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Vet. Sci., Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2017) – 13 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Creating a “low stress” (sometimes called “fear-free”) environment and how to handle animals in a [...] Read more.
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Open AccessEditorial
Comparative Studies in Tick-Borne Diseases in Animals and Humans
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4020032 - 20 Jun 2017
Viewed by 1678
Abstract
In temperate zones of the earth, ticks are the most important arthropod vectors of zoonotic pathogens affecting humans and domestic animals.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparative Studies in Tick-Borne Diseases in Animals and Humans)
Open AccessArticle
Detection and Characterization of Histamine-Producing Strains of Photobacterium damselae subsp. damselae Isolated from Mullets
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4020031 - 20 Jun 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1886
Abstract
Photobacterium damselae subsp. damselae (Pdd) is considered to be an emerging pathogen of marine fish and has also been implicated in cases of histamine food poisoning. In this study, eight strains isolated from mullets of the genera Mugil and Liza captured [...] Read more.
Photobacterium damselae subsp. damselae (Pdd) is considered to be an emerging pathogen of marine fish and has also been implicated in cases of histamine food poisoning. In this study, eight strains isolated from mullets of the genera Mugil and Liza captured in the Ligurian Sea were characterized, and a method to detect histamine-producing Pdd from fish samples was developed. The histamine-producing potential of the strains was evaluated in culture media (TSB+) using a histamine biosensor. Subsequently, two strains were used to contaminate mackerel fillets (4 or 40 CFU/g), simulating a cross-contamination on the selling fish stalls. Sample homogenates were enriched in TSB+. The cultures were then inoculated on thiosulfate-citrate-bile salts-sucrose agar (TCBS) and the dark green colonies were cultured on Niven agar. The violet isolates were characterized using specific biochemical and PCR based tests. All Pdd strains were histamine producers, yielding concentration varying from 167 and 8977 µg/mL in TSB+ cultures incubated at 30 °C for 24 h. Pdd colonies were detected from the inoculated mackerel samples and their histidine decarboxylase gene was amplified using species-specific primer pairs designed for this study. The results indicate that mullets can be source of Pdd and the fish retailers needs to evaluate the risk posed by cross-contamination on the selling fish stalls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food and Waterborne Infections in Animals and Humans)
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Open AccessArticle
Inaccurate Assessment of Canine Body Condition Score, Bodyweight, and Pet Food Labels: A Potential Cause of Inaccurate Feeding
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4020030 - 09 Jun 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2684
Abstract
The objectives were to investigate owners’ ability to assign the correct bodyweight (BW) and body condition score (BCS) to their dog and to interpret wet and dry pet food labels by estimating how much to feed daily. One hundred and seventy-four questionnaires were [...] Read more.
The objectives were to investigate owners’ ability to assign the correct bodyweight (BW) and body condition score (BCS) to their dog and to interpret wet and dry pet food labels by estimating how much to feed daily. One hundred and seventy-four questionnaires were completed. Owner estimated BW was compared to actual BW, correct being defined within ±10% of actual BW. Correct interpretation of the total amount of food required was determined by the number of cans (±25% of cans) required for wet food and grams (±20% of grams) for dry food, based on the dog’s actual BW, the feeding guidelines on the label, and a comparison with the owner’s estimate. Eleven percent of owners overestimated BCS and 19% overestimated BW. Only 48% of owners could correctly estimate their dog’s BW. Only 23% and 43% of owners could correctly estimate how much wet and dry food to feed, respectively. Chi-square analysis demonstrated a significant positive association for owners correctly estimating their dog’s BW and interpreting the wet pet food label. Many owners are not aware of their pet’s BCS and BW and cannot accurately interpret pet food labels. Further owner education to improve these skills is needed if dogs are to be fed correctly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutritional Disorders in Companion Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
A Retrospective Cohort Study of an Outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis among Veterinary Students
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4020029 - 24 May 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2095
Abstract
An outbreak of gastrointestinal illness occurred among a cohort of 56 veterinary technology and 100 veterinary science students at Massey University over an eight-week period in 2013. This coincided with calving in New Zealand’s seasonal dairy farming system and a time when calves [...] Read more.
An outbreak of gastrointestinal illness occurred among a cohort of 56 veterinary technology and 100 veterinary science students at Massey University over an eight-week period in 2013. This coincided with calving in New Zealand’s seasonal dairy farming system and a time when calves with diarrhoea are commonly seen by veterinarians. Laboratory and epidemiological investigations were instigated by MidCentral Public Health Service (MCPHS) in conjunction with the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences (IVABS) at Massey University. Eighty students responded to a questionnaire of which 19 met the case definition, a 24% attack rate. Faecal specimens from seven students contained Cryptosporidium oocysts and Cryptosporidium parvum IIa A18G3R1 was identified from one of the specimens. The inferred median incubation period was five days (range 1–12 days). All of the cases were self-limiting, characterized by diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, and in some cases vomiting, headache, and fever. Having contact with calves with diarrhoea was significantly associated with increased adjusted odds of being a case (OR 10.61, 95% CI 1.87–108.29 for one week of contact; OR 55.05, 95% CI 3.80–1931.18 for two weeks of contact). Outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis had occurred previously among veterinary students at Massey University, but the extremely high infectivity of C. parvum resulted in student illness despite enhanced hygiene precautions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control, Prevention and Elimination of Zoonotic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
The Epidemiology of Q Fever in England and Wales 2000–2015
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4020028 - 19 May 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2103
Abstract
Between 2000 and 2015, 904 cases of acute Q fever were reported in England and Wales. The case dataset had a male to female ratio of 2.5:1, and a median age of 45 years. Two outbreaks were recognised during this time period, and [...] Read more.
Between 2000 and 2015, 904 cases of acute Q fever were reported in England and Wales. The case dataset had a male to female ratio of 2.5:1, and a median age of 45 years. Two outbreaks were recognised during this time period, and the incidence of sporadic cases was highest across the southwest of England, and Wales. There are limitations in the surveillance system for Q fever, including possible geographical differences in reporting and limited epidemiological data collection. The surveillance system needs to be strengthened in order to improve the quality and completeness of the epidemiological dataset. The authors conclude with recommendations on how to achieve this. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control, Prevention and Elimination of Zoonotic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
The Big Pet Diabetes Survey: Perceived Frequency and Triggers for Euthanasia
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4020027 - 14 May 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3049
Abstract
Current pet diabetes mellitus (DM) treatment necessitates the active daily involvement of owners and can be costly. The current study aimed to investigate the owner population which opts for euthanasia instead of DM treatment. A survey was designed using multiple feedback steps and [...] Read more.
Current pet diabetes mellitus (DM) treatment necessitates the active daily involvement of owners and can be costly. The current study aimed to investigate the owner population which opts for euthanasia instead of DM treatment. A survey was designed using multiple feedback steps and made available online to veterinarians world-wide. A total of 1192 veterinarians completed the survey and suggested a median one in 10 diabetic pets are euthanased at diagnosis; a further median one in 10 within one year because of lack of success or compliance. Perceived most important motivating factors included “presence concurrent disease” (45% respondents); “costs” (44%); “animal age” (37%); “problems obtaining adequate control” (35%); “pet welfare” (35%); and “impact owner’s lifestyle” (32%). Cats in Canadian (odds ratio (OR) 2.7), Australian (OR 2.3), rural (OR 1.6) and mixed (OR 1.7) practices were more likely to be euthanased because of DM diagnosis, while cats presented to referral/university were less likely to be euthanased (OR 0.6). Dogs were more likely to be euthanased because of DM in Canadian (OR 1.8), rural (OR 1.8) and mixed (OR 1.6) practices. The survey results suggest that benefit exists in improved DM education with emphasis on offering a choice of treatment styles ranging from intense and expensive to hands-off and cheap. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diabetes Mellitus in Companion Animals)
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Open AccessArticle
Prevalence and Multilocus Genotyping Analysis of Cryptosporidium and Giardia Isolates from Dogs in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4020026 - 10 May 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1782
Abstract
The occurrence and zoonotic potential of Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia duodenalis isolated from dogs in Chiang Mai, Thailand were determined. Fecal samples were collected from 109 dogs between July and August 2008. Cryptosporidium spp. infection was determined by immunofluorescent assay (IFA), PCR assays [...] Read more.
The occurrence and zoonotic potential of Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia duodenalis isolated from dogs in Chiang Mai, Thailand were determined. Fecal samples were collected from 109 dogs between July and August 2008. Cryptosporidium spp. infection was determined by immunofluorescent assay (IFA), PCR assays that amplify Cryptosporidium heat-shock protein 70 kDa (hsp70), and two PCR assays that amplify a small subunit-ribosomal RNA (SSU-rRNA). Giardia duodenalis infection was identified using zinc sulfate centrifugal flotation, IFA, and four PCR assays that amplify the Giardia glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh), beta-giardin (bg), and generic and dog-specific assays of triosephosphate isomerase (tpi) genes. Overall prevalence of Cryptosporidium spp. and G. duodenalis was 31.2% and 45.9%, respectively. Sequence analysis of 22 Cryptosporidium-positive samples and 21 Giardia-positive samples revealed the presence of C. canis in 15, and C. parvum in 7, G. duodenalis Assemblage C in 8, D in 11, and mixed of C and D in 2 dogs. Dogs in Chiang Mai were commonly exposed to Cryptosporidium spp. and G. duodenalis. Cryptosporidium parvum can be isolated from the feces of dogs, and all G. duodenalis assemblages were dog-specific. Dogs could be a reservoir for a zoonotic Cryptosporidium infection in humans, but further studies will be required to determine the clinical and zoonotic importance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control, Prevention and Elimination of Zoonotic Diseases)
Open AccessReview
Cutaneous Hypersensitivity Dermatoses in the Feline Patient: A Review of Allergic Skin Disease in Cats
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4020025 - 09 May 2017
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4431
Abstract
Feline allergic skin disease presents a unique set of challenges to the veterinary practitioner. Although there is some similarity to what is seen in the allergic canine patient, cutaneous hypersensitivity dermatoses in cats can manifest with strikingly different clinical signs, treatment options and [...] Read more.
Feline allergic skin disease presents a unique set of challenges to the veterinary practitioner. Although there is some similarity to what is seen in the allergic canine patient, cutaneous hypersensitivity dermatoses in cats can manifest with strikingly different clinical signs, treatment options and outcomes, and secondary complications/disease entities. Additionally, less is known about the pathogenesis of feline allergic skin diseases, particularly “feline atopic syndrome” when compared to dogs or people. This article aims to review what is currently known in regards to allergic skin disease in the feline patient, with focus on non-flea, non-food hypersensitivity dermatitis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Allergies in Animals and Humans)
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Open AccessReview
Dissecting the Role of the Extracellular Matrix in Heart Disease: Lessons from the Drosophila Genetic Model
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4020024 - 24 Apr 2017
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3397
Abstract
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a dynamic scaffold within organs and tissues that enables cell morphogenesis and provides structural support. Changes in the composition and organisation of the cardiac ECM are required for normal development. Congenital and age-related cardiac diseases can arise from [...] Read more.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a dynamic scaffold within organs and tissues that enables cell morphogenesis and provides structural support. Changes in the composition and organisation of the cardiac ECM are required for normal development. Congenital and age-related cardiac diseases can arise from mis-regulation of structural ECM proteins (Collagen, Laminin) or their receptors (Integrin). Key regulators of ECM turnover include matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and their inhibitors, tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (TIMPs). MMP expression is increased in mice, pigs, and dogs with cardiomyopathy. The complexity and longevity of vertebrate animals makes a short-lived, genetically tractable model organism, such as Drosophila melanogaster, an attractive candidate for study. We survey ECM macromolecules and their role in heart development and growth, which are conserved between Drosophila and vertebrates, with focus upon the consequences of altered expression or distribution. The Drosophila heart resembles that of vertebrates during early development, and is amenable to in vivo analysis. Experimental manipulation of gene function in a tissue- or temporally-regulated manner can reveal the function of adhesion or ECM genes in the heart. Perturbation of the function of ECM proteins, or of the MMPs that facilitate ECM remodelling, induces cardiomyopathies in Drosophila, including cardiodilation, arrhythmia, and cardia bifida, that provide mechanistic insight into cardiac disease in mammals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparison of Cardiovascular Systems and Diseases Across Species)
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Open AccessArticle
Mapping Heart Development in Flies: Src42A Acts Non-Autonomously to Promote Heart Tube Formation in Drosophila
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4020023 - 24 Apr 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1891
Abstract
Congenital heart defects, clinically identified in both small and large animals, are multifactorial and complex. Although heritable factors are known to have a role in cardiovascular disease, the full genetic aetiology remains unclear. Model organism research has proven valuable in providing a deeper [...] Read more.
Congenital heart defects, clinically identified in both small and large animals, are multifactorial and complex. Although heritable factors are known to have a role in cardiovascular disease, the full genetic aetiology remains unclear. Model organism research has proven valuable in providing a deeper understanding of the essential factors in heart development. For example, mouse knock-out studies reveal a role for the Integrin adhesion receptor in cardiac tissue. Recent research in Drosophila melanogaster (the fruit fly), a powerful experimental model, has demonstrated that the link between the extracellular matrix and the cell, mediated by Integrins, is required for multiple aspects of cardiogenesis. Here we test the hypothesis that Integrins signal to the heart cells through Src42A kinase. Using the powerful genetics and cell biology analysis possible in Drosophila, we demonstrate that Src42A acts in early events of heart tube development. Careful examination of mutant heart tissue and genetic interaction data suggests that Src42A’s role is independent of Integrin and the Integrin-related Focal Adhesion Kinase. Rather, Src42A acts non-autonomously by promoting programmed cell death of the amnioserosa, a transient tissue that neighbors the developing heart. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparison of Cardiovascular Systems and Diseases Across Species)
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Open AccessArticle
Minimising Stress for Patients in the Veterinary Hospital: Why It Is Important and What Can Be Done about It
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4020022 - 13 Apr 2017
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 5226
Abstract
Minimising stress for patients should always be a priority in the veterinary hospital. However, this is often overlooked. While a “no stress” environment is not possible, understanding how to create a “low stress” (sometimes called “fear-free”) environment and how to handle animals in [...] Read more.
Minimising stress for patients should always be a priority in the veterinary hospital. However, this is often overlooked. While a “no stress” environment is not possible, understanding how to create a “low stress” (sometimes called “fear-free”) environment and how to handle animals in a less stressful manner benefits patients, staff and the hospital alike. Many veterinary practitioners believe creating a low stress environment is too hard and too time consuming, but this need not be the case. With some simple approaches, minimising patient, and hence staff, stress is achievable in all veterinary practices. This article provides a background on why minimising stress is important and outlines some practical steps that can be taken by staff to minimise stress for presenting and hospitalised patients. Useful resources on recognising signs of stress in dogs and cats, handling, restraint, behaviour modification, medications, and hospital design are provided. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Animal Models of Cancer-Associated Hypercalcemia
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4020021 - 13 Apr 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2001
Abstract
Cancer-associated hypercalcemia (CAH) is a frequently-occurring paraneoplastic syndrome that contributes to substantial patient morbidity and occurs in both humans and animals. Patients with CAH are often characterized by markedly elevated serum calcium concentrations that result in a range of clinical symptoms involving the [...] Read more.
Cancer-associated hypercalcemia (CAH) is a frequently-occurring paraneoplastic syndrome that contributes to substantial patient morbidity and occurs in both humans and animals. Patients with CAH are often characterized by markedly elevated serum calcium concentrations that result in a range of clinical symptoms involving the nervous, gastrointestinal and urinary systems. CAH is caused by two principle mechanisms; humorally-mediated and/or through local osteolytic bone metastasis resulting in excessive calcium release from resorbed bone. Humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy (HHM) is the most common mechanism and is due to the production and release of tumor-associated cytokines and humoral factors, such as parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), that act at distant sites to increase serum calcium concentrations. Local osteolytic hypercalcemia (LOH) occurs when primary or metastatic bone tumors act locally by releasing factors that stimulate osteoclast activity and bone resorption. LOH is a less frequent cause of CAH and in some cases can induce hypercalcemia in concert with HHM. Rarely, ectopic production of parathyroid hormone has been described. PTHrP-mediated hypercalcemia is the most common mechanism of CAH in human and canine malignancies and is recognized in other domestic species. Spontaneous and experimentally-induced animal models have been developed to study the mechanisms of CAH. These models have been essential for the evaluation of novel approaches and adjuvant therapies to manage CAH. This review will highlight the comparative aspects of CAH in humans and animals with a discussion of the available animal models used to study the pathogenesis of this important clinical syndrome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparative studies on Endocrine Diseases in Animals and Humans)
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Open AccessReview
Coronary Artery Anomalies in Animals
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4020020 - 12 Apr 2017
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4287
Abstract
Coronary artery anomalies represent a disease spectrum from incidental to life-threatening. Anomalies of coronary artery origin and course are well-recognized in human medicine, but have received limited attention in veterinary medicine. Coronary artery anomalies are best described in the dog, hamster, and cow [...] Read more.
Coronary artery anomalies represent a disease spectrum from incidental to life-threatening. Anomalies of coronary artery origin and course are well-recognized in human medicine, but have received limited attention in veterinary medicine. Coronary artery anomalies are best described in the dog, hamster, and cow though reports also exist in the horse and pig. The most well-known anomaly in veterinary medicine is anomalous coronary artery origin with a prepulmonary course in dogs, which limits treatment of pulmonary valve stenosis. A categorization scheme for coronary artery anomalies in animals is suggested, dividing these anomalies into those of major or minor clinical significance. A review of coronary artery development, anatomy, and reported anomalies in domesticated species is provided and four novel canine examples of anomalous coronary artery origin are described: an English bulldog with single left coronary ostium and a retroaortic right coronary artery; an English bulldog with single right coronary ostium and transseptal left coronary artery; an English bulldog with single right coronary ostium and absent left coronary artery with a prepulmonary paraconal interventricular branch and an interarterial circumflex branch; and a mixed-breed dog with tetralogy of Fallot and anomalous origin of all coronary branches from the brachiocephalic trunk. Coronary arterial fistulae are also described including a coronary cameral fistula in a llama cria and an English bulldog with coronary artery aneurysm and anomalous shunting vessels from the right coronary artery to the pulmonary trunk. These examples are provided with the intent to raise awareness and improve understanding of such defects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparison of Cardiovascular Systems and Diseases Across Species)
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