Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Michigan State University researchers warn of life-threatening bacterial outbreak in Metro Detroit dogs - 1st Nov 2011

Michigan State University animal experts say more than 20 cases of a life-threatening bacterial infection have been reported in Detroit-area dogs.

Michigan State University veterinary researchers are warning of an outbreak of a life-threatening bacterial infection among dogs in Metro Detroit.

A specific strain of the disease known as leptospirosis has been diagnosed in more than 20 cases. Nine dogs were either euthanized or died as a result.

"What is particularly unusual about this outbreak is that the dogs affected are not stray animals, but people's pets," Carole Bolin, director of MSU's Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health, said in a statement Thursday.

"Unfortunately, we expect to see more cases, and this is a very dangerous type of leptospirosis. Many veterinarians have never seen this type in dogs because it was markedly reduced by vaccination."

Bolin and a team at MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine's diagnostic center performed testing and identified the infection strain as icterohaemorrhagiae. Leptospirosis can be fatal in dogs. It is commonly carried by rats but also can be transmitted between dogs or to humans, MSU said. Read More