterinarian.
3. How can I recognize a paralysis tick?
Depending on where you are, Ixodes may be confused with other ticks common in that area. In northern NSW and Qld this would include the Cattle tick (Boophilus microplus) which is usually found only on cattle but may occasionally attach to dogs or other animals.
More commonly, in the coastal areas of NSW and Old, it is confused with the Bush Tick (Haemaphysalis longicomis) which is common on cattle, horses, dogs, and other animals. The size or degree of engorgement is of no use in differentiation. The terms ‘bottle tick‘ and ‘˜shell back‘ are also meaningless and not descriptive of any one species.
Ixodes is lighter in color than the other two ticks, has longer and stronger legs, and larger mouthparts. The male is a fiat, oval, yellowish-brown tick.
The unfed female is also yellowish in color, but, as it engorges, becomes grayish with a brown line (in the shape of a shield) encircling the body. A fully engorged female tick may be 15 to 18 mm in length. Its legs are in a V shape line from its snout down the sides of its body. Of the four pairs of legs, the front and back pairs are brown, the second and third pairs paler in color. If you have difficulty identifying a tick, take the tick to a veterinary clinic and they should be able to identify it for you.
4. What do I do if I find a tick on my pet?
First - Remove the tick. The best way is to first apply to the tick by dropper or spray a suitable insecticide effective against ticks e.g. Frontline or Permoxin. Then after a few minutes grasp the tick firmly between your finger and thumb, give a firm tug, and the tick should come out. Do not use irritant substances such as turpentine, kerosene, or petrol. These will kill the tick but not make it any easier to remove. They will also cause a very nasty sore at the site of the tick bite and cause your pet unnecessary pain.If the tick is too small to grasp with your finger and thumb, use a pair of fine tweezers or Allis forceps. If by any chance the head of the tick stays in the skin scratch it out with your fingernail. The head will not inject any more poison once the body is removed, but it may cause a foreign body reaction similar to a splinter. The spot where you remove a well attached tick is likely to leave a ‘crater’ or small hole in the skin. This will heal eventually. The local effects of a tick attachment are uncomfortable, but fairly insignificant compared with the potential fatal systemic effects caused by the tick toxin throughout the body.
Second - Is the dog showing any signs of tick paralysis? If it is, you should contact a vet as soon as possible, and describe the state of your pet. The vet or vet hospital staff can advise you on how urgently you need to obtain veterinary treatment. If it is outside normal business hours, leave your pet to rest quietly while you contact a vet by phone to make the necessary arrangements. Do NOT give anything (food, water, or medication) by mouth, as an animal affected by tick paralysis cannot swallow properly. If your animal appears normal and shows no signs of tick paralysis, be aware that the toxin can still work and produce a delayed reaction even after the tick has been removed. Keep an eye on your pet for the next 24 hours and if signs of toxicity develop then contact a veterinarian.
5. When and where is my pet likely to pick up a tick?
The likelihood of tick paralysis will depend on the number of ticks active at that time in the area, specifically of adult female ticks.
WHERE: 1. Areas of natural bush land which harbor native animals, particularly bandicoots, are the most likely areas. However an animal may be at risk anywhere close to such an area, as ticks can be carried by other animals and dropped in areas where you might not expect to find ticks. Ticks may also possible be carried by birds, or even possibly be blown short distances on the wind. 2. Anywhere along the coastal area of eastern Australia, from far north Qld. to around Lakes Entrance in Victoria, and also along the east coast of Tasmania. In northern NSW and Queensland this area extends quite a distance inland. Ixodes holocyclus also exists in Papua-New Guinea and portions of India and Indonesia.
WHEN -The danger period is spring and early summer. However, animals living in or visiting areas of natural bush land can pick up ticks in ANY MONTH of the year. The incidence will be higher in periods of increased warmth or humidity, or in years of higher rainfall than average.
6. Do animals develop immune to the tick paralysis toxin?
Native animals which are the natural hosts of Ixodes holocyclus appear (when in their natural environment) to develop immunity to the harmful effects of the tick toxin, arid can carry large numbers of ticks without ill effect.Dogs and cats which live in areas where they regularly pick up ticks will also tend to develop their own immunity. This depends on them getting small doses of tick toxin initially, not enough to cause severe illness, but enough to start the production of antibodies by the animal’s immune system. As they pick up more ticks and are injected by gradually increasing doses of toxin this immunity can become quite strong. Unfortunately this immunity is not long lasting and can be lost from one season to the next if there are no ticks on the animal in the time between. A previously immune dog can therefore suddenly become affected by tick paralysis. Owners should be aware of this risk.Owners are also commonly misled by the fact that a dog frequently carries ticks of the genus Haemaphysalis (Bush Ticks) which resemble Ixodes to some degree but do not inject a toxin. These dogs may have no immunity at all to the Ixodes toxin and can easily be affected by tick paralysis.Dogs or cats which have been given Anti-Tick Serum as treatment for tick paralysis should not be expected to have any increased immunity after treatment.
7. How effective is treatment of tick paralysis?
Some animals which are only mildly affected may recover without treatment by a veterinarian. However to leave an animal untreated is taking a risk with the life of the animal. If you are thinking of NOT treating, at least contact a veterinary clinic for advice and preferably have the animal examined by a veterinarian. Veterinary treatment will significantly improve the chances of survival of any affected animal. However some will die even with the best treatment. The ones which die usually have had a larger amount of toxin injected than normal (as occurs if more than one tick is present) or have been left too long and become severely ill before the owner presents the pet for treatment. Very young and very old animals also tend to be more severely affected, or animals suffering from any other disease or stress at the same time. In my early years of treating dogs and cats with tick paralysis I had 41 deaths out of 415 cases presented (10.1%) over a three year period. In later years I got this down to 36 deaths out of 691 treated (5.2%) over a six year period.In every case the more severely the animals were when presented for treatment, the higher the mortality rate. Treatment of animals showing only mild wobbliness of the legs was 100% successful, with no failures. The most seriously affected group (animals which were paralyzed and unable to lift their head at time of presentation for treatment) had a 36% mortality rate despite treatment. However we still saved 64% of these severely affected animals, all of which would certainly have died without treatment.
8. What do I need to do after my pet has been treated for tick paralysis?
Depending on the severity of toxicity, your dog may have required a stay in Hospital for tick poisoning caused by Paralysis Tick. At the time of going home, the dog may be walking and breathing normally and appear outwardly normal, or alternatively may still be showing some of the signs of tick paralysis (e.g. paralysis or leg weakness).
In either case, the following instructions are VERY IMPORTANT: (1) FOOD & WATER: Tick poisoning prevents the dog from swallowing properly. Food or water given too early may cause choking, coughing, or inhalation pneumonia which can be fatal. Unless the dog has already been eating or drinking in Hospital, we recommend the following: (a) The first 24 hours offer water only, in small amounts. If vomiting or coughing occurs, stop offering water. (b) The second day you can offer soft easy to swallow foods in small amounts. a little often is better than one big meal. If coughing or occurs, stop. In any case the pet’s total food intake should not exceed half of its normal daily food intake, at this stage. (c) The third day, if there have been no problems, return to normal daily feeding and make water freely available.
(2) PROGRESSION OF SIGNS: When a dog is first treated with Tick Hyperimmune Serum, there is a time lag before it becomes effective, so that the pet’s condition may still deteriorate for a day or more following initial treatment. After this it will normally stabilize or start to recover. Following a stay in Hospital of 24 hrs or more, when a pet is sent home it should not get any worse than it is at the time of discharge from Hospital. lf it does get any worse, for example if it has greater difficulty walking, or starts coughing or vomiting, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
(3) SEARCH FOR MORE TICKS: Although veterinary and nursing staff search every pet thoroughly for ticks while it is in Hospital, it is impossible to guarantee that one may not be missed. It is also possible for a dog to pick up more ticks as soon as it goes home. You should search the coat thoroughly for ticks every day and remove any you find, if you find any large ones (over 2 mm long), call your vet.
(4) AVOID STRENUOUS EXERCISE OR UNNECESSARY EXCITEMENT: For up to 2 months after suffering from Tick paralysis, your pets body will be slowly recovering from the effects of the poison, even though outwardly it may seem to have made a quick recovery. Its heart, lungs, muscles, and nerves will not be as strong as they were before the disease. Recovery is gradual, and given time, should be complete without any permanent after-effects. However it is important to avoid strenuous exercise or excitement, especially in the first few days. Taking a dog for a long run, for example, could cause a heart attack. We suggest confinement and rest for the first few days, and avoidance of serious exercise (as with working dogs) for four to six weeks.
(5) PREVENT RE-INFESTATION WITH TICKS: Following treatment for Tick poisoning, you might expect your pet to develop an immunity, but the passive short term immunity (a few days) conferred by the serum prevents the development of any long term effective immunity. During the two-month recovery period, the pet is actually more susceptible to another bout of Tick Poisoning if an adult female Paralysis tick attaches and injects her poison. Therefore it is important to keep ticks off your pet especially during this period.
How to protect your dog from tick paralysis (6) SEEK EARLY TREATMENT: Remember that if an animal is affected by tick poisoning, the earlier treatment is given the higher will be the pet’s chance of survival. Contact your vet immediately if the signs of paralysis reoccur.
My old Danny Boy dog actually had RMSF a few years back. I had to push for them to send out a tick panel though, as it doesn't show on a regular vet run tick screen. His symptoms were sudden onset joint swelling and troubled/painful (? - since dogs don't talk and danny didn't whine, I was never sure if it was difficult or painful) walking. One vet tech tried to suggest it was arthritis but arthritis does not just happen literally overnight. The panel came back with a positive titer for RMSF. It required a 6 or 8 week run of doxycycline as I recall. So it's something to watch out for in both ourselves and our dogs.
crossposted from an ogba newsletter:
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a serious, generalized illness that is usually spread by the bite of an infected tick.
Anyone who is exposed to areas where ticks live or to pets with ticks is at risk for Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is treatable with antibiotics. Without treatment, the disease can be fatal.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be prevented by: 1) avoiding tick bites, 2) removing attached ticks promptly, and 3) getting early diagnosis and treatment.
What is Rocky Mountain spotted fever? Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a serious, generalized infection that is usually spread to people by the bite of infected ticks. The disease gets its name from the Rocky Mountain area where it was first identified. What is the infectious agent that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever? Rocky Mountain spotted fever is caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, a specialized bacteria. Ticks infected with the organism transmit the disease to humans.
Where is Rocky Mountain spotted fever found? Rocky Mountain spotted fever is found throughout the United States, except in Maine, Alaska, and Hawaii. Despite the name, few cases are reported from the Rocky Mountain region. Most cases occur in the southeastern United States.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is spread by the American dog tick, the lone-star tick, and the wood tick, all of which like to live in wooded areas and tall, grassy fields. The disease is most common in the spring and summer when these ticks are active, but it can occur anytime during the year when the weather is warm.
How do people get Rocky Mountain spotted fever? People get Rocky Mountain spotted fever from the bite of an infected tick or by contamination of the skin with the contents of an attached tick when it is removed from the skin. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is not spread from person to person, except rarely by blood transfusion. What are the signs and symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever? People with Rocky Mountain spotted fever get a sudden fever (which can last for 2 or 3 weeks), severe headache, tiredness, deep muscle pain, chills, nausea, and a characteristic rash. The rash might begin on the legs or arms, can include the soles of the feet or palms of the hands, and can spread rapidly to the trunk or the rest of the body.
How soon after exposure do symptoms appear? Symptoms usually begin 3 to 12 days after a tick bite.
How is Rocky Mountain spotted fever diagnosed? The disease is diagnosed by special blood tests. Who is at risk for Rocky Mountain spotted fever? Anyone who is exposed to tick-infested areas or to tick-infested pets is at risk for Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
What complications can result from Rocky Mountain spotted fever? Without prompt medical care, kidney failure and shock can lead to death. What is the treatment for Rocky Mountain spotted fever? Rocky Mountain spotted fever must be treated with antibiotics. Many people with the disease need to be hospitalized.
How common is Rocky Mountain spotted fever? Rocky Mountain spotted fever affects about 800 persons in the United States each year.
Is Rocky Mountain spotted fever a new or emerging infectious disease? No. However, because of the seriousness of the disease, continued efforts are needed to increase awareness and encourage prevention.
How can Rocky Mountain spotted fever be prevented? No vaccine is available to protect humans against Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The best way to avoid getting the disease is to avoid areas such as the woods or fields where ticks are found. If this is not possible, you can reduce your risk by taking these precautions:
Control the tick population on your property. Keep pets tick-free. Mow grass often in yards and outside fences.
During outside activities in wooded areas and around tall grass, wear long sleeves and long pants tucked into socks.
Use insecticides to repel or kill ticks. Repellents containing the compound DEET can be used on exposed skin except for the face, but they do not kill ticks and are not 100% effective in discouraging ticks from biting. Products containing permethrin kill ticks, but they cannot be used on the skin -- only on clothing. When using any of these chemicals, follow label directions carefully. Be especially cautious when using them on children.
After outdoor activities, check yourself for ticks, and have a "buddy" check you, too. Check body areas where ticks are commonly found: behind the knees, between the fingers and toes, under the arms, in and behind the ears, and on the neck, hairline, and top of the head. Check places where clothing presses on skin.
Remove attached ticks immediately. Removing a tick before it has been attached for more than 4 hours greatly reduces the risk of infection. Use tweezers, and grab as closely to the skin as possible. Do not handle ticks with bare hands. Do not try to remove ticks by squeezing them, coating them with petroleum jelly, or burning them with a match.
After removing the tick, thoroughly disinfect the bite site, and wash your hands. See or call a doctor if you think that tick parts may remain in your skin. If you get a fever, headache, rash, or nausea within 2 weeks of a possible tick bite or exposure, see a doctor right away.
Fatal experimental transplacental Babesia gibsoni infections in dogs.
Fukumoto S, Suzuki H, Igarashi I, Xuan X.
Center for Disease Biology and Integrative Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.
A Babesia gibsoni infected bitch was mated with an uninfected dog in order to determine whether this parasite could be vertically transmitted. The bitch delivered a litter of four live and one stillborn pup. The four pups died from congenital babesiosis between 14 and 39 days post-birth. Babesia gibsoni DNA was detected in tissue from all five pups. These results show that vertical transmission occurred by the uterine route and not via the transmammary route. This is the first confirmed report of transplacental Babesia infection in any animal species.
Holm LP, Kerr MG, Trees AJ, McGarry JW, Munro ER, Shaw SE. Peter Edgar's Veterinary Surgery, Ashford, Kent TN24 0NR.
PMID: 16891426 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Intervet working on a vaccine?
« Thread Started on 14th Jun, 2006 »
Vaccination against canine babesiosis.
It has been known for several decades that the soluble parasite antigen (SPA) of several Babesia species can be used as a vaccine against the clinical manifestations of babesiosis. Originally observed in the plasma of infected animals, SPA can also be recovered from the supernatants of in vitro cultures of these parasites. Variable success has been reported for vaccines against the bovine and canine Babesia parasites, which seems to be related to antigenic diversity within Babesia species. In this article, an overview is presented of the development of such vaccines for dogs, and additional research that has led to improvement of an SPA-based vaccine against Babesia canis in dogs.
Prime-boost immunization with DNA followed by a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing P50 induced protective immunity against Babesia gibsoni infection in dogs.
Fukumoto S, Tamaki Y, Okamura M, Bannai H, Yokoyama N, Suzuki T, Igarashi I, Suzuki H, Xuan X. Center for Disease Biology and Integrative Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan; National Research Center for Protozoan Diseases, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Inada-cho, Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-8555, Japan.
A heterologous prime-boost immunization regime with priming DNA followed by recombinant vaccinia virus expressing relevant antigens has been shown to induce effective immune responses against several infectious pathogens. In this study, we constructed a recombinant plasmid and vaccinia virus, both of which expressed P50 of Babesia gibsoni, to investigate the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a heterologous prime-boost immunization against canine babesiosis. The dogs immunized with the prime-boost regime developed a significantly high level of specific antibody against P50 when compared with the control groups, and the antibody level was strongly increased after a booster immunization with a recombinant vaccinia virus. The prime-boost immunization regime induced a specific IgG2 antibody response and IFN-gamma production in dogs. Two weeks after the booster immunization with a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing P50, the dogs were challenged with B. gibsoni patasites. The dogs immunized with the prime-boost regime showed partial protection, manifested as a significantly low level of parasitemia and a 2-day delay of the peak parasitemia. These results indicated that such a heterologous prime-boost immunization approach might be useful against B. gibsoni infection in dogs.
PMID: 17055131 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Immunity against Babesia rossi infection in dogs vaccinated with antigens from culture supernatants.
Schetters TP, Strydom T, Crafford D, Kleuskens JA, van de Crommert J, Vermeulen AN. Parasitology R&D Department, Intervet International B.V., P.O. Box 31, 5830 AA Boxmeer, The Netherlands.
Soluble parasite antigens (SPA) from different Babesia species have been shown earlier to induce protective immunity when used as vaccine. However, initial attempts to produce such vaccine against Babesia rossi infection using SPA from B. rossi culture supernatants were not or only partially successful. Here we show that when dogs were vaccinated with a vaccine comprising SPA from B. rossi combined with SPA from Babesia canis protective immunity against experimental challenge infection was induced. Immunity was reflected in reduced clinical signs that resolved spontaneously, and reduction of parasitaemia and SPA in the blood. Not a single infected erythrocyte could be found in blood smears of dogs that had been repeatedly boosted (three vaccinations in total). In contrast, three out of four control dogs required chemotherapeutic treatment to prevent death. The fourth control dog showed a transient parasitaemia that resolved spontaneously. Vaccination did not prevent the development of a transient anaemia. It is concluded that a vaccine containing a mixture of SPA obtained from in vitro culture supernatants of B. rossi and B. canis induces protection in dogs against heterologous challenge infection with B. canis (as shown before) or B. rossi.
PMID: 17056181 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
can someone explain babesia drugs?
« Thread Started on 14th Jun, 2006 »
I'd like to know if any of the drugs used to treat babesia are used for anything other than babesia, as well as ingredients that make them up and proper dosages. Malorone and zithromax particularly, and any others that I don't know about. Were they designed to fight babesia specifically, or were they derived from something already in the medical field? If so, what was it originally used for? And what about side effects and risks of overdose for any of them? Thanks, I appreciate any help I can get.
malarone is actually atavaquone in combination with proguanil and is used as an anti-malarial. atavaquone has been used to treat many illnesses from malaria to hiv and babesiosis in humans. azithromycin is an antibiotic commonly used to treat various opportunistic infections related to cancers as well as pneumonia, and other infections.
here is one of the best links that I use to look up babesia and other medical related stuff:
just put in different search terms you're interested in. For example "babesia gibsoni", "atavaquone", "atavaquone and azithromycin", etc. I usually choose to sort by date since I have looked over most of the older stuff and that way I can just focus on the newer items.
Babesia may become resistant to atavaquone?
« Thread Started on 14th Jun, 2006 »
Short report: cloning of the Babesia gibsoni cytochrome B gene and isolation of three single nucleotide polymorphisms from parasites present after atovaquone treatment.
Matsuu A, Miyamoto K, Ikadai H, Okano S, Higuchi S.
We determined the nucleotide sequence of the Babesia gibsoni cytochrome b (cytb) gene. DNA was extracted from B. gibsoni isolated from Aomori Prefecture, Japan, and 1,288 basepairs of the cytb gene, including 1,071 basepairs of the open reading frame, were sequenced. The cytb gene of B. gibsoni obtained from three dogs that had been experimentally infected with B. gibsoni and treated with atovaquone was also sequenced. The B. gibsoni cytb gene obtained from all three atovaquone-treated dogs contained a single polymorphism resulting in an amino acid change in one of the putative ubiquinone-binding sites of Plasmodium falciparum. This polymorphism was homologous to mutations in other apicomplexan protozoa that exhibit resistance to atovaquone. Two other single polymorphisms were identified in parasites isolated from two of the dogs. These results indicate that single nucleotide polymorphisms in the sequence for mitochondrial cytb gene may be associated with decreased susceptibility of Babesia species to atovaquone.
another study indicating possible resistance to atavaquone.....
Efficacy of atovaquone against Babesia gibsoni in vivo and in vitro.
Matsuu A, Koshida Y, Kawahara M, Inoue K, Ikadai H, Hikasa Y, Okano S, Higuchi S.
The therapeutic efficacy of atovaquone against Babesia gibsoni was examined in three dogs experimentally infected with B. gibsoni isolated from naturally infected dogs in Aomori Prefecture, Japan. Once parasitemia reached 10%, atovaquone was administered orally (30 mg/kg twice daily for 7 days). Within 2 days of atovaquone treatment, the parasite disappeared from blood smears without any clinical side effects. Anemia and thrombocytopenia were significantly improved in all the dogs. However, a polymerase chain reaction assay revealed that a B. gibsoni marker gene was intermittently present in peripheral blood after atovaquone therapy, indicating that the organism had not been eliminated, and parasites reappeared in blood smears 33 days after the last treatment. To investigate the change in sensitivity against atovaquone, an in vitro sensitivity test was performed using peripheral blood obtained from an untreated dog that was infected with the original parasite isolate, and from two of the experimentally infected and atovaquone-treated animals (blood was collected at the time of the post-treatment recurrence of the B. gibsoni infection). Atovaquone was added to the culture medium to final concentrations of 0.1, 1, 10, 100, and 1000 nM. For the untreated parasites, complete growth inhibition occurred at 1000 nM of atovaquone, whereas the recurrent parasites were inhibited by only 39.52 +/- 8.34% and 31.31 +/- 8.14% at this concentration after 48 h of incubation. Thus, the recurring parasites were less sensitive to atovaquone than the untreated originally isolated parasites.
A review of the small canine piroplasms from California: Babesia conradae in the literature.
Kjemtrup AM, Conrad PA.
California Department of Health Services, Vector-Borne Disease Section, 1616 Capital Avenue, MS 7307, Sacramento, CA 95899-7413, United States.
Small piroplasms as a cause of canine babesiosis in southern California were first documented in 1990. Initially these piroplasms were considered to be Babesia gibsoni, the only small Babesia parasite known to infect dogs at that time. In the following decade, the use of molecular analysis made it clear that small canine Babesia in fact are comprised of at least three distinct species, and the isolates from dogs in southern California were not B. gibsoni. Molecular, antigenic, and morphological characteristics of the southern California species of canine piroplasm supported naming it as a distinct species, Babesia conradae. The renaming of this species prompted this literature review of small canine piroplasms in California in order to clarify clinical, diagnostic, epidemiological, and molecular characteristics of B. conradae in comparison to other small canine piroplasms. Clinical symptoms of B. conradae are similar to those of B. gibsoni; however, B. conradae infections may be more pathogenic, resulting in higher parasitaemia and more pronounced anaemia when compared with B. gibsoni-infected dogs. The immunofluorescent antibody test is the most commonly used test to diagnose B. conradae. It is important to specify which small Babesia species to test for since there is little serological cross reactivity between the small canine Babesia antigens or cross-detection in the newer molecular tests. Molecular characterization of B. conradae, based principally on the 18S small subunit rRNA gene, and recently the second internal transcribed spacer region, demonstrate that B. conradae is most closely related to piroplasms recovered from humans and animals in the western United States.
Babesia conradae, sp. Nov., a small canine Babesia identified in California.
Kjemtrup AM, Wainwright K, Miller M, Penzhorn BL, Carreno RA.
California Department of Health Services, Vector-Borne Disease Section, 1616 Capital Avenue, MS 7307, Sacramento, CA 95899-7413, USA; Department of Zoology, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH 43015, USA.
Small piroplasms as a cause of canine babesiosis have usually been identified as Babesia gibsoni. Recent genetic studies suggested that small piroplasms are more likely comprised of at least three genotypically distinct species. In southern California, canine babesiosis caused by a small piroplasm has been documented since 1990. Morphological characteristics of this parasite include a small (0.3-3.0mum) intraerythrocytic merozoite stage with predominantly ring, piriform, tetrad, amoeboid, or anaplasmoid forms. Transmission electron microscopic images of merozoites demonstrate the presence of an apical complex consisting of an inner subplasmalemmal membrane and rhoptries. Based on phylogenetic analyses of the 18S rRNA and the ITS-2 genes, the Californian small piroplasm isolate is more closely related to piroplasm isolates from wildlife and humans in the western United States than it is to B. gibsoni. Molecular and morphologic evidence supports naming the small piroplasm from southern California as a distinct species, Babesia conradae.
Clinical manifestations of canine babesiosis in Hungary (63 cases).
Clinical observations of Babesia canis infection in 63 dogs during a 1-year period are summarised, demonstrating the pathogenicity of the Babesia strain endemic in Hungary. Most patients had babesiosis in the spring and autumn, correlating with the seasonal activity of ticks. Male animals appeared in higher numbers, probably due to an overrepresentation of outdoor dogs. Uncomplicated babesiosis was diagnosed in 32 cases. The disease affected dogs of any age in this study. Symptoms were similar to those published from other parts of the world: lethargy, fever, splenomegaly, pallor, icterus, haemoglobinuria and presence of ticks were the most common observations. Thrombocytopenia, lymphopenia and neutropenia were frequent haemogram changes. Imidocarb appeared to be highly effective in eliminating the Babesia infection. Thirty-one animals demonstrated babesiosis with complications. Most Rottweilers (7/9) developed complicated disease. Old age was a risk factor for multiple complications. Multiple organ manifestations had poor prognosis. Hepatopathy (44%), pancreatitis (33%), acute renal failure (ARF; 31%) and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC; 24%) were frequent complications, while immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA; 10%), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS; 6%) and cerebral babesiosis (3%) were rarely observed. There was a significant difference between the mean age of dogs having uncomplicated disease, babesiosis with a single complication and babesiosis with multiple complications (3.4, 4.8 and 8.6 years, respectively, p < 0.001). The recovery rate (78, 68 and 25%, respectively, p = 0.005) and mortality rate (3, 21 and 67%, respectively, p < 0.001) also tended to differ significantly in these groups. Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) and DIC are two possible pathways leading to multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) in babesiosis. DIC was found to predict MODS more sensitively in this study than SIRS: there were 6 animals developing MODS out of 11 identified with DIC, while only 5 dogs developed MODS out of 22 having SIRS.
Annual Vaccines May Not be Necessary - Schultz, professor and chair of pathobiological sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, has been studying the effectiveness of canine vaccines since the 1970s; he's learned that immunity can last as long as a dog's lifetime, which suggests that our "best friends" are being over-vaccinated.
Defense of the American Pit Bull Terrier - Mission Statement: To defend the American Pit Bull Terrier Worldwide, To oppose Breed Specific Legislation that targets the American Pit Bull Terrier, To promote the American Pit Bull Terrier in a positive way, To counter misinformation, hysteria, and myths about the American Pit Bull Terrier. (NOT SSL secure)
Terrierman - A great site with good links for "America's Working Terriers".
Beagler - Hunting Legislation & Gun Law Beagles Board.
Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance - The Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance (SAOVA) is a nationwide, non-partisan group of volunteers committed to maintaining and protecting our sporting and animal ownership heritages.
Raids Target Animal Rights Extremists - Thirty people were arrested May 1, 2007 on suspicion of involvement in animal rights extremism in a series of raids that targeted 29 UK addresses and three in Europe.