Worms & Germs Blog

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There’s not as much to update about dogs. We have more numbers but the overall issues and understanding haven’t changed. Spoiler alert….dogs and owners can both relax since the risks are very limited. Are dogs susceptible to this virus? Yes…but…not very…maybe. Depends what you mean by ‘susceptible’. Nice and clear, eh? There’s a difference between being infected and being sick. Yes, dogs can clearly become infected. However, they don’t seem to be as susceptible as…
Earlier, I wrote a series of posts about what we know about SARS-CoV-2 and different animal species. It’s a dynamic field so it’s about time I got around to updating them. We’ll start back at the beginning and in one of the most susceptible domestic species, the domestic cat. A lot of papers have come out in the interim, and they’ve largely supported what initial observations and have refined what we know. Are cats susceptible…
For the past year or more, we’ve been trying to track infectious upper respiratory tract disease (‘canine infectious respiratory disease syndrome’, CIRDC, or, more commonly, ‘kennel cough’). It’s a tough thing to do since testing is limited, it’s a disease that’s always present to some degree in the dog population and there’s no formal reporting system. How filled my inbox gets with enquiries seems to come in waves, but that’s probably more related to reporting…
I’ve meant to write more about SARS-CoV-2 in deer, and USDA’s recent announcement of infected deer made me get my butt in gear (warning: long post approaching). What do we know about SARS-CoV-2 infection in deer? We now have three different pieces of evidence: Experimental infection It’s been known for a while that white-tailed deer are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. Experimentally infected deer shed the virus and, importantly, were able to infect other deer. The ability…
I’ve had a couple reports today about an apparent H1N1 influenza outbreak in dogs in the US. Note, I say influenza in dogs, not canine flu. There’s a reason for that…more below. The situation revolves around a respiratory disease outbreak in a kennel in California. Numerous dogs were affected and PCR testing identified H1N1 influenza. Clinically, it sounds like a moderate to severe outbreak, with a reasonable number of infected dogs. We see two basic…
Game changing research? Something that will be walked back in the future? Something in between? A press release and fact sheet released today by the USDA makes me wonder which of these will apply. It’s a potentially game changing result, but it’s so far outside of what I’d expect that we have to make sure the results are real. Since it’s just a press release and info sheet, with no specific information about the methods…
Game-changing research? Something that will be walked back in the future? Something in between? A press release from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) about a study looking at antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in white-tailed deer (and an infosheet about the same study) released today makes me wonder which of these will apply. The results are potentially game-changing, but it’s so far outside of what I’d expect that we have to make sure the results…
The latest version of A Guide to Mitigating the Risk of Infection in Veterinary Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic (15-Jun-2021) has been released.  It can also be accessed through the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association Coronavirus FAQ webpage (member login required). The main changes are a new section summarizing various considerations for re-opening of veterinary practices to clients, and minor updates to other areas such as ventilation. Previous versions of the guidance and other related documents…
I get asked about this a lot. Early in the pandemic, I wrote a post about options, and some things have changed a bit as we know more know about SARS-CoV-2 in animals and associated zoonotic risks, and we have a vaccine for people. A common scenario: Someone is being hospitalized because of COVID-19. They have a dog and a friend or family member has been asked to take care of it. What’s the risk?…