Weekly companion animal news: July 18, 2022

Many dogs aren’t vaccinated against Lyme disease and leptospirosis, survey finds

Only 61% of respondents in a survey by Elanco said their dogs were vaccinated against Lyme disease, while less than 47% said their dogs were vaccinated against leptospirosis. Thirty-three percent and 69%, respectively, of the roughly 3,000 U.S. adults surveyed said they’re unsure about the prevalence of Lyme or leptospirosis in their area, highlighting the need for broader awareness of risk exposure and proper prevention, according to Elanco. While these diseases in the past were largely confined to wooded regions, they’ve become more prevalent in urban and suburban areas due to expanding tick populations across the country.

Health officials warn people and pets of toxic algae blooms in lakes

Health officials are warning residents across the country against entering lakes where toxic algae blooms have sprouted. Bacteria in the lakes can poison people and pets. Symptoms of algae poisoning may include rashes, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing and wheezing. Blooms of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have been reported at lakes in Austin, Texas; Northern California; and Clay County, Florida. Environmental researchers have said harmful algal blooms are becoming more common due to climate change, Insider reports.

AAHA accredits first hospital outside North America

The American Animal Hospital Association has accredited Tokyo’s Daktari Animal Hospital, AAHA’s first member hospital outside North America. The hospital has three facilities in Tokyo and other affiliate locations throughout Japan. Part of the accreditation process in this case meant AAHA had to adapt its standards to Daktari’s environment. “Certain things incorporated into North American standards simply aren’t feasible for practices in other countries,” said Anthony Merkle, regional manager for member experience at AAHA, who led the process. “For example, our standards dictate a certain type of PPE…that may not be available in another country, so we needed to make adjustments for that.” Other considerations for adapting AAHA standards may include North American government regulations that don’t mesh with other countries’ regulations or the price of certain equipment that makes aligning with a given standard cost-prohibitive.

Vetoquinol program helps clinics launch rehab services for dogs and cats

A new program from Vetoquinol USA helps veterinary clinics launch rehabilitation services for dogs and cats. The Vetoquinol Rehabilitation Business Solution is a two-day, onsite course with lectures, labs and business planning services for up to 10 clinic staff members. Upon completion, the clinic will be prepared to launch rehabilitation services immediately, according to the announcement. The courses are led by Dr. Beth Frank, a veterinarian who earned a Canine Rehabilitation Therapist Certification and is certified in veterinary medical acupuncture. During the in-person course, participants will receive training in rehabilitation of the forelimb, hindlimb, geriatric patient, neurologic patient and feline patient. The program provides 14 hours of continuing education credits per participant, according to Vetoquinol.

Morris Animal Foundation-funded study aims to improve canine mammary cancer detection

Morris Animal Foundation announced it’s funding a new study at the University of Saskatchewan to develop improved diagnostic tools for detecting mammary cancer in dogs. Canada-based Blue Buffalo and Pet Valu are funding partners on the project. University researchers will investigate the role of three cell markers in the progression of mammary cancer, from benign early lesions to aggressive cancer. In previous human studies, increased expression of these cell markers in women was linked to mammary cancer. If successful, researchers will explore the use of these markers to improve early diagnostics of mammary tumors in dogs. “Mammary cancer continues to be a significant issue for dogs, but as with other cancers, earlier detection opens possibilities for significantly better treatment outcomes,” said Dr. Janet Patterson-Kane, Morris Animal Foundation chief scientific officer.

AVMA conference sessions will focus on financial health of students, clinics and pet owners

The AVMA’s upcoming annual convention will include sessions on financial health, covering topics such as educational debt, client communication and marketing to pet owners. Bridgette M. Bain, the AVMA’s associate director of analytics, will present an “Economic State of the Profession Review,” analyzing veterinarian salaries, educational debt and practice efficiency. A presentation by AVMA assistant director for statistical analysis Charlotte R. Hansen titled “The Language of Veterinary Care” will highlight the work of an AVMA initiative that aims to help clinicians effectively communicate with clients. The AVMA Language of Veterinary Care Initiative provides resources on how to communicate with clients about why and when they should go to the veterinarian, the range of services a veterinary practice offers and how to pay for those services. Another session, titled “Pet Ownership: What You Need to Know” and led by Rosemary Radich, an AVMA data scientist, will elaborate on data featured in the AVMA’s recently released 2022 “Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook.”

Cat owner survey aims to help improve pet socialization programs

Researchers at the University of California, Davis were looking for U.S. cat owners willing to take part in a survey to help learn about how owners view cat socialization, including how much importance they place on it. “Socialization here refers to the introduction of the animal to new people, places and objects,” said Jennifer Link, a Ph.D. student at UC Davis’ Animal Welfare Epidemiology Lab who’s part of the research team. “This includes everything from kitten socialization programs…to adult cats going on adventures with their owner.” Link said that while newly adopted dogs and their owners routinely take part in dedicated socialization programs, the same isn’t true for cat owners. “Once we’ve collected all the responses, we can share our findings with shelters, cat behaviorists and the public, so as to hopefully make cat and kitten socialization more accessible to all those who want to get to it,” she said. The team wants to share research within the next 12-18 months. Gizmodo reports.