Special Issue "Selected Papers from the First International Conference ‘Babies and Animals: Pediatrician Meet Vets’"

A special issue of Veterinary Sciences (ISSN 2306-7381).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Paolo Manzoni

Azienda Ospedaliera OIRM – Sant’Anna Hospital Neonatology and Hospital NICU Torino 10100 Italy
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Interests: neonatology; paediatric and neonatal infectious disease; pediatrics; retinopathy of prematurity; neonatal nutrition; lactoferrin; probiotics
Guest Editor
Dr.ssa Raffaella Barbero

The Veterinary Medical Research Institute for Piedmont Liguria and the Aosta Valley Via Bologna 148 Torino 10100 Italy
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Interests: veterinary science; animal welfare; zoonotic disease
Guest Editor
Dr.ssa Daniela Dezzutto

The Veterinary Medical Research Institute for Piedmont Liguria and the Aosta Valley Via Bologna 148 Torino 10100 Italy
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Interests: veterinary science; animal welfare; zoonotic disease
Guest Editor
Dr.ssa Maria Silvia Gennero

The Veterinary Medical Research Institute for Piedmont Liguria and the Aosta Valley Via Bologna 148 Torino 10100 Italy
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Interests: veterinary science; animal welfare; zoonotic disease
Guest Editor
Dr. Andrea Peano

Department of Veterinary Science University of Torino Largo Braccini 2 10095 Grugliasco Italy
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Interests: veterinary science; animal welfare; mycosis
Guest Editor
Dr. Giovanni Re

Department of Veterinary Science University of Torino Largo Braccini 2 10095 Grugliasco Italy
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Interests: veterinary pharmacology and toxicology; antimicrobial resistance
Guest Editor
Dr. Renato Turra

Pediatra di Famiglia ASL TO4 Via Guibert 4 10072 Caselle Torinese Italy
E-Mail
Interests: neonatology; infectious disease; pediatrics; vaccinations; deontology
Guest Editor
Dr.ssa Emanuela Valle

Department of Veterinary Science University of Torino Largo Braccini 2 10095 Grugliasco Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: veterinary science; animal welfare; animal productions; animal-assisted therapy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We believe that a multidisciplinary approach is an important policy for increasing collaboration and communication in all aspects of health care for babies and animals. The need to strengthen the One Health approach can be effective in tackling the challenges presented, especially when it is necessary to integrate all the information regarding prevention, health, and safety in order to ensure a baby’s wellbeing.

The objective of this Special Issue is to combine synergies that could disclose unanswered questions and knowledge into zoonotic disease, antibiotic resistance, and animal farming and welfare. Moreover, it is necessary to present the most recent scientific data regarding the importance of having a pet in a family, since contact with animals from early childhood may contribute to emotive and psychological development and physical health.

We propose the Special Issue of "Babies and Animals: Pediatricians Meet Vets", where the aim is to achieve a synergism and exchange of scientific knowledge between the doctor and veterinarian in order to improve medical education on childhood. This Special Issue addresses the need to strengthen the flow and exchange of information between veterinary and medical sciences through the publication of a selection of research articles from leading researcher in this field. It is hoped that this Special Issue will further stimulate collaboration between scientists engaged in all aspects of this field of research.

Dr. Paolo Manzoni
Dr. Giovanni Re
Dr.ssa Maria Caramelli
Dr.ssa Daniela Dezzutto
Dr.ssa Maria Silvia Gennero
Dr.ssa Raffaella Barbero
Dr. Andrea Peano
Dr. Renato Turra
Dr.ssa Emanuela Valle
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Veterinary Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessCommunication
Polymorphism Analysis of Ch1 and Ch2 Genes in the Siberian Cat
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(4), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4040063
Received: 26 September 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (550 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cats are usually spreaders of allergens that are critical for sensitive people; the Siberian cat is a breed supposed to be low level allergenic, according to some breeders’ statements. The sequence of the two genes, namely Ch1 and Ch2, that code for [...] Read more.
Cats are usually spreaders of allergens that are critical for sensitive people; the Siberian cat is a breed supposed to be low level allergenic, according to some breeders’ statements. The sequence of the two genes, namely Ch1 and Ch2, that code for the allergen Fel d 1, the major allergen responsible for outbreaks of allergy symptoms, is not yet known in the Siberian cat, and finding this was the aim of our investigation. Notably, our work is the first survey of the genetic structure of these genes in Siberian cats. The comparison of the sequences of Siberian cats, non-Siberian cats, and sequences present in the National Center for Biotechnology Information database revealed a considerable number of mutations; some of those detected in the Siberian cat, due to their position in exon regions, could affect the Fel d 1 allergenic properties. Therefore, further investigations are recommended to assess if the identified mutations can be responsible for a reduced-allergen synthesis and can be used as markers for selection of low level allergenic cats. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Household Behavior with Respect to Meat Consumption: Differences between Households with and without Children
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(4), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4040053
Received: 8 August 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1730 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Meat consumers around the world are increasingly paying attention to product quality and safety, and are starting to reduce their meat consumption, especially with regard to red meat. This trend is prevalent in households with children who prefer health-certified meat products. Our study [...] Read more.
Meat consumers around the world are increasingly paying attention to product quality and safety, and are starting to reduce their meat consumption, especially with regard to red meat. This trend is prevalent in households with children who prefer health-certified meat products. Our study compares meat consumption habits in households with and without children or adolescences (0–18 years). A structured questionnaire was distributed to 401 retail purchasers at 12 different points of sales of meat in the Piedmont region in northwest Italy. Socio-demographic variables and quantitative-qualitative meat consumption habits of retail purchasers were investigated. One part of the questionnaire analyzed the relative importance of 12 meat choice purchasing attributes by employing the Best-Worst scaling methodology, a type of choice experiment. Our research found that households without children (subset B) have higher weekly meat consumption habits than those with children (subset A). Alternatively, the households with children (subset A) have a diet characterized by a greater variety of protein sources, such as legumes and fish. Both of the considered subsets preferred trusted butchers for meat buying, with supermarkets as a second choice. However, only consumers of subset A bought meat from farm butchers. Our team performed a consumer analysis to identify meat consumption patterns in the two considered subsets. Simultaneously, a Best-Worst analysis evidenced several choice attributes with different relevance for the two investigated samples segmentation in three clusters of purchase. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperCommunication
Small Pilot Survey on Parents’ Perception of the Relationship between Children and Pets
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(4), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4040052
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 10 October 2017 / Accepted: 10 October 2017 / Published: 16 October 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (178 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since companion animals are taking on more important roles in family life, the aim of this study was to evaluate the perception of parents about the relationship between their children and pets. A number of parents were asked to fill in a questionnaire; [...] Read more.
Since companion animals are taking on more important roles in family life, the aim of this study was to evaluate the perception of parents about the relationship between their children and pets. A number of parents were asked to fill in a questionnaire; the principal topics were: pet ownership, pet care, relationship between pets and children, and sources of information about pet management. Eighty-two parents completed the survey; 71.4% of them already had pets before having children; pet care and health has emerged to be rather important, since 96.4% of the pets are taken to the veterinarian at least once a year; moreover, the great majority of the parents (97.2%) were not worried about the possible risks, linked to pets, pertaining to their child’s health. The present survey confirms that pets are mostly considered as members of the family, and not only as a benefit for the children. Moreover, the relationship between children and pets is basically seen as a positive experience for children. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Detection of Leptospira spp. in Water Turtle (Trachemys scripta) Living in Ponds of Urban Parks
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(4), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4040051
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 28 September 2017 / Published: 10 October 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (206 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban parks are green areas of cities where families and children spend hours outside. Turtles often inhabit urban parks. However, even if the animals seem harmless, they may serve as both reservoirs or accidental hosts for different serotypes of Leptospira spp. Leptospira spp. [...] Read more.
Urban parks are green areas of cities where families and children spend hours outside. Turtles often inhabit urban parks. However, even if the animals seem harmless, they may serve as both reservoirs or accidental hosts for different serotypes of Leptospira spp. Leptospira spp. is a waterborne zoonotic bacterium relevant for public health. Reptiles and amphibians may play a role in the epidemiology, transmission, and persistence of Leptospira spp. In the present study, we observed the presence of anti-leptospiral agglutinins in a group of freshwater turtles (Trachemys scripta) captured in three urban ponds of the metropolitan city of Turin, Italy. Full article
Open AccessCommunication
A Preliminary Assessment of HTST Processing on Donkey Milk
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(4), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4040050
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 29 September 2017 / Published: 9 October 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (409 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Due to increasing attention from consumers on non-bovine milk types, and to the increase in the number of small dairy donkey farms in Italy, farmers require more advanced and reliable processing devices, in order to guarantee a safe product of high quality. To [...] Read more.
Due to increasing attention from consumers on non-bovine milk types, and to the increase in the number of small dairy donkey farms in Italy, farmers require more advanced and reliable processing devices, in order to guarantee a safe product of high quality. To this aim, a new small-scale High-Temperature Short-Time (HTST) pasteurizer (72 °C for 15 s), prototyped by the authors, was tested on donkey milk. The efficacy of the HTST device was tested on raw donkey milk microflora by enumeration of total aerobic bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae and Bacillus cereus. The biochemical quality was assessed by determining the protein profile by monodimensional electrophoresis and by measuring lysozyme activity. The HTST apparatus was able to reduce the total bacteria count, and to completely eradicate Enterobacteriaceae. Bacillus cereus, when present, was decreased with low efficiency. Changes in the protein profile were observed in milk pasteurized in accordance with both processes, although HTST seemed to limit casein degradation. Lysozyme activity was not substantially affected in comparison to raw donkey milk. In conclusion, a tailored small-volume HTST device could be safely applied to pasteurize donkey milk in on-farm pasteurization processes on small dairy donkey farms. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Equine Assisted Interventions (EAIs): Methodological Considerations for Stress Assessment in Horses
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4030044
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (272 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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 [...] Read more.
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 AccessErratum
Household Behavior with Respect to Meat Consumption: Differences between Households with and without Children. Vet. Sci. 2017, 4, 53
Vet. Sci. 2019, 6(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci6010012
Received: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 22 January 2019
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Abstract
Due to an error during production, the order of the first and last names of the authors are incorrect in the published paper [...] Full article
Open AccessConference Report
Development of a Dog-Assisted Activity Program in an Elementary Classroom
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(4), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4040062
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 27 November 2017
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Abstract
Here we describe a pilot Dog-Assisted Activity program that was designed to improve wellbeing and social integration in a multi-cultural elementary classroom in which some episodes of bullying had been reported. We developed a 5-encounters protocol with the aim of introducing pet dogs [...] Read more.
Here we describe a pilot Dog-Assisted Activity program that was designed to improve wellbeing and social integration in a multi-cultural elementary classroom in which some episodes of bullying had been reported. We developed a 5-encounters protocol with the aim of introducing pet dogs into the class to stimulate understanding of different types of communication and behavior, ultimately facilitating positive relationships among peers. A preliminary evaluation was carried out in order to assess the effect of the program on teachers’ perception of children’s difficulties (e.g., peer relationship problems) and strengths (prosocial behaviors) by means of a brief behavioral screening tool, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ—Teacher version). Overall results indicate that, by means of the recognition of the dogs’ behavior and non-verbal communication, children were able to express their emotions and to show behaviors that had not been recognized by the teachers prior to the intervention. In particular, the SDQ Total Difficulties scores suggest that the teacher had increased awareness of the students’ difficulties as a result of the dog-assisted program. Overall, the presence of animals in the educational environment may provide enjoyment and hands-on educational experiences, enhanced psychological wellbeing, and increased empathy and socio-emotional development. Full article
Open AccessCase Report
Infection by Microsporum canis in Paediatric Patients: A Veterinary Perspective
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4030046
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 19 September 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3151 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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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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; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4030041
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 15 August 2017 / Published: 22 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1406 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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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