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Vet. Sci., Volume 4, Issue 3 (September 2017)

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Cover Story Feeding pets raw meat-based diets (RMBDs) has received increasing attention in recent years. Raw [...] Read more.
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Research

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Open AccessArticle Raw Meat-Based Diets in Dogs and Cats
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(3), 33; doi:10.3390/vetsci4030033
Received: 23 April 2017 / Revised: 20 June 2017 / Accepted: 27 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
Feeding pets raw meat-based diets (RMBDs) is commonly practiced by many companion animal owners and has received increasing attention in recent years. It may be beneficial for the animals, but may also pose a health risk for both pets and their owners, as
[...] Read more.
Feeding pets raw meat-based diets (RMBDs) is commonly practiced by many companion animal owners and has received increasing attention in recent years. It may be beneficial for the animals, but may also pose a health risk for both pets and their owners, as RMBDs may be contaminated by enteric pathogens—such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Yersinia—which are the most common zoonotic bacteria causing enteritis in humans. Little information exists on the prevalence of these pathogens in pet food, and thus one aim was to investigate the prevalence of Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Yersinia in commercial RMBDs from retail stores. Little evidence also exists on the significance of raw meat feeding on the shedding of Campylobacter, Salmonella, and enteropathogenic Yersinia in the feces of pets, and therefore, the second goal was to study the presence of these pathogens in dogs and cats fed RMBDs. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) only sporadically detected Campylobacter, Salmonella, and enteropathogenic Yersinia in RMBDs. These pathogens were not found by culturing, indicating a low contamination level in frozen RMBDs. They were also detected in the feces of dogs and cats, but the association with feeding RMBDs to them remained unclear. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food and Waterborne Infections in Animals and Humans)
Open AccessArticle Myocardial Adiponectin Isoform Shift in Dogs with Congestive Heart Failure—A Comparison to Hibernating Brown Bears (Ursus arctos horribilis)
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(3), 35; doi:10.3390/vetsci4030035
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 10 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 July 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
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Abstract
Adiponectin is the most abundant plasma adipokine, and is well known for its role in energy homeostasis and cardiac protection. In humans with dilated cardiomyopathy, myocardial adiponectin protein expression is reduced compared to normal hearts and has been implicated in the pathology of
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Adiponectin is the most abundant plasma adipokine, and is well known for its role in energy homeostasis and cardiac protection. In humans with dilated cardiomyopathy, myocardial adiponectin protein expression is reduced compared to normal hearts and has been implicated in the pathology of cardiomyopathy. Serum adiponectin levels are often conflicting, with higher levels associated with poor survival in humans with congestive heart failure (CHF). We evaluated adiponectin serum concentrations and myocardial protein expression in dogs with naturally occurring myxomatous mitral valve disease and CHF. We compared the findings to active and hibernating brown bears as bears are adapted to endure an extreme period of low cardiac output during their annual hibernation. Bears exhibited largely the active high-molecular weight (HMW) versus the low-molecular weight isoforms of myocardial adiponectin (HMW:LMW = 6.3) during both the active period and hibernation, while healthy dogs exhibited a more balanced mix of isoforms. Dogs with CHF expressed predominately HMW isoforms of adiponectin (HMW:LMW = 12.5), appearing more similar to bears. In contrast to humans, serum adiponectin was significantly lower in dogs with CHF and lowest levels in the severest CHF class. In both dogs and bears, myocardial adiponectin was expressed independent of circulating adiponectin concentrations, suggesting a local regulatory mechanism within the heart. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparison of Cardiovascular Systems and Diseases Across Species)
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Open AccessArticle Correlation between Preoperative Ultrasonographic Findings and Clinical, Intraoperative, Cytopathological, and Histopathological Diagnosis of Acute Abdomen Syndrome in 50 Dogs and Cats
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(3), 39; doi:10.3390/vetsci4030039
Received: 6 June 2017 / Revised: 7 August 2017 / Accepted: 7 August 2017 / Published: 8 August 2017
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Abstract
Acute abdomen syndrome is an emergency in small animal practice that requires rapid diagnosis to determine the appropriate treatment. No studies have correlated the preoperative abdominal ultrasonography (US) findings with the clinical, surgical, cytopathologic, and histopathologic findings. This retrospective study was designed to
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Acute abdomen syndrome is an emergency in small animal practice that requires rapid diagnosis to determine the appropriate treatment. No studies have correlated the preoperative abdominal ultrasonography (US) findings with the clinical, surgical, cytopathologic, and histopathologic findings. This retrospective study was designed to evaluate abdominal US in the diagnosis of acute abdomen syndrome using surgery as a “criterion standard”. The most frequently misinterpreted lesions with US were also identified. The study included 50 dogs and cats with physical examination, an US diagnosis, US guided fine-needle aspiration cytology, intraoperative findings, and histopathology. Intraoperatively, 49 primary and 43 secondary lesions were identified. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values for US were calculated. There was a good agreement between the US diagnosis and intraoperative findings of 86.9% (80/92), for both primary and secondary lesions (p < 0.0001). Cytology and histopathology examinations corroborated the US in 86.4% (n = 64/74) of primary and 66.2% of secondary (n = 49/79) lesions. Using US as the “criterion standard”, the sensitivity of abdominal palpation for identification of ascites and masses was 32.4% and 43.7%, respectively, while the specificity was 93.7% and 94.4%, respectively. Abdominal US is a useful preoperative modality for diagnosing acute abdominal diseases in dogs and cats. Care should be taken with interpretation of gastrointestinal perforation, omental tumors, and common bile duct rupture, as these lesions are frequently misinterpreted with US. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Prevalence of Selected Zoonotic and Vector-Borne Agents in Dogs and Cats on the Pine Ridge Reservation
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(3), 43; doi:10.3390/vetsci4030043
Received: 17 July 2017 / Revised: 26 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 4 September 2017
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Abstract
The prevalence of intestinal parasites and vector-borne agents of dogs and cats in the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota were determined. Fecal samples (84 dogs, 9 cats) were examined by centrifugal floatation and by immunofluorescence assay (FA) for Giardia and Cryptosporidium. PCR
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The prevalence of intestinal parasites and vector-borne agents of dogs and cats in the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota were determined. Fecal samples (84 dogs, 9 cats) were examined by centrifugal floatation and by immunofluorescence assay (FA) for Giardia and Cryptosporidium. PCR was performed on Giardia [beta-giardin (bg), triose phosphate isomerase (tpi), glutamate dehydrogenase genes (gdh)] and Cryptosporidium [heat shock protein-70 gene (hsp)] FA positive samples. Cat sera (n = 32) were tested for antibodies against Bartonella spp., Toxoplasma gondii, and FIV, and antigens of FeLV and Dirofilaria immitis. Dog sera (n = 82) were tested for antibodies against T. gondii, Borrelia burgdorferi, Ehrlichia canis, and Anaplasma phagocytophilum and D. immitis antigen. Blood samples (92 dogs, 39 cats) were assessed by PCR for amplification of DNA of Bartonella spp., Ehrlichia spp., Anaplasma spp., haemoplasmas, and Babesia spp. (dogs only). The most significant results were Giardia spp. (32% by FA), Taenia spp. (17.8%) and Cryptosporidium spp. (7.1%). The Giardia isolates typed as the dog-specific assemblages C or D and four Cryptosporidium isolates typed as C. canis. Antibodies against T. gondii were detected in 15% of the dogs. Antibodies against Bartonella spp. and against T. gondii were detected in 37.5% and 6% of the cats respectively. FeLV antigen was detected in 10% of the cats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control, Prevention and Elimination of Zoonotic Diseases)

Review

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Open AccessReview Comparative Transcriptomic Profiling and Gene Expression for Myxomatous Mitral Valve Disease in the Dog and Human
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(3), 34; doi:10.3390/vetsci4030034
Received: 1 March 2017 / Revised: 2 June 2017 / Accepted: 6 June 2017 / Published: 17 July 2017
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Abstract
Myxomatous mitral valve disease is the single most important mitral valve disease in both dogs and humans. In the case of the dog it is ubiquitous, such that all aged dogs will have some evidence of the disease, and for humans it is
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Myxomatous mitral valve disease is the single most important mitral valve disease in both dogs and humans. In the case of the dog it is ubiquitous, such that all aged dogs will have some evidence of the disease, and for humans it is known as Barlow’s disease and affects up to 3% of the population, with an expected increase in prevalence as the population ages. Disease in the two species show many similarities and while both have the classic myxomatous degeneration only in humans is there extensive fibrosis. This dual pathology of the human disease markedly affects the valve transcriptome and the difference between the dog and human is dominated by changes in genes associated with fibrosis. This review will briefly examine the comparative valve pathology and then, in more detail, the transcriptomic profiling and gene expression reported so far for both species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparison of Cardiovascular Systems and Diseases Across Species)
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Open AccessReview Inquiring into the Gaps of Campylobacter Surveillance Methods
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(3), 36; doi:10.3390/vetsci4030036
Received: 30 April 2017 / Revised: 7 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 19 July 2017
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Abstract
Campylobacter is one of the most common pathogen-related causes of diarrheal illnesses globally and has been recognized as a significant factor of human disease for more than three decades. Molecular typing techniques and their combinations have allowed for species identification among members of
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Campylobacter is one of the most common pathogen-related causes of diarrheal illnesses globally and has been recognized as a significant factor of human disease for more than three decades. Molecular typing techniques and their combinations have allowed for species identification among members of the Campylobacter genus with good resolution, but the same tools usually fail to proceed to subtyping of closely related species due to high sequence similarity. This problem is exacerbated by the demanding conditions for isolation and detection from the human, animal or water samples as well as due to the difficulties during laboratory maintenance and long-term storage of the isolates. In an effort to define the ideal typing tool, we underline the strengths and limitations of the typing methodologies currently used to map the broad epidemiologic profile of campylobacteriosis in public health and outbreak investigations. The application of both the old and the new molecular typing tools is discussed and an indirect comparison is presented among the preferred techniques used in current research methodology Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food and Waterborne Infections in Animals and Humans)
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Open AccessReview Atopic Dermatitis in Animals and People: An Update and Comparative Review
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(3), 37; doi:10.3390/vetsci4030037
Received: 13 June 2017 / Revised: 20 July 2017 / Accepted: 22 July 2017 / Published: 26 July 2017
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Abstract
Atopic dermatitis is an extremely common, pruritic, and frustrating disease to treat in both people and animals. Atopic dermatitis is multifactorial and results from complex interactions between genetic and environmental factors. Much progress has been done in recent years in terms of understanding
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Atopic dermatitis is an extremely common, pruritic, and frustrating disease to treat in both people and animals. Atopic dermatitis is multifactorial and results from complex interactions between genetic and environmental factors. Much progress has been done in recent years in terms of understanding the complex pathogenesis of this clinical syndrome and the identification of new treatments. As we learn more about it, we appreciate the striking similarities that exist in the clinical manifestations of this disease across species. Both in animals and people, atopic disease is becoming increasingly common and important similarities exist in terms of immunologic aberrations and the propensity for allergic sensitization. The purpose of this review is to highlight the most recent views on atopic dermatitis in both domestic species and in people emphasizing the similarities and the differences. A comparative approach can be beneficial in understanding the natural course of this disease and the variable response to existing therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Allergies in Animals and Humans)
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Open AccessReview Respiratory Allergens from Furred Mammals: Environmental and Occupational Exposure
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(3), 38; doi:10.3390/vetsci4030038
Received: 4 July 2017 / Revised: 31 July 2017 / Accepted: 1 August 2017 / Published: 4 August 2017
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Abstract
Furry mammals kept as pets, farm and laboratory animals are important allergen sources. The prevalence of sensitization to furred mammals appears to be increasing worldwide. Several mammalian allergens from diverse species are well characterized with regard to their molecular structure and immunogenicity, and
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Furry mammals kept as pets, farm and laboratory animals are important allergen sources. The prevalence of sensitization to furred mammals appears to be increasing worldwide. Several mammalian allergens from diverse species are well characterized with regard to their molecular structure and immunogenicity, and some are already available for component-resolved allergy diagnostics. The distribution of various mammalian allergens has been extensively studied during the past few decades. Animal allergens were found to be ubiquitous in the human environment, even in places where no animals reside, with concentrations differing considerably between locations and geographical regions. This review presents an overview of identified mammalian respiratory allergens classified according to protein families, and compiles the results of allergen exposure assessment studies conducted in different public and occupational environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Allergies in Animals and Humans)
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Open AccessReview Equine Assisted Interventions (EAIs): Methodological Considerations for Stress Assessment in Horses
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(3), 44; doi:10.3390/vetsci4030044
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
Equine assisted interventions (EAIs) are recently facing an increasing popularity, and are characterized by a wide diversity of practices. However, information on the welfare of animals involved in this kind of activity is often lacking. Horses are highly susceptible to work stressors related
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Equine assisted interventions (EAIs) are recently facing an increasing popularity, and are characterized by a wide diversity of practices. However, information on the welfare of animals involved in this kind of activity is often lacking. Horses are highly susceptible to work stressors related to physical constraints and/or to the need to control emotions while interacting with humans. Considerations of the emotional state of horses involved in EAIs have multiple valences: for the safety of humans and animals involved, for the quality and efficacy of interventions, as well as for ethical reasons. The aim of this unsystematic narrative review is to summarize the different approaches used for the evaluation of horses’ stress responses, investigate their application in the context of EAIs, and discuss some methodological considerations for researchers and practitioners involved in EAI. The sources of information are mostly based on electronic databases (i.e., Medline, Scopus and Google scholar), as well as on hand searches of the references of retrieved literature, and discussions with experts in the field. At present, a few studies have investigated horses’ stress responses during EAIs, and further studies are recommended, with the final aim to derive a reliable multidimensional method for assessing a horse’s reaction during therapeutic programs, ultimately helping professionals to better develop interventions by taking into consideration the animal’s perspective. Full article

Other

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Open AccessPerspective Foodborne Disease and the Need for Greater Foodborne Disease Surveillance in the Caribbean
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(3), 40; doi:10.3390/vetsci4030040
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 28 July 2017 / Accepted: 3 August 2017 / Published: 11 August 2017
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Abstract
The Caribbean is a net importer of food, and with billions of dollars’ worth of food products being imported each year, territorial governments are now seeking to encourage local production of foods in an attempt to stem the loss of foreign exchange from
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The Caribbean is a net importer of food, and with billions of dollars’ worth of food products being imported each year, territorial governments are now seeking to encourage local production of foods in an attempt to stem the loss of foreign exchange from these economies with little resilience. The Caribbean, however, lacks the comprehensive food safety system that should be a corollary to successful food production. Regional authorities underestimate the burden of foodborne diseases especially on its workforce and major economic base, the tourism industry. Anecdotally after every mass event in the region, many officially unreported cases of gastroenteritis are recognized. This short communication makes the argument of the importance of food borne illnesses specific to the Caribbean, and improvements that could be made to surveillance to reduce negative outcomes associated with the food supply chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food and Waterborne Infections in Animals and Humans)
Open AccessCase Report Leaner, Healthier, Happier Together––A Family-Centred Approach to Weight Loss with the Overweight Dog and Her Caregivers
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(3), 41; doi:10.3390/vetsci4030041
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 15 August 2017 / Published: 22 August 2017
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Abstract
Obesity represents a one of the most significant healthcare issues facing human and companion animal populations worldwide. A complex relationship commonly exists between owners and their companion animal, particularly around feeding behaviour. Obese companion animals commonly live alongside caregivers who are also struggling
[...] Read more.
Obesity represents a one of the most significant healthcare issues facing human and companion animal populations worldwide. A complex relationship commonly exists between owners and their companion animal, particularly around feeding behaviour. Obese companion animals commonly live alongside caregivers who are also struggling with their own body weight. This case report highlights the importance of a family-centred approach to canine obesity as a way to engage with the pet’s caregivers to help maximize their compliance towards the successful implementation of a tailored weight loss programme. Lara, an overweight dog weighing 35 kilos with a body condition score (BCS) of 7–7.5/9, was referred for a nutritional assessment. A comprehensive, pro-active and multidisciplinary protocol, tailored towards a family-centred approach, was established. After a 16-week programme, Lara reached the target body weight. The caregivers’ compliance was assessed as being excellent; they also reassessed their individual lifestyle and were able to increase awareness towards their own nutritional issues and body weight perception, resulting in weight loss in all caregivers. Lara’s case report represents how a family-centred approach can lead to successful patient weight loss and to a modification in the caregivers’ way of thinking about nutrition and their own lifestyle, with the final goal of living a healthier and longer life together. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report How Behavioral Changes Can Indicate Serious Cerebral Pathology: A Case Report of Concomitant Olfactory Neuroblastoma and Distemper Virus Encephalitis in a Swiss Shepherd Dog
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(3), 42; doi:10.3390/vetsci4030042
Received: 29 July 2017 / Revised: 19 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract
Behavioral alterations in dogs are not easy to understand and cure. The situation is more difficult when an encephalitis due to Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) and a concomitant olfactory neuroblastoma are present. This case report deals with the story of a 5-year-old Swiss
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Behavioral alterations in dogs are not easy to understand and cure. The situation is more difficult when an encephalitis due to Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) and a concomitant olfactory neuroblastoma are present. This case report deals with the story of a 5-year-old Swiss shepherd dog with behavioral changes, seizures, epistaxis and ataxia. Following clinical and laboratory exams, a suspected diagnosis of CDV infection was hypothesized, and a therapy based on Ω-interferon was administered. Every supporting therapy failed and the worsening of the clinical conditions led to the euthanasia of the patient. A neoformation in the right frontal lobe was found post mortem. Histopathology and immunohistochemistry investigation showed a non-suppurative demyelinating encephalitis, suggestive of CDV infection, and a desmoplastic epithelioid olfactory neuroblastoma. To the best of authors’ knowledge, this is the first clinical pathological report of a non-suppurative encephalitis due to CDV infection and olfactory neuroblastoma in a dog. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report Complete Resolution of a Recurrent Canine Anal Sac Squamous Cell Carcinoma with Palliative Radiotherapy and Carboplatin Chemotherapy
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(3), 45; doi:10.3390/vetsci4030045
Received: 9 August 2017 / Revised: 8 September 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
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Abstract
Anal sac squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a rare tumor in dogs. Only eight cases have been described in the literature, and previous reports of treatment only describe surgery or palliative treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. We report a case of a 12-year-old
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Anal sac squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a rare tumor in dogs. Only eight cases have been described in the literature, and previous reports of treatment only describe surgery or palliative treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. We report a case of a 12-year-old female neutered Labrador with locally advanced anal sac SCC. The dog was treated with four cycles of carboplatin 300 mg/m2 and four weekly fractions of 8.5 Gy radiation. The dog achieved a complete response, and one year later the dog is still alive and well with no evidence of tumor recurrence. Radiotherapy in combination with carboplatin chemotherapy was effective in the long-term control of this rare disease. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report Infection by Microsporum canis in Paediatric Patients: A Veterinary Perspective
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(3), 46; doi:10.3390/vetsci4030046
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
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Abstract
Microsporum canis is a dermatophyte fungus of which cats and dogs are recognized as the natural hosts. M. canis is also easily transmitted to humans, causing lesions to the glabrous skin (tinea corporis) and to the head (tinea capitis).
[...] Read more.
Microsporum canis is a dermatophyte fungus of which cats and dogs are recognized as the natural hosts. M. canis is also easily transmitted to humans, causing lesions to the glabrous skin (tinea corporis) and to the head (tinea capitis). The present study describes some cases of infection with M. canis in children from a veterinary perspective, highlighting some important features of this clinical entity (e.g., the necessity to identify the animal source of infection with appropriate diagnostic tests; the fact that infected cats may present with no or atypical dermatological signs; and the importance of the environment as a fungal reserve). Full article
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