Abstract: Allergic diseases have great impact on the quality of life of both people and domestic animals. They are increasing in prevalence in both animals and humans, possibly due to the changed lifestyle conditions and the decreased exposure to beneficial microorganisms. Dogs, in particular, suffer from environmental skin allergies and develop a clinical presentation which is very similar to the one of children with eczema. Thus, dogs are a very useful species to improve our understanding on the mechanisms involved in people’s allergies and a natural model to study eczema. Animal models are frequently used to elucidate mechanisms of disease and to control for confounding factors which are present in studies with patients with spontaneously occurring disease and to test new therapies that can be beneficial in both species. It has been found that drugs useful in one species can also have benefits in other species highlighting the importance of a comprehensive understanding of diseases across species and the value of comparative studies. The purpose of the current article is to review allergic diseases across species and to focus on how these diseases compare to the counterpart in people.
Abstract: This study was conducted at the Kumasi Abattoir Company Limited (K.A.C.L) in Ghana to assess the effect of pre-slaughter handling on welfare and meat quality of cattle. Behaviour measurements were done on 200 cattle pre-slaughter and the methods by which the cattle were handled were recorded to evaluate the effect of pre-slaughter handling on their welfare. Ultimate pH24 and percent cooking loss were measured on 50 poorly-handled cattle pre-slaughter. The cattle were poorly-handled because they were beaten and, whipped. Based on pH24, meat quality was assessed as normal (pH from 5.5–5.8), moderate dark, firm and dry (DFD) (5.8 ≤ pH ≤ 6.2), and DFD (pH from 6.2–6.7). Five hundred carcasses were visually observed for bruising in them and the number of non-ambulatory cattle slaughtered in a week was recorded. The relationship between pH24 value and cooking loss in meat from the 50 poorly-handled cattle was investigated. Behaviours exhibited by poorly-handled cattle pre-slaughter included raising of their tail, kicking, lying down and refusing to move, jumping, vocalising, panting, and charging at handlers. Also lashes/whips, pulling of animals’ tails, stamping on their tails, and hitting them with sticks, stones and ropes were among the prominent methods by which the cattle were handled. Mean pH24 and mean percent cooking loss were significant (p < 0.05) at 6.22 ± 0.10 and 22.51 ± 3.25, respectively, for poorly-handled cattle. There was a strong negative correlation between pH24 and percent cooking loss in poorly-handled cattle (r = −0.77). Out of the 500 carcasses assessed for bruising, 18% had no bruises, 60% had slight bruises while 22% had severe bruises. Ninety (90) non-ambulatory cattle were slaughtered within seven (7) days, representing 7.1% of the total number of cattle slaughtered within that period. The results indicated that handling of cattle pre-slaughter have effects on their meat quality and welfare. Eighty-two percent of the bruised carcass and 7.1% of non-ambulatory animals indicated poor meat quality. Meat quality assessment indicated that most of the meat had dark, firm and dry (DFD) tendency. The water holding capacity of the meat sampled in this study (by means of cooking loss) indicated that the meat quality was compromised.
Abstract: The nitrosourea drug lomustine is used clinically for treating a wide variety of malignancies, most commonly brain tumors and lymphoma. Lomustine undergoes hydrolysis in vivo to form isomeric metabolites, primarily trans-4-hydroxylomustine (trans-4) and cis-4-hydroxylomustine (cis-4) in various animal species including humans. Despite its widespread usage to treat canine lymphoma, the metabolism of lomustine has not been studied in dogs. It is reported that 4'-hydroxylation products of lomustine (trans-4 and cis-4) have enhanced alkylating activity and reduced toxic effects relative to lomustine, resulting in a better therapeutic index of each of the metabolites relative to the parent compound. Our results show that the metabolic profile of lomustine in dogs is similar to that in humans with trans-4 being the major metabolite and cis-4 as the minor metabolite. Comparative cytotoxicity studies of lomustine and its trans-4 and cis-4 metabolites in canine lymphoma cell lines 17–71 and GL-1 show that there is no difference in the cytotoxicity of the three compounds. In addition, a concentration and time-dependent cell killing was seen in both of these cell lines. Also, primary canine cells like peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from lymphoma dogs did not show any sensitivity towards lomustine and its metabolites.
Abstract: Through prospective enrollment of canine patients at the Ross University Veterinary Clinic, on St. Kitts, four cases of acute fatal leptospirosis were diagnosed. Clinical, pathological, and diagnostic findings in these cases are summarized in this case series. Icterus, thrombocytopenia, hyperphosphatemia, pulmonary hemorrhage, and both hepatocellular and renal damage were noted in all four cases. Interestingly, extensive myocardial involvement was also observed in one case. To our knowledge, this is the first documentation of myocarditis in a dog with leptospirosis, and the first report of fatal leptospirosis in any animal species on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts.
Abstract: Atopic Dermatitis (AD) is a prevalent disease that affects both humans and animals. Dogs share similar environments with the owners and spontaneously develop a disease that is clinically and immunologically identical to AD in humans. In past decades AD has become more and more common in both dogs and humans, possibly due to the increased exposure to indoor allergens and decreased exposure to parasites and beneficial bacteria. The allergic component plays an important role in both species. Allergen specific immunotherapy (ASIT) has been used with great success in veterinary medicine for decades for the treatment of AD and traditionally has been accomplished with subcutaneous injections. In human medicine, ASIT has been traditionally used for respiratory manifestations of atopic disease and only recently considered for the therapy of AD. Interestingly, dogs primarily express cutaneous manifestations of atopic disease and only rarely progress from cutaneous into respiratory disease, a process referred in human medicine as “atopic march”. Recently, sublingual immunotherapy has been replacing subcutaneous immunotherapy both in human and veterinary medicine due to its ease and safety, leading to increased compliance. The purpose of this mini review is to focus on the use of sublingual immunotherapy for AD highlighting similarities and differences between humans and dogs.
Abstract: Obesity and diabetes mellitus are common diseases in humans, dogs and cats and their prevalence is increasing. Obesity has been clearly identified as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes in humans and cats but recent data are missing in dogs, although there is evidence that the unprecedented rise in canine obesity in the last decade has led to a rise in canine diabetes of similar magnitude. The insulin resistance of obesity has often been portrayed as major culprit in the loss of glucose control; however, insulin resistance alone is not a good indicator of progression to diabetes in people or pets. A loss of beta cell function is necessary to provide the link to impaired fasting and post-prandial plasma glucose. Increased endogenous glucose output by the liver is also a prerequisite for the increase in fasting blood glucose when non-diabetic obese humans and pets develop diabetes. This may be due to decreased hepatic insulin sensitivity, decreased insulin concentrations, or a combination of both. While inflammation is a major link between obesity and diabetes in humans, there is little evidence that a similar phenomenon exists in cats. In dogs, more studies are needed to examine this important issue.