Monday, June 1, 2015

USDA has confirmed Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in the US


USDA has confirmed Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in the US

Since December 2014, the USDA has confirmed several cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 in the Pacific, Central and Mississippi flyways (migratory bird paths).  The disease has been found in wild birds, as well as in backyard and commercial chicken and turkey flocks.  The USDA considers this finding to be part of the ongoing avian influenza disease incident.  There is no immediate public health concern as a result of these detections.  However, the AHDC urges you to ensure that if you own birds, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, increase your biosecurity, preventing contact between your birds and wild birds, as well as report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to the appropriate state and/or federal officials through the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets Division of Animal Industry at 518-457-0218 or USDA APHIS Veterinary Services NY office at 717-540-2777.  Our poultry expert on the Veterinary Support Services team, Dr. Jarra Jagne, is working closely with NYS and federal animal health officials and is available to assist with diagnostic concerns and biosecurity planning for commercial and backyard poultry. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease

In recent weeks there has been an outbreak of Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease in the Chicago area      UPDATED 4-4-15
Chicago CIV Outbreak-Caution When Traveling with Dogs 

This a highly contagious virus, with symptoms which can mimic other, more benign respiratory infections.
With families traveling for the weekend, there is a concern the CIV will spread. We are advising dog owners who have traveled to keep their dogs separated from all dogs.
Dog owners who are traveling from Chicago should keep their dogs separate from all other dogs, including those of other family members. If exposure occurs, the current recommendation is for a 3 week home quarantine period. Dog owners from other regions are encouraged not to bring their dog with them if they are traveling to Chicago. If they must, they should avoid all areas where dogs may gather such as dog parks, dog beaches, groomers, dog daycare and kennels.

If any dogs become ill with signs of Canine Influenza, dog owners are strongly encouraged to advise the local veterinarians that their dog may have been exposed to the virus.

Veterinarians are encouraged to be cautious over the next several weeks when dogs are presenting with "kennel cough" symptoms. They are encouraged to inquire about pet travel as well. A non-core vaccine is also available for this disease.

As a refresher, signs of CIV include:
  • A dry hacking cough
  • Coughing up a white, foamy phlegm
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Runny nose
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fever

Deborah A. Lakamp, CAE
Interim Executive Director
Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association

For more information or if you are concerned your dog is at risk call Capitol Illini Veterinary Services today @ 546-1541 or 483-6830.  If you are bringing your canine in for any of the symptoms listed above please call ahead of time so we can keep dog to dog contact as minimal as possible.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

American-made jerky tied to illness in dogs

American-made jerky tied to illness in dogs
Cases of acquired Fanconi arise despite treat-market shift

March 30, 2015 By: Edie Lau For The VIN News Service

Dogs fed jerky-style pet treats labeled as made in the United States are turning up with a rare kidney disease that’s been associated with jerky made in China.

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman confirmed Friday that the agency is “aware of complaints related to ‘USA’ made products.” Siobhan DeLancey of the FDA’s Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine said: “We have found some of these products may contain ingredients from outside of the U.S. FDA continues its investigation into these, as well as other, jerky treats potentially linked to illnesses.”

Dr. Urs Giger, director of the Metabolic Genetics Screening Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, said his laboratory has diagnosed recent cases of acquired Fanconi disease in dogs that ate treats that ostensibly were not made in China or with ingredients from China.

Since 2007, the FDA has been receiving complaints of illness in pets, predominantly dogs, that ate jerky treats. The phenomenon became commonly understood as a Chinese-chicken-jerky-treat problem because most of the products were chicken-based and made in China. Until recently, virtually all chicken jerky for pets was imported from China.

FDA and other investigators have been unable to identify a contaminant in the implicated treats or other reason for illness. But public pressure led many companies selling treats to shift or establish manufacturing operations in the United States within the past year or two.

In February, the FDA reported that the rate of complaints it received involving jerky treats slowed between May and Sept. 30, raising hopes that the problem might resolve on its own. Whether that trend has continued since then is unclear; the agency has not posted an updated tally.

One thing is clear: Veterinarians still are seeing cases of jerky-related illnesses. Dr. Bonnie Werner, an internal medicine specialist at Animal Emergency Medical Center in Torrance, California, for example, is treating a 2-year-old Yorkshire terrier who was referred by her regular veterinarian. The dog was sick with vomiting and diarrhea for more than a week prior.

According to Werner, tests showed the dog had impaired kidney function and glycosuria — glucose in urine — which are signs that point to acquired Fanconi disease.

Werner said the dog’s owner was aware of the link between jerky treats and illness but thought that products made in the U.S. were safe. As a regular treat, the 5-pound terrier was given Spot Farms “all-natural chicken strips,” Werner said. The strips are described on the product website as made from “antibiotic-free chicken raised on family farms in Kentucky.”

The website also says that “all of the ingredients that we use in our products are certified fit for human consumption. Because all of the ingredients used in our treats are all natural, our treats are free of artificial colors and preservatives. You won’t find things like BHA, BHT, or any other chemical with strange abbreviated names in any of our treats.”

Werner said she called the company’s customer-service line the first day she saw the patient. “The representative just kept repeating that the chicken was raised in Kentucky and that all the other ingredients were sourced from U.S. companies,” Werner said in an interview by email. “She did not have any information on whether those companies use ingredients from overseas.”

A spokeswoman for Spot Farms, contacted by the VIN News Service on Friday, was unaware of the veterinarian’s phone call and the case of illness.

Julie DeYoung, a member of the media-relations staff for the chicken-producing company Perdue Farms Inc., which owns Spot Farms, said in a written statement: “We are deeply saddened to hear of this dog’s illness. We … (do not know) the circumstances regarding the dog’s illness or whether our treats were a factor. What we do know is that we have never received any reports of serious illness since we launched Spot Farms dog treats in 2013.”

DeYoung noted that the treats are not meant to be fed in large quantities. “Because we do not use any fillers in our chicken strips, our treats are very high in protein,” she wrote. “It is always important, especially with smaller dogs, to adhere to the feeding guidelines by dog size printed on the back of each bag.”

In a follow-up telephone conversation Monday, DeYoung said the company is trying to determine why Werner’s call to customer service wasn’t forwarded to managers as called for by the company’s “standard procedure if we receive a call relating to a sickness.”

DeYoung added that the company has since spoken with Werner as well as the dog’s owner. “We’re gathering information that will hopefully allow us to evaluate whether our treats are the cause of this illness. We’re highly motivated to understand what happened here, and what role, if any, our treats played,” she said.

On Friday, Werner said she intended to report the case to the FDA but had not yet done so.

She said the Yorkshire terrier requires intravenous fluids to bring her kidney function near normal. “Her kidneys have not repaired themselves yet,” Werner said, adding that the pet’s future is uncertain because her owners have reached their financial limit for treatment.

Not only are cases continuing to occur in the United States, instances of jerky-associated Fanconi have begun turning up in Europe, as well.

Giger, the metabolic genetics lab director at UPenn, said, “We have recently received samples from Europe where we confirmed an acquired Fanconi syndrome and associated it to jerky-treat consumption, and reversal (of illness) or improvement following withdrawal (of the treats).”

Only two years ago, during a talk with clinical pathologists in Berlin, Giger found that “they had not even heard or seen a case.”

Giger co-authored a report of the first jerky-related case of Fanconi in Europe to be recorded in a scientific journal. Involving a 5-year-old male border terrier, the case was published April 5, 2014, in Veterinary Record, the journal of the British Veterinary Association. Every day, the dog ate various beef and chicken jerky treats, some of which contained ingredients originating in China. His clinical signs improved four weeks after he no longer was given the treats. By 19 weeks after he first took ill, the owner reported that the dog was completely normal.

As a geneticist, Giger encountered the jerky-treat issue through his work on hereditary Fanconi syndrome. His laboratory has provided Fanconi screening for decades, he said. Historically, Fanconi in dogs was a well-recognized genetic disease in basenjis. Around 2007, Giger said, the laboratory began seeing cases of Fanconi-like syndrome in other breeds, mostly small-breed dogs and mostly related to jerky consumption.

Between 2009 and 2012, Giger said his lab identified 400 cases of Fanconi. He said he continues to see new cases weekly, amounting to about 100 per year.

Whether American-made treats are less suspect than or equally suspect as Chinese-made treats is impossible to say, Giger said, because labels tend to tell an incomplete story.

“When you’re looking at pet jerky-treat products, and I’ve checked shelves at stores, the label does not necessarily say where it came from,” Giger said. “It (identifies) the company but not where it was manufactured or where (all) the ingredients came from.”

If a marketer claimed a product was made from ingredients that originated solely in the United States, he said, “one would have to check on that very carefully, as manufacturers may have sourced ingredients through third parties."

Asked whether jerky inherently might make some dogs sick, Giger said he thinks not, because he’s seen cases in which dogs ate homemade jerky without becoming ill, then became ill when fed commercially manufactured jerkies.

He speculated that homemade jerkies would be softer in texture than mass-produced treats, which he said likely are subject to any of a variety of processes, possibly including marination or irradiation.

Giger added that treats associated with illness aren’t necessarily identified as jerky, but may contain jerky and be called sausages or biscuits or something else.

In light of the ongoing mystery, Giger suggested that pet owners consider refraining from giving any commercial jerky treats to their pets. “While some may think pets cannot be without jerky treats, I do not consider them as part of a healthy diet or treat, even when labeled ‘all natural,’ and thus, currently do not recommend any,” he said.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

ReptileFest The Nation's Largest Educational Reptile and Amphibian Show

  The Nations Largest Educational Reptile
and Amphibian Show

See and touch hundreds of reptiles and amphibians from around the world
40,000 square feet of exhibits, vendors, and games
Support conservation projects
Climb into a tortoise pen
Have your photo taken with a large reptile
Learn about reptiles and amphibians in your backyard and beyond
Talk about herp health with a veterinarian
Purchase preferred pet products, t-shirts, and jewelry.

April 11-12, 2015

901 W Roosevelt Rd

Chicago, IL 60608

Check out the links below event schedules and more info!

Admission: $10 ages 12 and over
      $7 ages 3-11
    Children under 3 yrs old FREE 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Registration is KEY when it comes to your pet's MICROCHIP

        Having a microchip isn't enough- registration is key!
Capitol Illini enjoys sharing Microchip Success Stories with our clients. There is nothing better than the heart-warming stories of families and pets being reunited  thanks to a microchip!  Unfortunately, not all pets are this lucky. Time after time  pets are scanned, microchips are found, but the chip was never registered.  Having a microchip isn't enough- registration is key! Make sure to keep your contact information up to date whenever you move or change phone numbers. Registering and updating microchips is a quick and easy thing to do via phone or internet.  A microchip works forever if pet owners update information as needed. Give your lost pet the best chance to get home fast.
For less than $50.00 you can get your pet microchipped and registered through Capitol Illini Veterinary Services with HomeAgain, a Pet Database committed to protecting and returning your lost pet. Dog and cat microchipping is a simple procedure. A veterinarian injects a microchip, about the size of a grain of rice, beneath the surface of your pets skin between the shoulder blades. The process is similar to a routine shot and takes only a few seconds, no anesthetic is required.
Unsure if your pet is chipped? Bring them in for a free microchip scan today. Know they’re chipped, but unsure of registration status? Ask us how to find out.
If you know your pet is not chipped, don’t wait. Get them chipped today!