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Vet. Sci., Volume 5, Issue 1 (March 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Preventative healthcare comprises a significant amount of the time spent in small animal practice [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Parasite Specific Antibody Levels, Interferon-γ and TLR2 and TLR4 Transcripts in Blood from Dogs with Different Clinical Stages of Leishmaniosis
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010031
Received: 30 December 2017 / Revised: 8 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
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Abstract
Canine leishmaniosis has a wide range of disease severity from mild (stage I), to severe (stages II–III), or very severe disease (stage IV). The objective of the study was to evaluate and compare serum antibody levels, Leishmania infantum specific IFN-γ production and TLR2
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Canine leishmaniosis has a wide range of disease severity from mild (stage I), to severe (stages II–III), or very severe disease (stage IV). The objective of the study was to evaluate and compare serum antibody levels, Leishmania infantum specific IFN-γ production and TLR2 and TLR4 transcripts in non-stimulated blood from dogs with different clinical stages at the time of diagnosis as well as blood parasitemia. Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (ELISAs) were performed to determine serum antibody levels and IFN-γ production and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCRs) in order to determine blood parasite load and TLR2 and TLR4 transcripts. Older dogs were significantly affected by more severe disease with higher antibody levels and blood parasitemia than dogs with mild disease. IFN-γ production was significantly higher in dogs with stage I disease when compared to dogs with more severe disease. Relative quantification of TLR2 in dogs with mild disease was similar to that of control dogs. On the other hand, TLR2 transcripts were significantly higher in dogs with severe disease as compared with that from control healthy dogs. No differences were found in TLR4 relative quantification between groups. This study demonstrates that dogs with different clinical stages of leishmaniosis present different levels of biological markers indicative of different immune responses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of Protein Gut Samples from Rhipicephalus spp. Using a Crude and an Innovative Preparation Method for Proteome Analysis
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010030
Received: 1 February 2018 / Revised: 6 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 March 2018 / Published: 14 March 2018
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Abstract
Tick populations are controlled through the application of chemical pesticides. However, the rise in chemical resistance has prompted the investigation of other control methods such as the use of tick vaccines. Proteomic analysis provides valuable information about the possible function and localization of
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Tick populations are controlled through the application of chemical pesticides. However, the rise in chemical resistance has prompted the investigation of other control methods such as the use of tick vaccines. Proteomic analysis provides valuable information about the possible function and localization of proteins, as candidate vaccine proteins are often either secreted or localized on the cell-surface membrane. Progress in the utilization of proteomics for the identification of novel treatment targets has been significant. However, their use in tick-specific investigations is still quite novel, with the continual development of tick-specific methodologies essential. In this study, an innovative sample preparation method was utilized to isolate epithelial cells from tick midguts to identify the membrane-bound proteins. Proteomic analysis was conducted comparing crude and innovative sample preparation methods with 692 and 1242 tick-specific proteins, 108 and 314 surface proteins respectively, isolated from the midguts of semi-engorged Rhipicephalus microplus adult female ticks. This research reports a novel preparation protocol for the analysis of tick midgut proteins which reduces host protein contamination. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Descriptive Morphometric Approach of the Skull and Mandible of the Common Opossum (Didelphis Marsupialis Linnaeus, 1758) in the Caribbean and its Clinical Application during Regional Anaesthesia
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010029
Received: 17 January 2018 / Revised: 19 February 2018 / Accepted: 7 March 2018 / Published: 9 March 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the morphometric values of the skull and the mandible of the common opossum from the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago. The skulls and mandibles were obtained from ten opossums captured for research purposes. The
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The aim of this study was to determine the morphometric values of the skull and the mandible of the common opossum from the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago. The skulls and mandibles were obtained from ten opossums captured for research purposes. The skulls and mandibles were prepared and cleaned using standard method. Some anatomical landmarks of the skulls and mandibles were identified and measured. The results were important for identification of the common opossum via comparison and discussion of our results with that of other marsupial species. Furthermore, the results had clinical importance with regard to regional nerve blocks of the infraorbital, inferior alveolar, and mental nerves for dental extraction and head surgery. This study concluded that by using the anatomical landmarks of the infraorbital and mental foramina it will be easier for the veterinarian surgeons during the application of local anesthetic agent for the infraorbital, inferior alveolar, and mental nerve blocks. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Isolation of Brucella abortus and Brucella melitensis from Seronegative Cows is a Serious Impediment in Brucellosis Control
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010028
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 6 March 2018 / Accepted: 7 March 2018 / Published: 9 March 2018
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Abstract
Brucellosis is a zoonosis occurring worldwide, with economic and public health impacts. Its diagnosis remains a challenge in endemic countries and basically relies on serology. The present study was carried out on two dairy cattle farms allegedly free from brucellosis, but with sporadic
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Brucellosis is a zoonosis occurring worldwide, with economic and public health impacts. Its diagnosis remains a challenge in endemic countries and basically relies on serology. The present study was carried out on two dairy cattle farms allegedly free from brucellosis, but with sporadic cases of abortion. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of Brucella (B.) spp. in uterine discharge of seronegative cows after abortion. In farm I, B. melitensis biovar (bv) 3 was cultured from two of five cows after abortion, while in farm II, B. abortus bv 1 was cultured from three of eleven cows after abortion. These cows had been intrauterinely infected but remained seronegative until abortion and seroconverted only thereafter. Shedding of brucellae in uterine discharge of culture positive/seronegative aborting cows is a serious problem resulting in maintenance and further spread of infection. Thus, serosurveys in endemic countries have to be accompanied by molecular detection and/or culture of aborted material to close the diagnostic window and to hinder uncontrolled spread. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Performance of Three Immune Assays to Assess the Serological Status of Cattle Experimentally Exposed to Mycoplasma bovis
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010027
Received: 1 February 2018 / Revised: 2 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 8 March 2018
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Abstract
Mycoplasma bovis is associated with several clinical syndromes of cattle. Currently, limited information is available on the sensitivity (Se) and specificity (Sp) of serological assays used for the detection of M. bovis-specific antibodies. Consequently, it is difficult to
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Mycoplasma bovis is associated with several clinical syndromes of cattle. Currently, limited information is available on the sensitivity (Se) and specificity (Sp) of serological assays used for the detection of M. bovis-specific antibodies. Consequently, it is difficult to critically evaluate the outcomes of studies that use these assays. Therefore, the current study used bovine sera sourced from M. bovis exposure studies from three countries to estimate the Se and Sp of two commercial M. bovis enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), BIO K302 and BIO K260, and Western blotting. Western blotting had the highest Se estimate of 74% (95% confidence interval (CI): 16–98%), compared to the BIO K302: 47% (95% CI: 10–87%) and BIO K260: 28% (95% CI: 1–92%). However, for Sp, the BIO K302: 96% (95% CI: 87–99%) and the BIO K260: 100% (95% CI: 93–100%) out-performed Western blotting: 88% (95% CI: 56–98%). Western blotting was the best assay for detecting seroconversion, correctly identifying 61% (95% CI: 29–86%) of exposed animals compared to 35% for BIO K302 (95% CI: 21–54%) and 8% for BIO K260 (95% CI: 0–87%). While none of the methods assessed had high Se and Sp, the availability of these estimates will aid in the interpretation of studies that use these assays. The results of this study highlight the difficulties encountered when using serology to detect exposure to M. bovis in cattle. Full article
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Open AccessReview Detection and Characterisation of Anaplasma marginale and A. centrale in South Africa
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010026
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 27 February 2018 / Accepted: 28 February 2018 / Published: 3 March 2018
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Abstract
Bovine anaplasmosis is endemic in South Africa and it has a negative economic impact on cattle farming. An improved understanding of Anaplasma marginale and Anaplasma marginale variety centrale (A. centrale) transmission, together with improved tools for pathogen detection and characterisation, are required to
[...] Read more.
Bovine anaplasmosis is endemic in South Africa and it has a negative economic impact on cattle farming. An improved understanding of Anaplasma marginale and Anaplasma marginale variety centrale (A. centrale) transmission, together with improved tools for pathogen detection and characterisation, are required to inform best management practices. Direct detection methods currently in use for A. marginale and A. centrale in South Africa are light microscopic examination of tissue and organ smears, conventional, nested, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays, and a reverse line blot hybridisation assay. Of these, qPCR is the most sensitive for detection of A. marginale and A. centrale in South Africa. Serological assays also feature in routine diagnostics, but cross-reactions prevent accurate species identification. Recently, genetic characterisation has confirmed that A. marginale and A. centrale are separate species. Diversity studies targeting Msp1a repeats for A. marginale and Msp1aS repeats for A. centrale have revealed high genetic variation and point to correspondingly high levels of variation in A. marginale outer membrane proteins (OMPs), which have been shown to be potential vaccine candidates in North American studies. Information on these OMPs is lacking for South African A. marginale strains and should be considered in future recombinant vaccine development studies, ultimately informing the development of regional or global vaccines. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Intrauterine Transmission of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Persistently Infected Lambs
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010025
Received: 28 January 2018 / Revised: 23 February 2018 / Accepted: 26 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Anaplasma phagocytophilum, which causes the disease tick-borne fever (TBF), is the most important tick-borne pathogen in European animals. TBF may contribute to severe welfare challenges and economic losses in the Norwegian sheep industry. The bacterium causes a persistent infection in sheep and several
[...] Read more.
Anaplasma phagocytophilum, which causes the disease tick-borne fever (TBF), is the most important tick-borne pathogen in European animals. TBF may contribute to severe welfare challenges and economic losses in the Norwegian sheep industry. The bacterium causes a persistent infection in sheep and several other animal species. The objective of this study was to investigate whether intrauterine transmission occurs in persistently infected sheep. The study included thirteen 5–6-month-old unmated ewes, of which twelve were experimentally infected with A. phagocytophilum (GenBank acc. no. M73220). Four to six weeks later, all ewes were mated, and nine became pregnant. Blood samples were collected from these ewes and their offspring. If the lamb died, tissue samples were collected. The samples were analyzed with real-time PCR (qPCR) targeting the msp2 gene. PCR-positive samples were further analyzed by semi-nested PCR and 16S rDNA sequencing. A total of 20 lambs were born, of which six died within two days. Six newborn lambs (30%) were PCR-positive (qPCR), of which one was verified by 16S rDNA sequencing. The present study indicates that intrauterine transmission of A. phagocytophilum in persistently infected sheep may occur. The importance of these findings for the epidemiology of A. phagocytophilum needs to be further investigated. Full article
Open AccessArticle Application and Comparative Evaluation of Fluorescent Antibody, Immunohistochemistry and Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction Tests for the Detection of Rabies Virus Antigen or Nucleic Acid in Brain Samples of Animals Suspected of Rabies in India
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010024
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 19 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Accurate and early diagnosis of animal rabies is critical for undertaking public health measures. Whereas the direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) technique is the recommended test, the more convenient, direct rapid immunochemistry test (dRIT), as well as the more sensitive, reverse transcription polymerase chain
[...] Read more.
Accurate and early diagnosis of animal rabies is critical for undertaking public health measures. Whereas the direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) technique is the recommended test, the more convenient, direct rapid immunochemistry test (dRIT), as well as the more sensitive, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), have recently been employed for the laboratory diagnosis of rabies. We compared the three methods on brain samples from domestic (dog, cat, cattle, buffalo, horse, pig and goat) and wild (leopard, wolf and jackal) animals from various parts of India. Of the 257 samples tested, 167 were positive by all the three tests; in addition, 35 of the 36 decomposed samples were positive by RT-PCR. This is the first study in which such large number of animal samples have been subjected to the three tests simultaneously. The results confirm 100% corroboration between DFA and dRIT, buttress the applicability of dRIT in the simple and rapid diagnosis of rabies in animals, and reaffirm the suitability of RT-PCR for samples unfit for testing either by DFA or dRIT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Canine Rabies Surveillance, Control and Elimination)
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Open AccessReview Avian Respiratory Coinfection and Impact on Avian Influenza Pathogenicity in Domestic Poultry: Field and Experimental Findings
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010023
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 24 February 2018
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Abstract
The avian respiratory system hosts a wide range of commensal and potential pathogenic bacteria and/or viruses that interact with each other. Such interactions could be either synergistic or antagonistic, which subsequently determines the severity of the disease complex. The intensive rearing methods of
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The avian respiratory system hosts a wide range of commensal and potential pathogenic bacteria and/or viruses that interact with each other. Such interactions could be either synergistic or antagonistic, which subsequently determines the severity of the disease complex. The intensive rearing methods of poultry are responsible for the marked increase in avian respiratory diseases worldwide. The interaction between avian influenza with other pathogens can guarantee the continuous existence of other avian pathogens, which represents a global concern. A better understanding of the impact of the interaction between avian influenza virus and other avian respiratory pathogens provides a better insight into the respiratory disease complex in poultry and can lead to improved intervention strategies aimed at controlling virus spread. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human and Animal Influenzas: A Shared Public Health Concern)
Open AccessArticle Risk Factors of Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase Producing Enterobacteriaceae Occurrence in Farms in Reunion, Madagascar and Mayotte Islands, 2016–2017
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010022
Received: 5 January 2018 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 19 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
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Abstract
In South Western Indian ocean (IO), Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E) are a main public health issue. In livestock, ESBL-E burden was unknown. The aim of this study was estimating the prevalence of ESBL-E on commercial farms in Reunion, Mayotte and Madagascar and
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In South Western Indian ocean (IO), Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E) are a main public health issue. In livestock, ESBL-E burden was unknown. The aim of this study was estimating the prevalence of ESBL-E on commercial farms in Reunion, Mayotte and Madagascar and genes involved. Secondly, risk factors of ESBL-E occurrence in broiler, beef cattle and pig farms were explored. In 2016–2017, commercial farms were sampled using boot swabs and samples stored at 4 °C before microbiological analysis for phenotypical ESBL-E and gene characterization. A dichotomous questionnaire was performed. Prevalences observed in all production types and territories were high, except for beef cattle in Reunion, which differed significantly. The most common ESBL gene was blaCTX-M-1. Generalized linear models explaining ESBL-E occurrence varied between livestock production sectors and allowed identifying main protective (e.g., water quality control and detergent use for cleaning) and risk factors (e.g., recent antibiotic use, other farmers visiting the exploitation, pet presence). This study is the first to explore tools for antibiotic resistance management in IO farms. It provides interesting hypothesis to explore about antibiotic use in IO territories and ESBL-E transmission between pig, beef cattle and humans in Madagascar. Full article
Open AccessArticle Stability of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus on Fomite Materials at Different Temperatures
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010021
Received: 10 January 2018 / Revised: 9 February 2018 / Accepted: 11 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
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Abstract
Indirect transmission of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) ensues when susceptible animals contact PEDV-contaminated fomite materials. Although the survival of PEDV under various pHs and temperatures has been studied, virus stability on different fomite surfaces under varying temperature conditions has not been explored.
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Indirect transmission of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) ensues when susceptible animals contact PEDV-contaminated fomite materials. Although the survival of PEDV under various pHs and temperatures has been studied, virus stability on different fomite surfaces under varying temperature conditions has not been explored. Hence, we evaluated the survival of PEDV on inanimate objects routinely used on swine farms such as styrofoam, rubber, plastic, coveralls, and other equipment. The titer of infectious PEDV at 4 °C decreased by only 1 to 2 log during the first 5 days, and the virus was recoverable for up to 15 days on Styrofoam, aluminum, Tyvek® coverall, cloth, and plastic. However, viral titers decreased precipitously when stored at room temperature; no virus was detectable after one day on all materials tested. A more sensitive immunoplaque assay was able to detect virus from Styrofoam, metal, and plastic at 20 days post application, representing a 3-log loss of input virus on fomite materials. Recovery of infectious PEDV from Tyvek® coverall and rubber was above detection limit at 20 days. Our findings indicate that the type of fomite material and temperatures impact PEDV stability, which is important in understanding the nuances of indirect transmission and epidemiology of PEDV. Full article
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Open AccessArticle “I Always Feel Like I Have to Rush…” Pet Owner and Small Animal Veterinary Surgeons’ Reflections on Time during Preventative Healthcare Consultations in the United Kingdom
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010020
Received: 23 November 2017 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 5 February 2018 / Published: 8 February 2018
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Abstract
Canine and feline preventative healthcare consultations can be more complex than other consultation types, but they are typically not allocated additional time in the United Kingdom (UK). Impacts of the perceived length of UK preventative healthcare consultations have not previously been described. The
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Canine and feline preventative healthcare consultations can be more complex than other consultation types, but they are typically not allocated additional time in the United Kingdom (UK). Impacts of the perceived length of UK preventative healthcare consultations have not previously been described. The aim of this novel study was to provide the first qualitative description of owner and veterinary surgeon reflections on time during preventative healthcare consultations. Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with 14 veterinary surgeons and 15 owners about all aspects of canine and feline preventative healthcare consultations. These qualitative data were thematically analysed, and four key themes identified. This paper describes the theme relating to time and consultation length. Patient, owner, veterinary surgeon and practice variables were recalled to impact the actual, versus allocated, length of a preventative healthcare consultation. Preventative healthcare consultations involving young, old and multi-morbid animals and new veterinary surgeon-owner partnerships appear particularly susceptible to time pressures. Owners and veterinary surgeons recalled rushing and minimizing discussions to keep consultations within their allocated time. The impact of the pace, content and duration of a preventative healthcare consultation may be influential factors in consultation satisfaction. These interviews provide an important insight into the complex nature of preventative healthcare consultations and the behaviour of participants under different perceived time pressures. These data may be of interest and relevance to all stakeholders in dog and cat preventative healthcare. Full article
Open AccessArticle Impact of RNA Degradation on Viral Diagnosis: An Understated but Essential Step for the Successful Establishment of a Diagnosis Network
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010019
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 2 February 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
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Abstract
The current global conditions, which include intensive globalization, climate changes, and viral evolution among other factors, have led to an increased emergence of viruses and new viral diseases; RNA viruses are key drivers of this evolution. Laboratory networks that are linked to central
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The current global conditions, which include intensive globalization, climate changes, and viral evolution among other factors, have led to an increased emergence of viruses and new viral diseases; RNA viruses are key drivers of this evolution. Laboratory networks that are linked to central reference laboratories are required to conduct both active and passive environmental surveillance of this complicated global viral environment. These tasks require a continuous exchange of strains or field samples between different diagnostic laboratories. The shipment of these samples on dry ice represents both a biological hazard and a general health risk. Moreover, the requirement to ship on dry ice could be hampered by high costs, particularly in underdeveloped countries or regions located far from each other. To solve these issues, the shipment of RNA isolated from viral suspensions or directly from field samples could be a useful way to share viral genetic material. However, extracted RNA stored in aqueous solutions, even at −70 °C, is highly prone to degradation. The current study evaluated different RNA storage conditions for safety and feasibility for future use in molecular diagnostics. The in vitro RNA-transcripts obtained from an inactivated highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus was used as a model. The role of secondary structures in the protection of the RNA was also explored. Of the conditions evaluated, the dry pellet matrix was best able to protect viral RNA under extreme storage conditions. This method is safe, cost-effective and assures the integrity of RNA samples for reliable molecular diagnosis. This study aligns with the globally significant “Global One Health” paradigm, especially with respect to the diagnosis of emerging diseases that require confirmation by reference laboratories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human and Animal Influenzas: A Shared Public Health Concern)
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Open AccessCommunication Qualitative Evaluation of the Five-Year ‘Red Collar’ Campaign to End Inhumane Culling of Dogs as a Method of Rabies Control
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010018
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 1 February 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
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Abstract
Dog-mediated human rabies can be eliminated through mass dog vaccination. Despite leading authorities in human and animal health uniting to advance effective and humane rabies control, some governments resort to lethal methods, which are unethical, often inhumane and ineffective. To end the inhumane
[...] Read more.
Dog-mediated human rabies can be eliminated through mass dog vaccination. Despite leading authorities in human and animal health uniting to advance effective and humane rabies control, some governments resort to lethal methods, which are unethical, often inhumane and ineffective. To end the inhumane culling of dogs in response to rabies, World Animal Protection launched ‘Red Collar’; a five-year campaign (2011–2016) that worked with governments to promote the implementation of mass dog vaccination for rabies control. We present the findings from a qualitative evaluation of ‘Red Collar’, conducted both regionally and with national focus on Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Zanzibar, Tanzania. Through semi-structured interviews and written contributions from stakeholders (n = 54), we compared perceptions of changes with stated campaign goals to capture recommendations for future work. The campaign successfully generated momentum for implementation of mass dog vaccination by targeted governments. Lessons learned were established: Value of a consistent animal welfare ‘voice’; the need to explore the motivations behind culling; the need to capacity build; time required for the ‘ripple effect’ to inspire humane control in other countries; importance of monitoring and evaluation of indicators; time and effort required for exit strategies and prior preparation for a robust response to culling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Canine Rabies Surveillance, Control and Elimination)
Open AccessArticle Knowledge, Awareness and Practices Regarding Cystic Echinococcosis among Livestock Farmers in Basrah Province, Iraq
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010017
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 February 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
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Abstract
Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is an endemic neglected parasitic zoonosis in many of the countries of the Middle East. The disease poses a remarkable economic burden for both animals and humans. In this study, we conducted a questionnaire survey among livestock farmers in Basrah
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Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is an endemic neglected parasitic zoonosis in many of the countries of the Middle East. The disease poses a remarkable economic burden for both animals and humans. In this study, we conducted a questionnaire survey among livestock farmers in Basrah province, southern Iraq, in order to evaluate their knowledge and awareness about CE, and to understand some of the risky practices that could contribute to spread and persistence of such disease. Of the interviewed participants (N = 314), 27.4% owned dogs on their farms. Among farmers owning dogs, 76.7% (66/86) never tied up their dogs, and 43% (37/86) indicated feeding uncooked animal viscera to their dogs. The majority (96.5%) of the farmers indicated that they did not de-worm their dogs at all. Only 9.8% (31/314) of the respondents indicated eating raw leafy vegetables without washing. Added to that, 32% of the interviewees indicated that they source water for domestic use from a river; meanwhile 94.3% (296/314) of them do not boil water before using it for domestic purposes. Half of the interviewed livestock farmers in Basrah were not aware about how humans get infected with CE disease, and 41.4% (130/314) did not even realize that CE is a dangerous disease to human health. Almost one in three of the respondents who owned dogs on their farms viewed de-worming of their dogs as a low priority practice. This study highlights the gap in knowledge and awareness about CE among the study population. Risky practices associated with dog keeping management and food and water handling practices were identified. The insight from this research could be used to improve the delivery of a health education message relevant to cystic echinococcosis control at the human-animal interface in Iraq. Full article
Open AccessArticle Economic Cost of Ovine Johne’s Disease in Clinically Affected New Zealand Flocks and Benefit-Cost of Vaccination
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010016
Received: 25 December 2017 / Revised: 24 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
The aims of this study were to estimate the on-fam economic cost of ovine Johne’s disease (OJD) based on collected incidence and mortality data, and the benefit-cost of OJD vaccination in typical OJD affected flocks in New Zealand after having vaccinated for a
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The aims of this study were to estimate the on-fam economic cost of ovine Johne’s disease (OJD) based on collected incidence and mortality data, and the benefit-cost of OJD vaccination in typical OJD affected flocks in New Zealand after having vaccinated for a number of years. Owners of 20 sheep breeding and finishing farms known to be clinically affected by ovine Johne’s disease in New Zealand participated in the study and were monitored for up to two years. Farms were categorized as fine-wool (Merino, Half-Bred, Corriedale, n = 15), and other breeds (Romney, composite breeds, n = 5). Ovine JD was confirmed by gross- and histo-pathology in 358 ewes culled due to chronic progressive wasting. An additional 228 ewes with low body condition score (BCS), but not targeted for culling, were tested with ELISA to estimate the proportion of OJD in ewes in the lower 5% BCS of the flock. Calculations were done separately for fine-wool and other breeds. Based on the data, mortality due to OJD, its associated cost and the benefit-cost of vaccination were evaluated for a hypothetical farm with 2000 ewes by stochastic simulation. Total ewe mortality was similar in fine-wool and other breeds, but the estimated mortality due to OJD was 2.7 times as high in fine-wool (median 1.8%, interquartile range IQR 1.2–2.7%) than other breeds (median 0.69%, IQR 0.3–1.2%), but with large variation between farms. ELISA results demonstrated fine-wool sheep had a higher seroprevalence than other breeds (39%, 95% CI 18–61% vs. 9%, 95% CI 0–22%). Stochastic modelling indicated that the average annual cost of mortality due to OJD in a flock of 2000 ewes was NZD 13,100 (IQR 8900–18,600) in fine-wool and NZD 4300 (IQR 2200–7600) in other breeds. Vaccinating replacement lambs against OJD may be cost-effective in most flocks when the pre-vaccination annual ewe mortality due to OJD is >1%. To make the best-informed decision about vaccination it is therefore essential for farmers to accurately diagnose OJD to establish incidence. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Identification of Genetic Regions Associated with Scrotal Hernias in a Commercial Swine Herd
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010015
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 24 January 2018 / Accepted: 25 January 2018 / Published: 27 January 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, we have used two approaches to detect genetic associations with scrotal hernias in commercial pigs. Firstly, we have investigated the effects of runs of homozygosity (ROH) with the appearance of scrotal hernias, followed by a Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS).
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In this paper, we have used two approaches to detect genetic associations with scrotal hernias in commercial pigs. Firstly, we have investigated the effects of runs of homozygosity (ROH) with the appearance of scrotal hernias, followed by a Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS). The phenotype classification was based on visual appearance of scrotal hernias. Each affected animal was matched to a healthy control from the same pen. In the total, 68 animals were genotyped using the Porcine SNP60 Beadchip, out of those, 41 animals had the presence of hernias and 27 were healthy animals. Fifteen animals were removed from the analysis due to differences in genetic background, leaving 18 healthy animals and 35 piglets with scrotal hernia. Further, the detection of extended haplotypes shared ROH were conducted for health (control) and affected (case) animals and a permutation test was used to test whether the ROH segments were more frequent in case/case pairs than non-case/case pairs. Using the ROH, we have identified an association (p = 0.019) on chromosome 2(SSC2) being segregated on animals with the presence of scrotal hernias. Using a GWAS, a region composed by 3 SNPs on the sexual chromosome X (SSCX) were associated with scrotal hernias (p < 1.6 × 10−5), this region harbors the Androgen Receptor Gene (AR). Full article
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Open AccessReview A Review of Eight High-Priority, Economically Important Viral Pathogens of Poultry within the Caribbean Region
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010014
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 17 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
Viral pathogens cause devastating economic losses in poultry industries worldwide. The Caribbean region, which boasts some of the highest rates of poultry consumption in the world, is no exception. This review summarizes evidence for the circulation and spread of eight high-priority, economically important
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Viral pathogens cause devastating economic losses in poultry industries worldwide. The Caribbean region, which boasts some of the highest rates of poultry consumption in the world, is no exception. This review summarizes evidence for the circulation and spread of eight high-priority, economically important poultry viruses across the Caribbean region. Avian influenza virus (AIV), infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), Newcastle disease virus (NDV), infectious laryngotracheitis virus (ILTV), avian metapneumovirus (aMPV), infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), fowl adenovirus group 1 (FADV Gp1), and egg drop syndrome virus (EDSV) were selected for review. This review of serological, molecular, and phylogenetic studies across Caribbean countries reveals evidence for sporadic outbreaks of respiratory disease caused by notifiable viral pathogens (AIV, IBV, NDV, and ILTV), as well as outbreaks of diseases caused by immunosuppressive viral pathogens (IBDV and FADV Gp1). This review highlights the need to strengthen current levels of surveillance and reporting for poultry diseases in domestic and wild bird populations across the Caribbean, as well as the need to strengthen the diagnostic capacity and capability of Caribbean national veterinary diagnostic laboratories. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Development of an Indirect ELISA Based on a Recombinant Chimeric Protein for the Detection of Antibodies against Bovine Babesiosis
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010013
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 21 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
The current method for Babesia spp. serodiagnosis based on a crude merozoite antigen is a complex and time-consuming procedure. An indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA) based on a recombinant multi-antigen of Babesia bovis (rMABbO) was developed for detection of antibodies in bovines suspected
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The current method for Babesia spp. serodiagnosis based on a crude merozoite antigen is a complex and time-consuming procedure. An indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA) based on a recombinant multi-antigen of Babesia bovis (rMABbO) was developed for detection of antibodies in bovines suspected of infection with this parasite. The multi-antigen comprises gene fragments of three previously characterized B. bovis antigens: MSA-2c, RAP-1 and the Heat Shock protein 20 that are well-conserved among geographically distant strains. The cutoff value for the new rMABbo-iELISA was determined using 75 known—positive and 300 known—negative bovine sera previously tested for antibodies to B. bovis by the gold-standard ELISA which uses a merozoite lysate. A cutoff value of ≥35% was determined in these samples by receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, showing a sensitivity of 95.9% and a specificity of 94.3%. The rMABbo-iELISA was further tested in a blind trial using an additional set of 263 field bovine sera from enzootic and tick-free regions of Argentina. Results showed a good agreement with the gold standard test with a Cohen’s kappa value of 0.76. Finally, the prevalence of bovine babesiosis in different tick enzootic regions of Argentina was analyzed where seropositivity values among 68–80% were obtained. A certain level of cross reaction was observed when samples from B. bigemina infected cattle were analyzed with the new test, which can be attributed to shared epitopes between 2 of the 3 antigens. This new rMABbo-iELISA could be considered a simpler alternative to detect anti Babesia spp. antibodies and appears to be well suited to perform epidemiological surveys at the herd level in regions where ticks are present. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Molecular Identification of Eimeria Species in Broiler Chickens in Trinidad, West Indies
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010012
Received: 7 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
Coccidiosis is an intestinal disease of chickens of major economic importance to broiler industries worldwide. Species of coccidia found in chickens include Eimeria acervulina, Eimeria brunetti, Eimeria maxima, Eimeria mitis, Eimeria necatrix, Eimeria praecox, and Eimeria tenella. In recent years, polymerase
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Coccidiosis is an intestinal disease of chickens of major economic importance to broiler industries worldwide. Species of coccidia found in chickens include Eimeria acervulina, Eimeria brunetti, Eimeria maxima, Eimeria mitis, Eimeria necatrix, Eimeria praecox, and Eimeria tenella. In recent years, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has been developed to provide accurate and rapid identification of the seven known Eimeria species of chickens. The aim of this study was to use species-specific real-time PCR (qPCR) to identify which of the seven Eimeria species are present in Trinidad poultry. Seventeen pooled fecal samples were collected from 6 broiler farms (2–5 pens per farm) across Trinidad. Feces were also collected from birds showing clinical signs of coccidiosis in two live bird markets (pluck shops). qPCR revealed the presence of five species of Eimeria (E. acervulina, E. maxima, E. mitis, E. necatrix, and E. tenella), but not E. brunetti or E. praecox. Mixed infections were detected on all broiler farms, and DNA of two highly pathogenic Eimeria species (E. tenella and E. necatrix) was detected in feces taken from clinically sick birds sampled from the two pluck shops. Full article
Open AccessCommunication Detection of Antibodies to Seven Priority Pathogens in Backyard Poultry in Trinidad, West Indies
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010011
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 20 January 2018
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Abstract
Backyard poultry farms in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) play a vital role in providing food and income for rural communities. There is currently no information on the presence and circulation of pathogens in backyard poultry farms in T&T, and little is known in
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Backyard poultry farms in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) play a vital role in providing food and income for rural communities. There is currently no information on the presence and circulation of pathogens in backyard poultry farms in T&T, and little is known in relation to the potential risks of spread of these pathogens to the commercial poultry sector. In order to address this, serum samples were collected from 41 chickens on five backyard farms taken from selected locations in Trinidad. Samples were tested for antibodies to seven priority pathogens of poultry by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Antibodies were detected in 65% (CI 95%: 50–78%) of the sampled birds for Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), 67.5% (CI 95%: 52–80%) for Infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), 10% (CI 95%: 4–23%) for Newcastle disease virus (NDV), 0% (CI 95%: 0–0%) for Avian influenza virus (AIV), 0% (CI 95%: 0–0%) for West Nile virus (WNV), 31.7% (CI 95%: 20–47%) for Mycoplasm gallisepticum/synoviae and 0% (CI 95%: 0–0%) for Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis. These results reveal the presence and circulation of important pathogens of poultry in selected backyard farms in Trinidad. The results provide important information which should be taken into consideration when assessing the risks of pathogen transmission between commercial and backyard poultry farms, as well as between poultry and wild birds. Full article
Open AccessCase Report A Multicentric T-Cell Lymphoma with a Plasmacytoid Morphology in a Dog
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010010
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 20 January 2018
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Abstract
An 8-year-old male (neutered) Labrador with a history of erythematous skin lesions and exercise intolerance for a prolonged period was suddenly found dead. Necropsy findings revealed an infiltrative, focally extensive mass which occupied 25% of the cardiac interventricular septum. Severe endocardiosis was also
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An 8-year-old male (neutered) Labrador with a history of erythematous skin lesions and exercise intolerance for a prolonged period was suddenly found dead. Necropsy findings revealed an infiltrative, focally extensive mass which occupied 25% of the cardiac interventricular septum. Severe endocardiosis was also found on the bicuspid and tricuspid valves. The submandibular lymph nodes and kidneys were bilaterally enlarged, and the pre-hepatic lymph node and spleen were also enlarged. Multiple dermal pustules were present around the mouth and on the ear, and small ulcers were present on the tongue. Histopathological examination detected the presence of neoplastic lymphocytes with a plasmacytoid morphology in these tissues as well as in the tongue and skin lesions. Immunohistochemical (CD3+/CD18+) evaluation was consistent with a T-cell lymphoma, which could be classified as a peripheral T-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified (PTCL-NOS). Full article
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Open AccessCase Report A Case Report of Disseminated Canine Histiocytic Sarcoma in Trinidad and Tobago
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010009
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 13 December 2017 / Accepted: 12 January 2018 / Published: 19 January 2018
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Abstract
Ocular histiocytic sarcomas (as a presenting part of disseminated histiocytic sarcoma) are not commonly diagnosed. A 10-year-old female intact Rottweiler presented to the School of Veterinary Medicine, Trinidad with buphthalmia and pain in the left eye. The cornea of the left eye appeared
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Ocular histiocytic sarcomas (as a presenting part of disseminated histiocytic sarcoma) are not commonly diagnosed. A 10-year-old female intact Rottweiler presented to the School of Veterinary Medicine, Trinidad with buphthalmia and pain in the left eye. The cornea of the left eye appeared diffusely opaque with a conjunctival mucopurulent ocular discharge. A thorough ophthalmic assessment identified an intraocular proliferative tumor to which a unilateral enucleation was performed, however the animal died soon after. Post mortem examination and light microscopy revealed that the intraocular lesion with visceral macro-metastases was in fact a histiocytic sarcoma. Further to this, immune-phenotyping was performed to confirm the diagnosis of disseminated histiocytic sarcoma. This is the first time such a tumor has been diagnosed in Trinidad and Tobago. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Biofilm-Forming Potential of Staphylococcus aureus Isolated from Bovine Mastitis in New Zealand
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010008
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 19 January 2018
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Abstract
Biofilm formation is of growing concern in human and animal health. However, it is still unclear how biofilms are related to mastitis infections in dairy cattle. In this study, a comparison between two tests for biofilm formation and the association between biofilm and
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Biofilm formation is of growing concern in human and animal health. However, it is still unclear how biofilms are related to mastitis infections in dairy cattle. In this study, a comparison between two tests for biofilm formation and the association between biofilm and the presence of genes associated with biofilm formation were investigated for 92 Staphylococcus aureus isolates from intramammary infections. Congo red agar (CRA) and microtitre test assay (MTA) in vitro phenotypic tests were used to evaluate biofilm formation. The presence of icaA, icaD, and bap genes associated with biofilm formation was confirmed using the polymerase chain reaction. Results show that most of the S. aureus isolates, though not possessing one of the biofilm-forming genes, were able to produce biofilms. MTA was more frequently positive in identifying biofilm-forming isolates than CRA. Full article
Open AccessArticle Owners and Veterinary Surgeons in the United Kingdom Disagree about What Should Happen during a Small Animal Vaccination Consultation
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010007
Received: 23 November 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 16 January 2018 / Published: 18 January 2018
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Abstract
Dog and cat vaccination consultations are a common part of small animal practice in the United Kingdom. Few data are available describing what happens during those consultations or what participants think about their content. The aim of this novel study was to investigate
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Dog and cat vaccination consultations are a common part of small animal practice in the United Kingdom. Few data are available describing what happens during those consultations or what participants think about their content. The aim of this novel study was to investigate the attitudes of dog and cat owners and veterinary surgeons towards the content of small animal vaccination consultations. Telephone interviews with veterinary surgeons and pet owners captured rich qualitative data. Thematic analysis was performed to identify key themes. This study reports the theme describing attitudes towards the content of the consultation. Diverse preferences exist for what should be prioritised during vaccination consultations, and mismatched expectations may lead to negative experiences. Vaccination consultations for puppies and kittens were described to have a relatively standardised structure with an educational and preventative healthcare focus. In contrast, adult pet vaccination consultations were described to focus on current physical health problems with only limited discussion of preventative healthcare topics. This first qualitative exploration of UK vaccination consultation expectations suggests that the content and consistency of adult pet vaccination consultations may not meet the needs or expectations of all participants. Redefining preventative healthcare to include all preventable conditions may benefit owners, pets and veterinary surgeons, and may help to provide a clearer structure for adult pet vaccination consultations. This study represents a significant advance our understanding of this consultation type. Full article
Open AccessErratum Erratum: Lavergne, S.N. In Vitro Research Tools in the Field of Human Immediate Drug Hypersensitivity and Their Present Use in Small Animal Veterinary Medicine Vet. Sci. 2017, 4, 1
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010006
Received: 12 January 2018 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 18 January 2018
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Abstract
Due to an error during production, the author, Lavergne S. Lavergne’s name in the published paper [1] was incorrect.[...] Full article
Open AccessEditorial Allergies in Animals and Humans
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010005
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 12 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
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Abstract
Allergy to inhalant and food allergens affects many patients worldwide [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Allergies in Animals and Humans)
Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Veterinary Sciences in 2017
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010004
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2018 / Published: 12 January 2018
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Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Veterinary Sciences maintains high quality standards for its published papers[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle A Pilot Qualitative Investigation of Stakeholders’ Experiences and Opinions of Equine Insect Bite Hypersensitivity in England
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010003
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 4 January 2018 / Accepted: 6 January 2018 / Published: 9 January 2018
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Abstract
Equine insect bite hypersensitivity (IBH), commonly known as sweet itch or summer eczema, is a frustrating recurrent skin disease in the equine industry involving an immune reaction to the bites of Culicoides spp. midges. To investigate the impact of IBH in the field,
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Equine insect bite hypersensitivity (IBH), commonly known as sweet itch or summer eczema, is a frustrating recurrent skin disease in the equine industry involving an immune reaction to the bites of Culicoides spp. midges. To investigate the impact of IBH in the field, an exploratory pilot study was conducted with equine stakeholders in one region of central England. Nine semi-structured, face-to-face interviews were conducted with horse owners and an equine veterinarian. The aim was to gain an understanding of experiences with IBH, and to gauge opinions on the value of the various management strategies horse owners use to control IBH. Awareness of IBH was generally high, particularly in those individuals who had previous experience with the condition. Those with previous experience of IBH commented on the significant effect on daily routines, and the associated cost implications. Most participants supported an integrated approach to hypersensitivity management, and this most commonly involved a combination of physical barriers and chemical repellents, but sometimes included feed supplementation. Overall, attitudes towards IBH suggested that the condition is a notable welfare and economic concern for stakeholders, but veterinary involvement tended to only be in more severe cases. Further research is required in the future to improve understanding, management and potential treatment of this condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Allergies in Animals and Humans)
Open AccessArticle When Veterinarians Support Canine Therapy: Bidirectional Benefits for Clinics and Therapy Programs
Vet. Sci. 2018, 5(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci5010002
Received: 28 November 2017 / Revised: 20 December 2017 / Accepted: 3 January 2018 / Published: 4 January 2018
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Abstract
This paper proposes a mutually beneficial model of collaboration between veterinarians and canine therapy programs. Veterinarians and the clinics for whom they work routinely establish collaborations with multiple and varied stakeholders. This might include a laboratory for processing samples and the corresponding courier
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This paper proposes a mutually beneficial model of collaboration between veterinarians and canine therapy programs. Veterinarians and the clinics for whom they work routinely establish collaborations with multiple and varied stakeholders. This might include a laboratory for processing samples and the corresponding courier company needed to deliver samples to the lab or a partnership with a local dog rescue organization for whom discounted rates are offered. One community partnership that stands to benefit both the clinic and the community agency, is for veterinarians to work in tandem with a local canine-assisted therapy program. The benefits to such an alliance are multifold and address aspects of veterinary medicine including client recruitment, community education, and access to a network of devoted dog enthusiasts. Full article
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