Research in rodents has shown that dietary vitamin A reduces body fat by enhancing fat mobilisation and energy utilisation; however, their effects in growing dogs remain unclear. In the present study, we evaluated the development of body weight and body composition and compared observed energy intake with predicted energy intake in forty-nine puppies from two breeds (twenty-four Labrador Retriever (LAB) and twenty-five Miniature Schnauzer (MS)). A total of four different diets with increasing vitamin A content between 5·24 and 104·80 ?mol retinol (5000-100 000 IU vitamin A)/4184 kJ (1000 kcal) metabolisable energy were fed from the age of 8 weeks up to 52 (MS) and 78 weeks (LAB). The daily energy intake was recorded throughout the experimental period. The body condition score was evaluated weekly using a seven-category system, and food allowances were adjusted to maintain optimal body condition. Body composition was assessed at the age of 26 and 52 weeks for both breeds and at the age of 78 weeks for the LAB breed only using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The growth curves of the dogs followed a breed-specific pattern. However, data on energy intake showed considerable variability between the two breeds as well as when compared with predicted energy intake. In conclusion, the data show that energy intakes of puppies particularly during early growth are highly variable; however, the growth pattern and body composition of the LAB and MS breeds are not affected by the intake of vitamin A at levels up to 104·80 ?mol retinol (100 000 IU vitamin A)/4184 kJ (1000 kcal).
Ticks transmit various important pathogens to humans and animals, and dogs are frequently exposed to tick infestation. The objective of this study was to examine tick infestation and the characteristics of tick prophylaxis of dogs in the Berlin/Brandenburg area. A total of 441 dogs (392 owners) was examined from March 2010 to April 2011. The dog owners participated in the study for a period of 1-13 months (10.33±2.85; median 11.00). The prevalences of a total of 1728 ticks collected from 251 (57%) of these dogs were: 46.0% Ixodes ricinus, 45.1% Dermacentor reticulatus, 8.8% Ixodes hexagonus, and 0.1% Rhipicephalus sanguineus. The ticks were 75.2% adult females and 24.4% adult males, and 0.4% were nymphs. The average prevalence of apparent infestation of tick-positive dogs was 0.78 ticks/month (median 0.38). Tick infestation was highest in October (5.9±5.8 ticks/dog) and lowest in December (1±0 tick/dog). The highest frequency of infestation was observed during May (117 dogs). The number of ticks found on dogs by owners on a single day varied from one to 70 (median 1). The scutal index indicated that more than 60% of I. ricinus and more than 40% of D. reticulatus had been removed after they had fed for more than 2 days. The heads, necks, chests, and limbs of the dogs were the most common attachment sites. Data for tick prophylaxis with substances licensed for dogs by the Medicinal Products Act (MPA) were available for 124 dogs; a total of 1195 ticks was obtained from these dogs. About two-thirds of the ticks were collected from dogs that were treated incorrectly (n=96) or were not treated (n=60). One third of the ticks were collected from dogs (n=96) that had been treated correctly. Dog-specific characteristics such as length of coat (p=0.011) and body size (p=0.040) played significant roles in tick infestation.
This prospective study evaluated a novel immunochromatographic (IC) blood typing test for the AB blood group system. Typing was conducted comparatively on ethylenediamine tetra-acetic acid-anticoagulated blood samples from 89 sick and 16 healthy cats with the IC test, as well as two tests as reference methods, a tube agglutination and a gel column test. The samples were between 0 and 10 days old (median 3 days) and were tested for haemolysis and agglutination; the packed cell volume ranged from 0.07 to 0.57 l/l (median 0.40 l/l). The reference methods agreed with each other in 100% of the test runs. Of the 85 samples tested as blood type A by the two reference methods, 80 were correctly identified by the IC test, four were misidentified as AB and one was rated inconclusive. All B samples were correctly typed. Two of the three AB samples were correctly identified by the IC test and one was rated inconclusive. The sample quality had no influence on test performance. Of 30 repeats, 28 were readable and showed agreement in 27 cases. The agreement of the IC test with the control methods was 96.1% for the 103 conclusive tests, and it showed high sensitivity and specificity for A and B antigen detection. It is suggested that AB results be reconfirmed with a laboratory method and that a 'back-typing' be performed with plasma from B samples to detect the presence of alloantibodies. Given its very good performance and ease of use, the IC test can be recommended for clinical settings.
Abstract In Brandenburg, northeastern Germany, an outbreak of zoonotic Dirofilaria repens in a sledge dog kennel was detected in January, 2012. Using the modified Knott test, 8 out of 28 adult dogs were microfilaria positive. A D. repens-specific PCR based on the internal transcribed spacer 2 region detected filarial DNA in 11 of these dogs. Northeastern Germany is currently considered to be free of Dirofilaria. The 39% prevalence within the kennel and the fact that the dogs transiently stayed in endemic areas only during the winter suggest that autochthonous infections occurred. Analysis of weather data shows that extrinsic development of Dirofilaria was continuously possible in the summers of 1994-2012, thus allowing active transmission within the area.
"Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis" (Anaplasmataceae) is an emerging pathogen transmitted by Ixodes ticks. Conventional PCR and the newly developed high-resolution melt PCR were used to detect and discriminate "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis" and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Both bacterial species were frequently found in Ixodes ricinus and Ixodes hexagonus but virtually absent from Dermacentor reticulatus. In rodents, "Candidatus N. mikurensis" was significantly more prevalent than A. phagocytophilum, whereas in cats, only A. phagocytophilum was found.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial zoonosis in which dogs can act as a reservoir for human infection. The annual vaccination of dogs can prevent leptospirosis caused by serovars included in the vaccine. To date, all available vaccines in Germany include only the serovars Icterohaemorrhagiae and Canicola, the most commonly found serovars prior to the introduction of the leptospirosis vaccines. Yet, the involvement of additional serovars in the clinical presentation of leptospirosis in dogs has been described. The objective of this sero-epidemiological study was to examine the different Leptospira serovars currently circulating in a population of dogs suspicious for leptospirosis from Berlin. In 329 dogs presenting at the Small Animal Clinic in Berlin, the predominant serogroup was Australis (24%), followed by Grippotyphosa (20%) and Pomona (9%). A total of 18% of the dogs were diagnosed with clinical leptospirosis; here the most prevalent serogroups were also Australis (28%), Grippotyphosa (18%), and Pomona (14%). The serovar prevalence data presented here confirm that a change of pattern of infecting Leptospira serovars in dogs has taken place in Berlin. This data corresponds to further sero-epidemiological studies from other regions in Germany. To ensure human and canine health, available vaccines should be adapted to include the most important circulating serovars.
Ticks can transmit different pathogens to humans and animals. Dogs are frequently exposed to tick infestation, which underscores the importance of tick control measures. The objective of this study was to examine the awareness of dog owners regarding tick infestation and tick prophylaxis by a questionnaire survey. During the period from March to December 2010 a total of 616 owners of 670 dogs completed the questionnaire. According to the questionnaire results, 92% of the dogs were previously infested by ticks; 31% of these showed a moderate tick infestation (1-2 ticks a month), almost one in ten dogs was infested by eight or more ticks a month. 17% of the dogs were examined for ticks by the respective owner not at all or only at irregular intervals, 61% of the dogs were examined at least once a day. A tick prophylaxis was performed in 469 dogs (71%). In 353 dogs (53%), registered pharmaceutical products with appropriate label claims were employed. Spot-on products were used most frequently (93%), followed by collars (5%) and sprays (1%).These products were not used as recommended in 56% of the dogs. For further 33% of the dogs, it was not possible to decide if the products were used correctly or not. According to the dog owner statements, tick borne diseases were diagnosed in approximately 2% of the dogs. Dog specific characters, such as coat length, size, age, and walking habits were significant factors influencing the frequency of tick infestation. In summary it can be concluded that nearly every dog in the area of Berlin/Brandenburg is infested by ticks. In the majority of cases the prophylactic and/or therapeutic measures to prevent infestation are not performed correctly.
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus (DM). The standard method of detection of ketone bodies is the dipstick method, which detects semiquantitatively acetoacetate, but not ?-hydroxybutyrate (?-HB). The objectives of the current study were to assess the diagnostic utility of ?-HB to diagnose diabetic ketosis (DK) and DKA in cats and to establish a cut-off value for the diagnosis of DKA. Sixty-two cats were included in the study. Eleven cats were healthy (group 1); in the remainder of cats (51), a diagnosis of DM was based on hyperglycemia, glucosuria, and increased fructosamine concentrations. Nineteen of 51 cats suffered from nonketotic diabetes mellitus (group 2). In 11 cats, plasma ketone bodies were detected with the dipstick method (diabetic ketosis, group 3). In 21 cats, plasma ketone bodies and metabolic acidosis were present (DKA, group 4). Plasma ?-HB was measured in all cats by an enzymatic method (spectrophotometry). A cut-off value for the diagnosis of DKA was calculated based on the receiver operating characteristic curve. In healthy cats, the ?-HB concentration ranged from 0 to 0.1 mmol/l; in cats of group 2, from 0 to 0.9 mmol/l (median: 0.1 mmol/l); in cats of group 3, from 0.6 to 6.8 mmol/l (median: 1.7 mmol/l); and in cats of group 4, from 3.8 to 12.2 mmol/l (median: 7.9 mmol/l). A cut-off value of 2.4 mmol/l revealed 100% sensitivity and 87% specificity to diagnose DKA. Beta-hydroxybutyrate is a useful parameter for the diagnosis of diabetic ketosis and DKA in cats.
In veterinary medicine, there is increasing interest in measuring C-reactive protein (CRP) as a tool for diagnosis and monitoring of inflammatory diseases. Reported CRP concentrations for healthy dogs have ranged from 0 to 8.9 mg/L.
The current study was undertaken to investigate the relation between serum C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations and parameters of renal function in dogs with naturally occurring renal disease. Dogs were assigned to groups according to plasma creatinine concentration, urinary protein-to-creatinine ratio (UP/UC), and exogenous plasma creatinine clearance (P-Cl(Cr)) rates. Group A (healthy control dogs; n = 8): non-azotemic (plasma creatinine <125 µmol/l) and nonproteinuric (UP/UC <0.2), with P-Cl(Cr) rates >90 ml/min/m(2); group B (n = 11): non-azotemic, nonproteinuric dogs with reduced P-Cl(Cr) rates (50-89 ml/min/m(2)); group C (n = 7): azotemic, borderline proteinuric dogs (P-Cl(Cr) rates: 22-67 ml/min/m(2)); and group D (n = 6): uremic, proteinuric dogs (not tested for P-Cl(Cr)). The serum CRP concentrations were measured via commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The CRP concentrations in the clinically healthy dogs (group A) ranged from 2.09 mg/l to 8.60 mg/l (median: 3.21 mg/l). In comparison with dogs of group A, median CRP concentrations were significantly (P < 0.01) elevated in dogs of group B (17.6 mg/l, range: 17.0-19.2 mg/l), group C (24.8 mg/l, range: 18.0-32.5 mg/l), and group D (59.7 mg/l, range: 17.7-123 mg/l). Serum CRP was significantly related to P-Cl(Cr) (r = -0.83; P < 0.001), plasma creatinine (r = 0.81; P < 0.001), UP/UC (r = 0.70; P < 0.001), and leukocytes (r = 0.49; P < 0.01). The significant relations between serum CRP concentrations and biochemical parameters of kidney function in plasma and urine suggest that a stimulation of the acute phase response is implicated in the pathogenesis of canine renal disease.
A case of a dog with a long-term inflammatory skin disorder due to infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP) is described. After initial diagnostics of MRSP, follow-up swabs of the dog (nose, skin) were taken twice after four and seven weeks. MRSP was constantly isolated from the skin and once from the nose. Since infected humans might be a source of reinfection, the owners of the dog were screened (nasal) three times during their pets therapy. Thereby, the male owner was found to be colonized with MRSP once in the first sampling round. Comparative typing of all MRSP-isolates by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), SCCmec typing, multilocus sequence typing (MLST), spa typing, PCR-detection of the leukotoxin encoding operon (LukI) and the Staphylococcus intermedius-exfoliative toxin (SIET) as well as antimicrobial resistance profiling by broth microdilution revealed that all five MRSP isolates from the dog and the single isolate from the owner were indistinguishable by any of the applied methods. All isolates were assigned to a certain strain, a multidrug-resistant MRSP belonging to sequence type (ST) 71, spa type (t)05, harbouring SCCmecIII as well as the genes encoding LukI and SIET. In this case, a number of reasons might have contributed to therapy failure and re-infection, respectively (e. g. contact to other MRSP-colonized dogs, contact to MRSP-colonized humans, refusal to clip the dogs fur). In addition, MRSP-contaminated objects or surfaces in the household, which were difficult to disinfect or simply not considered as a potential source of MRSP, might have served as a source of re-infection. These results envision the possibility of a dog-to-human transmission of MRSP and the relevance of this aspect as a potential source of re-infection in cases of bacterial-supported long-term skin disorders in canine patients. First cases of MRSP infections in humans have been described only recently. However, the general pathogenic potential of multidrug resistant MRSP in humans is unknown so far and needs further investigation.
Canine primary immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) is associated with a high mortality rate. Hypothesis of this study was that laboratory parameters not only determined initially but also in the course of the disease might be useful as prognostic markers. Included in the study were dogs with primary IMHA. Inclusion criteria were anemia (PCV < 0.30 L/L), a positive Coombstest or persistent autoagglutination of erythrocytes, and the exclusion of underlying diseases. Dogs were divided into two groups based on survival: dogs that were still alive 14 days after start of treatment (group 1) and dogs that died or were euthanized before day 14 (group 2). Hematological and biochemical analyses as well as a coagulation profile were performed initially and on day 3. Out of 37 dogs with primary IMHA 28 belonged to group 1 and 9 to group 2. Significantly associated with mortality were thrombocytopenia (p = 0.001), lymphopenia (p = 0.026), a prolonged PT (p = 0.003) and aPTT (p = 0.005), hypofibrinogenemia (p = 0.028), disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) (p = 0.019), and high plasma ALT (p = 0.003) and AST (p = 0.004) plasma activities on initial presentation, as well as a decrease in hemoglobin (p = 0.034) and an increase in WBC count (p = 0.034), plasma bilirubin (p = 0.012) and urea concentration (p = 0.003) between day 0 and 3. In conclusion various laboratory parameters were useful as prognostic
A four-year-old male castrated Domestic Shorthair Cat imported from North America was presented due to a chronic parapreputial wound. Cytological and mycological examination revealed a sporotrichosis. Sporothrix schenckii lives as a saprophyte in the soil and can cause a subcutaneous and systemic mycosis in cats.The disease has been reported in tropical and subtropical areas. Clinical signs, diagnostics, as well as therapy and course of the disease are described. Treatment with itraconazole was successful.
Feline primary immune-mediated thrombocytopenia (pIMT) is a rare condition, and only a few cases have been described in veterinary literature. Five cats with severe thrombocytopenia most likely due to pIMT are described. A flow cytometry platelet-bound antibody test was positive in all cats; underlying diseases or triggering factors causing thrombocytopenia were not detected. Three cats were transfused with blood type-compatible fresh whole blood; one cat received Oxyglobin as well. All cats were treated with prednisolone; one cat received chlorambucil in addition. Four cats responded to treatment and were discharged from the hospital. One cat was euthanized due to dyspnea. Primary immune-mediated thrombocytopenia is rarely diagnosed in cats, but it is important as a differential diagnosis in cats presented with surface bleeding.
There is a high mortality rate in patients with systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) or sepsis. Therefore, an early diagnosis and prognostic assessment is important for optimal therapeutic intervention. The objective of the study was to evaluate if baseline values and changes in serum C-reactive protein (CRP) might predict survival in dogs with SIRS and sepsis.
The genetic relationship of thirty Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) isolates derived from the nasal cavities of canine patients hospitalized (n = 7), veterinary personnel (n = 20), and environmental sources (n = 3) sampled during a 20-month investigation period, were analyzed in this study. Genetic relatedness of all MRSA isolates was investigated involving commonly used typing techniques: Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), Multilocus sequence typing (MLST), spa typing, PCR for detection of Panton-Valentine leukocidine (PVL) genes and staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec-typing (SCCmec). Analysis of typing results revealed a certain predominant (72%) genotype: PFGE type IMT-A, ST22, spa type t032, SCCmecIV. This genotype has been reported previously (Walter et al., 2008c) being the predominant PFGE type associated with MRSA-positive clinical specimens, mostly from wound infections, derived from small and exotic animals of that facility. Furthermore, occasionally high rates in nasal colonization of veterinary personnel (18 of 88: 20%) in one of three personal screening periods were accompanied by a sudden rise of MRSA infections in small animals. Our data strongly indicate that high rates of colonized veterinary staff lead to an increase of nosocomial infections in small animal hospitals. We therefore recommend the introduction of surveillance of nosocomial infections especially in surgical veterinary hospitals.
Canine primary immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) is associated with a high-mortality rate. C-reactive protein (CRP) is the most important acute-phase protein in dogs and may have value as a marker of prognosis or response to treatment in IMHA.
The objective of this prospective study was to measure concentrations of D-dimers in 48 cats with various diseases and in 20 healthy cats to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity for D-dimers to diagnose disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). The cats were classified as having DIC if an underlying disease and at least three of the following criteria were present: thrombocytopenia, prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time, prothrombin time or thrombin time, schistocytes and/or a reduced antithrombin activity. D-dimer concentrations were measured using a semi-quantitative latex agglutination (LA) test (Accuclot D-Dimer, Sigma Diagnostics). The D-dimer test was positive for 8/12 cats with DIC and for 16/36 sick cats without DIC. D-dimers were negative for all healthy control cats. The comparison of the sick cats with DIC and those without DIC revealed a specificity and sensitivity of the D-dimer test of 56% and 67%; a comparison of the results for healthy cats and cats with DIC revealed a specificity and sensitivity of 100% and 67%, respectively. The D-dimer LA test is only of limited value for the diagnosis of DIC in cats.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylocoocus aureus (MRSA) harboring mecA(LGA251) has been isolated from humans and ruminants. Database screening identified this MRSA variant in cats, dogs, and a guinea pig in Germany during 2008-2011. The novel MRSA variant is not restricted to ruminants or humans, and contact with companion animals might pose a zoonotic risk.
Aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of Mycoplasma (M.) haemofelis, Candidatus Mycoplasma (C. M.) turicensis, C M. haemominutum, Bartonella spp. (B. henselae, B. clarridgeiae and B. quintana) and Anaplasma (A.) phagocytophilum in cats in Northeast Germany in relation to their living conditions (indoor/outdoor/ stray cat), and tick/flea exposure. 265 cats were included in the study (150 indoor, 99 outdoor access, 16 stray cats). A questionnaire provided the following data: derivation, housing environment, and previous flea/tick exposure. Serum antibody titers against A. phagocytophilum, B. henselae, and B. quintana were determined by an immunofluorescence test (IFT). PCR tests (EDTA blood) were used to test for A. phagocytophilum, M. haemofelis, C. M. turicensis, C. M. haemominutum, B. henselae and B. clarridgeiae. In 19 of 265 cats (7.2%) DNA of one or more Mycoplasma spp. was detected: C M. haemominutum (5.3%), M. haemofelis (1.5%) and C M. turicensis (1.1%); three of the cats were tested positive for the feline immunodeficiency virus. All cats were B. henselae and B. clarridgeiae PCR-negative in peripheral blood. However, 91 of 245 cats (37.1%) had antibody titers > 1:200 for B. henselae (Houston I, Marseille type) and 46 (18.8%) for B. quintana. Antibody titers > 1:64 against A. phagocytophilum were detected in 24 cats (9.1%); one cat (0.4%) was PCR-positive. Since infections with haemotropic Mycoplasma spp. and also with arthropodborne organisms (Bartonella spp., A. phagocytophilum) occur in cats from the area Berlin/Brandenburg (Germany) an appropriate arthropod-control is recommended. Further studies are needed to evaluate the relevance of these infectious agents for the individual cat.
Since the relationship between dogs and their owners has changed, and dogs moved from being working dogs to family members in post-industrial countries, we hypothesized that zoonotic transmission of opportunistic pathogens like coagulase positive staphylococci (CPS) is likely between dogs and their owners.
In transfusion medicine, blood typing is an integral part of pretransfusion testing. The objective of the current study was the clinical evaluation of an automated canine cartridge dog erythrocyte antigen (DEA) 1.1 blood-typing method (QuickVet/RapidVet) and comparison of the results with a gel column-based method (ID-Gel Test Canine DEA 1.1). Ethylenediamine tetra-acetic acid-anticoagulated blood samples from 11 healthy and 85 sick dogs were available for typing. Before blood typing, all samples were tested for agglutination and hemolysis. All samples were tested once or multiple times with both methods according to the manufacturers guidelines. With the gel method, 53 dogs tested DEA 1.1 positive and 42 dogs DEA 1.1 negative; blood typing was not possible due to erythrocyte autoagglutination in 1 dog. With the cartridge test, 53 samples tested DEA 1.1 positive, 34 samples tested DEA 1.1 negative, and 6 results were inconclusive (3 samples were not included due to autoagglutination or severe hemolysis). Without taking the inconclusive samples into account, the agreement between both methods was 96.5%. The sensitivity and specificity for samples that were definitively typed by both methods were 100% and 91.9%, respectively. The cartridge test was suitable for in-clinic canine DEA 1.1 blood typing, although some discrepancies compared to the gel method existed. The cartridge test is software-directed, is easy to use, and does not require user interpretation, but preanalytical guidelines (sample evaluation for agglutination and hemolysis) have to be followed. For inconclusive results, an alternate blood-typing method should be performed.
The THERAFLEX ultraviolet (UV) platelets (PLTs) pathogen reduction system for PLT concentrates (PCs) operates using ultraviolet C (UVC) light at a wavelength of 254 nm. UVC treatment can potentially alter proteins, which may affect drug tolerance in humans and influence the immunogenicity of blood products. This preclinical study in beagle dogs was designed to evaluate the safety pharmacology of UVC-irradiated PCs after intravenous administration and to determine whether they are capable of eliciting humoral responses to PLTs and plasma proteins.
The safe upper limit for inclusion of vitamin A in complete diets for growing dogs is uncertain, with the result that current recommendations range from 5.24 to 104.80 ?mol retinol (5000 to 100 000 IU vitamin A)/4184 kJ (1000 kcal) metabolisable energy (ME). The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of feeding four concentrations of vitamin A to puppies from weaning until 1 year of age. A total of forty-nine puppies, of two breeds, Labrador Retriever and Miniature Schnauzer, were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups. Following weaning at 8 weeks of age, puppies were fed a complete food supplemented with retinyl acetate diluted in vegetable oil and fed at 1 ml oil/100 g diet to achieve an intake of 5·24, 13·10, 78·60 and 104·80 ?mol retinol (5000, 12 500, 75 000 and 100 000 IU vitamin A)/4184 kJ (1000 kcal) ME. Fasted blood and urine samples were collected at 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 20, 26, 36 and 52 weeks of age and analysed for markers of vitamin A metabolism and markers of safety including haematological and biochemical variables, bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, cross-linked carboxyterminal telopeptides of type I collagen and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Clinical examinations were conducted every 4 weeks. Data were analysed by means of a mixed model analysis with Bonferroni corrections for multiple endpoints. There was no effect of vitamin A concentration on any of the parameters, with the exception of total serum retinyl esters, and no effect of dose on the number, type and duration of adverse events. We therefore propose that 104·80 ?mol retinol (100 000 IU vitamin A)/4184 kJ (1000 kcal) is a suitable safe upper limit for use in the formulation of diets designed for puppy growth.
Urinary dipsticks are the most frequent method used for screening of ketones in animals, but this method has many drawbacks. In human medicine, portable meters that measure ketones in whole blood have largely replaced urinary dipsticks.
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